The top and bottom compartments connect through a small slit which can be almost completely closed with a special moving plate.
The back panel is quite an ordinary thing on the inside.
There is a seat for a 120mm fan in front of each of the two HDD cages. Thus, you can ensure more comfortable conditions for your HDDs inside this system case than in Antec’s gaming series cases. The cages can be easily extracted thanks to the plastic rails.
The cages differ because the developer wanted to make the case smaller.
The top cage can accommodate three HDDs positioned vertically. They are fastened to the cage with large-headed screws via soft damping pads.
The bottom cage can only take in two HDDs and you have to use special guides for them. The guide is fastened to the bottom of the HDD using the same screws and pads as in the top cage.
Take note of the rings attached to the sides of the cages. You can pull at them to easily take a cage out of the case. You should not worry that the rings might rattle: the HDDs are damped properly in the cages whereas the rings are fixed in special plastic clips.
You may have noticed that there are rather large square depressions in the front panel on both sides of the 5-inch bays. Besides making it easy to remove the faceplates, they help in installing 5-inch devices. The front parts of the guides the devices run into the bays on fit into these depressions. Thus, the designers have solved the common problem of making the installation process quick and simple without having to remove the front panel.
A 3.5-inch device can be installed into an open 5-inch bay using a guide and a faceplate.
I met no problems when I was assembling a computer in this system case. As usual, the additional space for cables between the panels helped move most wires and cables away from the mainboard and simplified the final step of the assembly process.
Frankly speaking, I wanted to replace the mainboard I used because it only had two SATA connectors whereas the system case could easily accommodate four HDDs. I did not change anything, though. After all, few users of this system case are going to have more than two HDDs.
By the way, the power connector of the long graphics card I use in my tests was very close to the bottom HDD cage. If two HDDs were installed into it, the connector got in the way of the bottom HDD. And my card is not the longest available: the Nvidia GTX 260 is 4 centimeter longer, for example. This is just a small nuisance, though. Even if you are going to use a very long professional graphics card, you will be able to fit it in by removing the bottom HDD cage altogether and installing your HDDs into the top cage. Or you can just not install the HDD opposite the graphics card – the cage design with longitudinal positioning of HDDs is especially good then.
Besides, if you are going to install your optical drive into the top 5-inch bay, you should select a model with a length of 170 millimeters or less. Otherwise it will hit against the 200mm fan. The bottom bays are free from this limitation. And generally speaking, most of today’s optical drives meet that requirement, too.