Articles: Cases/PSU

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Assembly Tips

The steel case is very nicely cut: all the panels are thick enough, all the retentions are robust and firm and all the edges are carefully rolled. The left panel is fastened with two thumb-screws and a plastic “Chieftec-type” lock, so you won’t need a screwdriver to open it. The right side panel cannot be removed.

Unfortunately, the plastic lock of the TP-230 we have just mentioned is not very convenient. Firstly, it simply doesn’t lock the side panel: if the screws aren’t tightened up, the panel will be banging against the frame of the case and will not sit firmly in place. Secondly, when you are trying to remove the panel, the lock keeps catching up to everything in its way causing a lot of inconvenience. There was a moment when I wished Foxconn had designed its case in a standard way when the panel simply pressed tightly against the frame, as in many other products. However, I have to admit that there might be some users who may still need to lock their system case, then the presence of this lock will be justified.

inside the case there is enough room to accommodate a full-size ATX mainboard, the already mentioned 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch bays that can be accessed from upfront, and another four internal 3.5-inch bays turned at 90o. The retention mechanism for the devices installed into these bays is very tricky: when you move the plastic clip sideways, the metal plates that are located right where the standard fastening holes should be, move forward. Each clip is locked with a standard metal spring and requires some physical effort to be opened. You can see how it actually works by clicking the image below:

At first this mechanism doesn’t seem to be very firm and secure, however, once the system is assembled all you doubts will vanish in no time. First of all, the distance between the side panels of the 3.5-inch devices bays is very precise: the HDD installed there cannot move sideways, it will only move forward and back, because there is not a single tiny slit between the HDD and the bay panels. The sides of this section work as a kind of a spring: they embrace the hard drive from both sides and are at the same time very think and firm. The fixing locks used instead of the regular screws fit very precisely into the fastening holes of the hard drives, and they are of absolutely ideal size, so that the HDD will not be “wobbling” when installed, not by a single millimeter. Also, note that these fixing locks are very reliable and do now wobble themselves, so the entire construction appears not only reliable, but also works as a perfect vibration damper.

The tope 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch bays cannot boast a fastening mechanism as efficient and reliable as the one we have just discussed (the devices slide freely into the bays, the fixing locks are located only on one side of the case. However, there is no reason to worry about anything, because those devices are not as sensitive to vibration as HDDs. Therefore, I would definitely consider the Foxconn solution highly reliable. With the few exceptions when a CD-ROM drive or a DVD-ROM drive are vibrating too much. :)

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