Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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It is logical to begin assembling the system by installing the PSU. The system case comes without one. Some people may find it a bother to choose and buy a PSU, but others may like the opportunity of installing the specific PSU model they want. I used an Antec NeoHE 650 Blue during the tests.

The installation is not a problem at all. You unfasten four screws, releasing the frame and put it on the power supply (note that there are strips of damping material on the frame to reduce vibrations). Then you install the whole thing in place. There is a large cutout in the support under the PSU. You don’t have to turn your PSU with a horizontal 120mm fan upside down but leave it in its default position: there is a path for the air in either case. For the PSU these positions are perfectly equal because its electronics does not care about the orientation in space.

By the way, the HDD power cables in the bottom cage can be put through the small slits near the fan rather than up and down again. The unused cables and some of the cables that go to the mainboard and the top-cage drives can be laid behind the mainboard’s mounting plate and fixed there. There is a small gap between the mounting plate and the side panel of the case for that purpose.

It’s simple with 5-inch devices. You just attach the rails and insert the device into the bay from the front panel. You don’t have to remove the front panel itself. The brackets have to be torn off, though.

The manufacturer’s care about the user can be seen in the cages. They have handy rings for taking them out of their seats and plastic guides that prevent the cages from jamming.

Four HDDs are installed vertically and fastened with screws via soft damping pads in the bottom cage. For the top cage you should use additional rails. The HDD is fastened to the rails (via damping pads again) and goes into its place. It is convenient but the top cage accommodates only two HDDs. On the other hand, these HDDs are cooled perfectly, especially if you install an additional fan in front of the cage.

By the way, these soft and rather thick pads made it necessary to use nonstandard screws which are long and have a broad head. It will be a problem to find such screws if you lose the ones included with the system case.

 

If you decide to use the bottom cage only, you can install an additional 120mm fan on the top one using the included wire hooks. You have to remove the rails to do that, which means you can’t install both the fan and your HDDs at the same time. On the other hand, few people will have six HDDs and a graphics card that needs additional cooling in one system.

 

A nice trifle, there is a small box attached to the side of the top cage. It is handy for storing screws or something.

Installing the mainboard and graphics card is easy. These components are fastened with screws.

 

The assembly and the laying-out of cables provoke no problems but I could not make the interior neat. I wish the case were a couple centimeters longer so that the back of the graphics card were not so close to the top cage.

It’s nice that the manufacturer provides a number of cable straps with the case. Running a little ahead, this attention to trifles seems to have become a typical trait of Antec products. A sufficient number of straps are included with every model and there are always one or two spare screws of every type.

One more thing you should take into account when selecting your components: the PSU must have long enough cables to reach from the bottom of the case to the 5-inch bays and the mainboard’s 12V connector.

 
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