There is a direct relationship between air temperature and component temperature: every degree increase or decrease of the former is immediately reflected in the latter.
In order to lower the air temperature inside the 500M, our engineers have created three thermal zones: the top chamber where six storage devices can be installed, the CPU zone, and the extension cards zone. The top chamber is cooled independently and never affects the air temperature in the lower chamber. The lower section of the top chamber is aligned with the first extension slot and rests about 10mm above a full height PCIe card, so that it creates a separation between the CPU area and the extension cards area. In this way most of the warm air exhausted from the CPU heatsink does not cross over to the extension cards zone.
The result is significantly lower in-case air temperature.
System resistance has a fundamental influence on thermal performance. This is the measure of the resistance the airflow encounters as it moves inside the case. Case parts, components and cables slow down and divert the airflow away from the intended areas, resulting in lower performance and more noise.
The 500M was designed to remove any obstacle from the airflow path: air can move freely inside the case, at the intended speed and in the right direction. Cables are routed towards the front of the case while components such as the power supply and the disk drives never interfere with the cooling of the CPU and the extension cards.
The 500M was designed so that the motherboard can be installed horizontally. With this layout, the two hottest components, the CPU and the graphic card(s), are located close to the sides of the case. The air flows unobstructed inside the 500M and is quickly exhausted through the back.
The low system resistance, the large ventilation area, and the closeness of the heatsinks fans to the sides combine to create an exceptional airflow inside the case.
These ideal cooling conditions are not only unheard of in a case of the size of the 500M, but they let you adapt the cooling and the noise generated by the fans to your liking. You may prefer to benefit from better thermal performance with a noise level similar to your previous case, or similar performance but significantly less noise.