Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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As we have said already, there are two fans on the interior of the top panel. You can replace the default 120mm with 140mm ones if you want. These and other system fans use a 4-pin Molex connector like PATA drives and have a constant rotation speed of 1000rpm.

Like in many other products of this class, expansion-slot brackets are reusable and fastened with thumbscrews. What is rather unusual, the small vent opening nearby is covered with a small dust filter on a plastic grid. Unfortunately, the grid is secured on the chassis with one side only and swings loosely.

The drives rack consists of two parts. The top one is comprised of five 5.25-inch bays and the bottom one is a closed box with vent holes in which up to six hard drives can be accommodated in two tiers.

It is all easy with optical drives. There is an excellent screw-less fastening system for them that works when you press a button. There is no need to take off the front panel to install a drive: the faceplates are designed in such a way that you can take one out and insert your drive into the bay with ease. The bottom bay has special guides and its faceplate has a window for you to install an external 3.5-inch device.

It is the ventilation of the HDD rack that we have worries about. There is no fan near it; the HDDs are only cooled by exchanging heat with the rack itself as well as by means of convectional air flows. You can remove the 3.5-inch device guides (by undoing the inconspicuous screws near the screw-less fastening mechanism) and install a fan there: there are mounting holes in the top part of the drives rack for a second plastic box included with the system case (it is the same as the box preinstalled at the bottom). But since the developer of the chassis considers passive cooling sufficient, we are going to test this system case in its default state, without installing an additional fan.

The guides for HDDs are almost completely blank and have impressively large side panels. An HDD is fastened with four screws via vibration-absorbing pads. It is nice that there is special film on the sides of the guide, so it slides easily into the cage. The guides have handles that can be locked in place to avoid rattling.

The plastic casing for graphics cards is nothing extraordinary. It can be removed easily and is wide enough for not one but even two graphics cards simultaneously. If the PCI Express x16 slots are at the very top and bottom of your mainboard, chances are two graphics cards won’t fit under it. You will just have to remove this thing altogether then.

The characteristic openings in the right panel suggest that you should hide some cables in the space behind it. However, it is also here that the drives’ cables are and you have to lay out the power cables around them, which is inconvenient. There is also an opening at the top, near the CPU, but the edging around it that the side panel is pressed against make it difficult to put any power cable into that opening.

There is a nice box included with the system case for storing various screws and straps. By the way, the case comes with lots of straps including thin single-use straps and reusable ones with a gluey base. You will also find a special extension cord for an 8-pin CPU power connector. It is no secret that if a PSU is installed at the bottom of a system case, its CPU cable often proves to be too short.

 

There were no problems assembling our test configuration in this system case. It is long enough to accommodate any graphics cards (even a huge ATI Radeon HD 5970 would leave some free space). And it can easily take in CPU fans up to 17 centimeters tall. Alas, laying the cables neatly and prettily is difficult due to the above-mentioned problem with the space behind the right panel. Anyway, whatever cables we have not managed to hide look nearly invisible anyway inside such a roomy interior.

 
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