Well, we have come to the point where a system case with a mainboard inside is going to turn into a working mini-computer system.
Besides the components of our test system, which we will mention later in the article, we only needed a screwdriver. All necessary retention mechanisms as well as the cables were supplied together with the barebone system in the orange box decorated with the Qbic manufacturer’s logos.
However, when we tried to address our assembly questions to the provided manuals, we were very disappointed to find out that both manuals, a full one and a quick guide, describe in great detail the assembly of an Intel processor based system. This is the manuals that we found in a box with a system for AMD Athlon 64 processors. Of course, everything that deals with the CPU installation and cables location inside the case has to be omitted; the design differences between the system we had in the lab and the system on the photographs in the guide are evident even with a naked eye. As for the installation of the mainboard components, all the necessary information could be found in the mainboard user’s guide. And when it came to cables, we had to make our own decisions, because proper cables location is very important for efficient cooling of the entire system.
So, the only useful information we could find in the assembly manual dealt with the mounting of different storage devices. Thus, if you need to install a hard drive or a floppy drive, you need to unscrew two screws, remove a special basket from the case, fasten the device inside this basket and then install it back into the barebone case. And as for the CD-ROM or any other optical drive, the algorithm turns out a little bit more complicated. If you try to install it together with the above mentioned devices the way I described above, the CD-ROM drive will catch to the system PSU when you will be returning the basket back to its place. That is why, you need to place the basket with the preinstalled devices back to its place, then remove the front panel and install the optical drive through the gap in the front. You should however keep in mind that this procedure is not always so complex. Most DVD-ROM and combo-drives are usually shorter than the regular CD-ROM drives, so you will be able to install it into the basket first and then fasten the basket in its place with screws.
The installation of other system components such as the graphics card, for instance, is quite simple, so there should be no problems there.
When we assembled the system, we were pleased to discover that there are more than enough screws, etc. We even found a tube of thermal paste and a few stickers saying “warranty void if removed”. I would also like to specifically draw your attention to very informative documentation: all instructions are very detailed and clear, and the color illustrations in the Quick Installation Guide make the assembly process easy and fun.
Among the evident drawbacks we should definitely point out once again the mismatch of the barebone system model and the manuals we received with it. Besides, I wish they supplied aerodynamic round cables for the FDD and PATA devices, because the cables that we received were none other but regular flat cables cut and folded so that they could fit into a black net tube. They are not flexible enough and look not very reliable.