New owner here. Grabbed it at Newegg for 95 after rebate on sale a few weeks ago. Love the case but made some modifications.
The side panels are interchangeable and switchable with each other. Knowing this, I simply bought another solid panel (http://www.corsair.com/en/parts/case-parts/carbide-500r-case-right-side-panel-arctic-white-side-panel-right-with-no-fan-holes.html
) and mounted it on the left side of my case. My goal was to make my computer quieter as so much air leaks out the side panel it is ridiculous. I have an NH-D14 with a TY-140 and the original P12 which are suppose to be the quietest combination (use low voltage adapters on them too) but the case made a little too much noise.
I could've used some sound dampening foam (http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-21-Inch-Dampening-Acoustic-SF01/dp/B0040JHMH6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341012607&sr=8-1&keywords=sound+dampening+foam
) to cover up my window outside of the fan but that's a sticky proposition. Getting an acrylic window seemed like too much trouble too. I don't need my computer to be flashy, just get the job done silently.
All fans larger than 140mm are just for show with poor static pressure and pooe airflow to dba ratios. I have 3 Gentle Typhoon AP-15's in front (1 mounted in the drive bay), 1 AP-15 on the bottom, 1 AP-15 on the Front Top (Top Back opening is covered up with weather foam and card stock), and an AP-15 for exhaust (usually turned off). They are all controlled by my sunbeam rheostart. My system runs cool and quiet with massive positive pressure as it is. The side panel disrupted airflow as well so it had to go.
I'll post some pics later, but the combination of performance, silence, and ease of use make the corsair 500r a keeper.Edited by Diogenes5 - 6/29/12 at 9:49pm