Fong Kai FK330 mid tower case

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Motherboard Installation

The motherboard area also has some unique features. The non-removable tray has a reinforcing panel with 4 standoffs that correspond to the heatsink mounting holes on P4 motherboards. The plate serves to stiffen the motherboard when a heavy heatsink has been attached. Since I don't own a P4 motherboard, and the standoffs don't align with anything on a socket A board, I removed the stiffener plate. Two screws hold it on.

Immediately upon beginning the process of installing the motherboard you'll notice the other interesting feature in this area: The standoffs. Or lack thereof. The 330 uses only one normal screwed standoff, on the far right side of the board. The rest of the mounting holes are filled with plastic standoffs that push through the motherboard's mounting holes and then get clipped onto the tray.

Once you understand what's going on the process is pretty simple:

1. Fill all the mounting holes on the motherboard with the plastic standoffs, except for the hole on the center right. That hole you leave empty for the one standard screw-type standoff, which you install into the corresponding hole on tray as you would in a normal case.

2. Align the motherboard with the square openings on the tray. Once aligned, you slide it to the left, and the standoffs engage in their slots with a reassuring click.

3. A single screw into the one remaining hole provides the final bit of security.

Although I'm sure some people will be made nervous by only using one screw to install their motherboard, this is very secure, very fast, and really pretty slick. As I am always swapping motherboards about, I wish all cases would adopt a system like this.

I tested this mounting system with 4 different motherboards, ranging from old M-ATX to brand new ATX, and had no trouble. A problem could arise if your motherboard does not have the hole in the one spot where the screw standoff must go. Without this screw, the board could pop loose when you shove connectors in from the rear.

At one point, I intentionally left the screw off and attached all the connectors. The board did not move. But the possibility definitely exists. It's also noteworthy that if your motherboard doesn't have a screwhole in that location, it does not technically meet the EATX, ATX, or Full AT motherboard form factor standards, which Fong Kai depends on to meet its compatibility promise.

Rear Panel

Continuing the theme, the rear 120mm fan also has a tool-less mounting system. The black plastic cage snaps open, and has internal pins to friction-fit a 120mm fan. But considering that the chassis also has conventional mounting holes, and the fact that I generally dislike extraneous fan grills, I just discarded it and mounted the 120mm L1A conventionally. There are no mounting holes for smaller size fans, although the grill holes are perfectly good for that purpose.

Following "tool-less-ness" to its logical conclusion, Fong Kai has also made the securing of the PCI and AGP cards a barehanded affair. The cards are locked in place by a pivoting mechanism, which is raised up out of the way for installation, then locked down to secure. Although not the first tool-less card holder I've seen, it is one of the better thought-out ones. With most, unlocking the mechanism will let the cards shift, so you end up needing to sprout extra hands to hold all the cards in the proper alignment as you re-lock the mechanism. The Fong Kai system keeps the cards in place even when unlocked. Although this system did work well with nonstandard back planes, such as with the Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer, it did not work with a Zalman fan bracket.

Visible just to the left of the AGP/PCI slots is the mounting point for tension arm that helps support large and heavy AGP and PCI cards. For heavy cooling apparatus on VGA cards, such as the Zalman heatpipe, this is a useful thing. Here are some photos that illustrate how the tension device works.

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