Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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The chassis has been simplified somewhat. Its right rack now has the classic design with three 5.25-inch bays at the top and six 3.5-inch bays at the bottom. Take note that the 3.5-inch bays are all internal; none of them opens to the front panel. There are no rails to install 3.5-inch devices into 5.25-inch bays. So if you need a card-reader or a floppy drive (yes, it is a prehistoric device but some people need it still), you have to use external USB-interfaced models. I guess the manufacturer should have provided rails for 5.25-inch bays, though.

The mainboard and expansion cards are fastened in the standard way: poles and screws. There are no mechanisms for screw-less fastening. Although not very quick, this is a simple and reliable method.

The quality and thickness of the chassis are all right. Everything is solid and robust. You can’t bend anything with your finger as with cheap system cases. It’s nice that the lower price of this model hasn’t affected this aspect. After all, the chassis is the foundation every other component is attached to.

The PSU fastening mechanism is simple: four supports from below and one plate from above, four classic screws at the back panel. It is good the PSU can be installed upside down, i.e. with the horizontal fan facing up.

Take note of the additional strut in the left part of the photo: it adds rigidity to the chassis so that it didn’t bend lengthwise.

The HDDs and optical drives are also fastened with screws, without any rails, cages or anything. There is one peculiarity only. Every HDD is fastened with thumbscrews, so you can do without a screwdriver. On the downside, you have to remove both side panels in order to do anything with the HDDs.

The back part of the 3.5-inch rack is designed as a depression in the case. You can tuck unnecessary cables in here. There are two handy straps for cables available.

Unfortunately, the system case comes without fans on the front panel although there are two seats for 120mm fans there. It is easy to access them: there are locks on one side of the plastic front panel only. The other side is held with brackets, so you don’t have to remove the back cap. The doors the fans are installed into are closed with thumbscrews. It is easy to install HDDs from here, especially if the mainboard is already in the case. Alas, there are no rails and you have to remove the back panel of the rack to install your HDDs.

It is easy to assemble your PC in this system case. The sequence of actions is absolutely standard. One thing should be noted, though. As the photo above shows, the case is not very long and a long optical drive will hang over the mainboard. My 19-inch drive blocks the mounting hole for the mainboard, so I had to fasten the latter first and then install the optical drive.

 

There are a few assembly-related peculiarities. The low position of the PSU means that its cables should be long. The standard 12V and 24V connectors have to reach a long way to the mainboard’s top where the appropriate plugs usually reside. And I wish the case were a couple of centimeters longer because the power connector of long graphics cards, placed near the back edge of the PCB, is going to press against the HDD opposite it (and my graphics card is not the longest available). Take note how clean and neat the interior of the case looks because most of the excess cables are hidden in the niche at the back of the HDD rack.

 
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