PC Components

Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect Test – Mini tower with lots of glass and two-chamber construction

Inter-Tech Elektronik Handels GmbH is a company based in Germany and was founded in 1996. Since then, the main focus has been on the Europe-wide distribution of OEM and retail hardware for PC systems. Originally, the portfolio mainly comprised PC cases and power supply units. However, this has since been expanded to include numerous divisions such as fans, peripherals, hard disk enclosures and adapters. In January 2024, Inter-Tech added numerous new products to its portfolio. This includes a new mini tower called the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect, which costs € 48.89 * and which we are testing today.

Technical details

Model: Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect
Case type: µATX
Dimensions: 278 mm (W) x 370 mm (H) x 400 mm (D)
Weight: 4.69 kg
Material: Steel, plastic, tempered glass
Color: Black
Front connections: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x headphones, 1x microphone
Drive bays: 2x 3,5″
2x 2,5″
Expansion slots: 4x horizontal
Form factors: µATX, ITX
Ventilation: Rear: 1x 120 mm
Top: 3x 120 mm
Side: 2x 120 mm
Bottom: 3x 120 mm
Radiators: Rear: 1x 120 mm
Top: 1x 240 mm (max. 65 mm deep including fan)
Side: 1x 240 mm
Max. CPU cooler height: 155 mm
Max. Graphics card length: 375 mm
Max. Power supply length: 200 mm
Space for cable management: 43 mm to 88 mm
Price: € 48.89 *
Special features: Dust filter, cable management, tempered glass

Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect test: The scope of delivery

As is typical for Inter-Tech, the C-501 Aspect is packed in a plain brown cardboard box. Elaborate colors or printing are deliberately omitted in favor of a lower purchase price. What is also omitted, however, is almost all the technical data. Only two schematic drawings, part of the product name and the weight are printed on the cardboard.

Inside the packaging, the manufacturer wraps the C-501 Aspect in two thin blocks of conventional polystyrene to absorb shocks during transportation and a plastic film to prevent scratches. In our opinion, however, the polystyrene blocks are a little too thin. The mounting accessories are contained in a small plastic bag and include a handful of cable ties, all the necessary mounting screws, a nut for screwing in the spacers and a replacement cover for the expansion slots. Finally, Inter-Tech also includes very brief assembly instructions with the C-501 Aspect.

External impression

Unlike the previously tested Inter-Tech X2 Duplex, the C-501 Aspect is visually much more striking. The two tempered glass panels in particular provide a deep insight into the case. However, such a design is by no means new. The manufacturer Lian Li already showed the way a long time ago with the O11 and the Inter-Tech C-701 also used two panes of glass.

The front of the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect consists entirely of slightly tinted tempered glass and is covered with a protective film ex works. In addition, the pane has a black coating in the right-hand area and along the entire outer edge. If necessary, the screen can also be removed as it is simply glued to a plastic frame which is clipped to the body using plastic pins.

The design of the lid aims to ensure a high airflow. We find a large ventilation opening here, which offers space for up to three 120 mm fans or a 240 mm radiator via mounting rails. Unfortunately, the C-501 lacks a little more depth for mounting a 360 mm radiator. A mesh dust filter has also been attached above the grille using magnetic strips.

The manufacturer has also placed the I/O panel in the lid. This is positioned longitudinally on the right-hand side of the lid and has three USB ports (1x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2x USB 2.0), two sockets for headphones and microphone and two buttons for power and reset. Finally, Inter-Tech also provides the C-501 Aspect with two activity LEDs.

As already mentioned, the left side panel of the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect is made of tempered glass. It is connected to the body in a rather old-fashioned way using four knurled screws, which are pushed through the glass pane and screwed in place. Like the front window, the side window also has a protective film and a black border. The right-hand side panel is made of steel and has two differently sized, filterless ventilation openings with a honeycomb look. Two knurled screws with a plastic coating are used to attach it to the body and there is also a recessed grip. The chosen material thickness is borderline.

A look at the rear of the C-501 Aspect case quickly reveals that we are dealing with a case that has two vertical compartments inside. The mainboard, an optional 120 mm case fan and the expansion cards are positioned on the right-hand side. The left side offers a mounting position for the vertically oriented power supply unit and a ventilation grille for the HDD cage.

The underside of the Mini-Tower hardly differs visually and functionally from the lid. Four solid feet made of black plastic, which also have a layer of rubber, ensure a secure stand. Similar to the lid, a large fan grille can also be seen here, which offers space for up to three 120 mm fans. Inter-Tech has also implemented a magnetic mesh filter here to protect against dust.

Interior impression

As already suspected, the interior of the C-501 consists of two chambers. The large main chamber offers space for a µATX mainboard, a long graphics card and various fans below, above and to the side of the mainboard. There is also so much space in the upper area that an AiO water cooling system with a thick 240 mm radiator can easily be installed here. The manufacturer has placed numerous openings around the mainboard tray to facilitate the cabling of the components. The feed-throughs on the right-hand side of the tray are angled at 90 degrees.

As the front is made of glass, it is logical that no fans can be mounted here. Instead, the C-501 Aspect has side mounting rails. Officially, only two 120 mm fans can be placed here. Under certain circumstances, however, it may also be possible to mount a radiator here. More on this later. There is space for an additional fan at the rear and four expansion slots can be seen, three of which unfortunately only have break-out panels.

The second chamber is located behind the mainboard tray, offers space for an ATX power supply unit and has a modular HDD cage. There is also plenty of storage space for the power supply cables thanks to the up to 88 millimeter wide chamber. The space between the side mounting rails and the side panel is also more than 27 millimeters. In combination with the generous cut-out above the mounting rails, a second radiator could potentially be attached here.

The mounting options for data carriers are limited. The modular HDD cage behind the mainboard tray offers space for two 3.5″ and two 2.5″ data carriers at the same time. There is no decoupling of the mounted hard disks as they are only attached using screws.

Processing

The overall build quality of the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect is OK and mostly corresponds to the targeted price range. There are no sharp edges and the paintwork has no noticeable flaws. However, the steel used could have been a little stronger in one place or another. The ventilation grilles in particular are relatively easy to dent. On a positive note, however, it should be mentioned that surprisingly little plastic is used for a case in this price range and the stability of the body is fine even without the side panels.

Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect test: Installing the components

Now we come to the system installation in the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect test. As hardware we use an AMD Ryzen 5 1400* on an ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus* with 16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT gray DDR4-2666*. The Ryzen is cooled by an Alpenföhn Brocken 4* and is overclocked to 3.8 GHz (1.175 V). A Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1060 6GB is responsible for the image output. The power supply is provided by the fully modular LC-Power LC550 V2.31 Platinum*.

Due to the generous space available, the installation of all components was very simple and quick. In addition, the spacers in the C-501 Aspect are partially pre-installed, which saved even more time during assembly. If we were to find fault with anything, it would be that Inter-Tech felt that too few screws were included with the accessories and it was not entirely clear in places which screw was actually intended for which purpose. Cabling, on the other hand, was child’s play thanks to the generous storage space on the back and the sensibly placed cable management openings. The end result looks smart and makes a good impression.

Officially, the Inter-Tech offers space for 155 mm high CPU coolers and a 375 mm long graphics card. This means there are hardly any restrictions for GPUs. When choosing a CPU cooler, however, you have to look around a little more carefully, as many air coolers are larger than 155 millimeters. Inter-Tech does not officially state the maximum length of the power supply unit. However, our measurements have shown that the PSU should not be longer than 200 millimeters if you still want to have storage space for positioning the cables.

If you are planning to use a water cooling system, this would also be possible in the C-501 Aspect. Officially, the mini tower supports a 240 mm radiator in the lid and a 120 mm radiator at the rear. Unfortunately, the C-501 Aspect lacks a few centimeters in depth for a 360 mm radiator in the lid. However, depending on the depth of the radiator (max. 30 mm), a further 240 mm radiator could be placed to the right of the mainboard. However, this must then be attached between the mounting rails and the left side panel, as the combination of radiator and fan would otherwise cover the cable management openings on the side.

Load test

Finally, we come to the temperatures reached in the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect test. Prime95 and FurMark were run for 30 minutes at a room temperature of 20 °C during the stress test. In addition, the stress test was carried out in factory settings (without fan) and with a rear fan (50% PWM and 100% PWM).

Scenario
Temperature
CPU: 50% PWM (900 rpm)
GPU: 50% PWM (1650 rpm)
CPU: 79.0 °C
GPU: 77.2 °C
CPU: 50% PWM (900 rpm)
GPU: 50% PWM (1650 rpm)
Rear: 1x 120mm 50% PWM (950 rpm)
CPU: 64.8 °C
GPU: 67.8 °C
CPU: 50% PWM (900 rpm)
GPU: 50% PWM (1650 rpm)
Rear: 1x 120mm 100% PWM (1800 rpm)
CPU: 58.1 °C
GPU: 64.1 °C

Compared to the Inter-Tech X2 Duplex, the C-501 Aspect performs significantly better in terms of the cooling performance shown. Even in factory settings without a case fan, the CPU and GPU remain below the 80-degree limit. Furthermore, even a single rear fan with reduced speed results in a significant reduction in temperatures. If three to four fans are installed in the C-501 Aspect, it should also be possible to cool high-performance hardware without any problems. Of course, these fans also automatically increase the overall costs, as this mini tower comes from the factory without any fans.

Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect: Conclusion

Overall, the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect left us with an average impression. Thanks to the use of glass on the front and as a side panel, this mini tower is perfect as a showcase and should make quite an impression, especially with illuminated components. The mini tower also stood out positively due to the hardware compatibility offered in conjunction with the fairly compact dimensions. System installation and cabling were child’s play and the cooling performance shown, if fans are subsequently installed, is very good.

On the negative side, we noticed the very limited range of mounting screws, the number of which is just enough for the bare essentials. It was also unclear which screw was used for which purpose. In terms of hardware compatibility, it is also a bit of a shame that the mini tower is only a few centimetres short in depth for the installation of a 360 mm water cooling system. Finally, the built-in steel could definitely be a little thicker in one place or another and the complete absence of case fans increases the purchase price accordingly.

However, if you consider that the Inter-Tech C-501 currently only costs € 48.89 * and that you sometimes have to pay considerably more for similarly constructed cases, the overall package on offer seems quite coherent, but not perfect. Basically, you can tell that the C-501 Apspect has had to cut back in certain areas in order to keep the price as low as possible. However, if you are looking for an “aquarium” case in mini-tower format and can live with these compromises, you could take a closer look at the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect.

Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect

Workmanship
Structure
Features
Cooling
Value for money

84/100

The Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect offers a good basis for presenting the hardware thanks to its tempered glass and can convince with a very good cooling potential if additional fans are purchased. Some deductions are made for the material thickness and the limited mounting material

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Inter-Tech Elektronik Handels GmbH is a company based in Germany and was founded in 1996. Since then, the main focus has been on the Europe-wide distribution of OEM and retail hardware for PC systems. Originally, the portfolio mainly comprised PC cases and power supply units. However, this has since been expanded to include numerous divisions such as fans, peripherals, hard disk enclosures and adapters. In January 2024, Inter-Tech added numerous new products to its portfolio. This includes a new mini tower called the Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect, which costs and which we are testing today. Technical details Model: Inter-Tech C-501 Aspect … (Weiterlesen...)

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