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The pre-assembled H5.TODD provided to us by HDPLEX appears overly spacious due to the large gap between the edge of the motherboard and the power supply on the left side. This extra width exists to allow a third drive to be installed on the bottom panel (in this case, an OCZ Vertex 4 SSD) and to accommodate a full-sized PCI-E expansion card (our pre-installed card is only half-height). If you require neither of these features, the H5 is wider than it needs to be, though 17" matches classic high end audio gear.

All the work was done for us, but in general, assembly isn't difficult for a passive chassis. The hardest part is keeping the heatpipes in place while securing the cooling assembly. The grooves at the side help steady them unlike cases like the Streacom FC5/FC8 which have flat sides.

The heatpipe cooling system makes passive operation possible: A copper base and six copper heatpipes clamped onto the CPU at one end, and at the other, secured with aluminum plates to the side of the case. The side is a giant 94 mm thick heatsink with 18 substantial fins.

Our sample was configured with an open frame 80W internal power adapter but if you prefer, HDPLEX also offers a 150W picoPSU option. They also included a PCI-E to USB audio card (SOtM tX-USBexp) to our build, a high-end peripheral for audiophiles showcasing one of the H5's potential uses.

The optical drive is secured with a metal frame that attaches using a bayonet mount. One 2.5 inch drive can be installed underneath and 2.5/3.5 inch drives can be placed on either side as well.

Despite the premium nature of the chassis, HDPLEX still hasn't figured out a good way to keep the power button in place. Caution must be observed when laying down the top cover so that the holes line up and the button doesn't fall off. We recommend adhering it to the cover with some tape while putting the cover on.

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