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The wisdom behind the double-decker design becomes much clearer after opening
the system up. As soon as the exterior cover is removed, the entire surface
of the motherboard is visible ¬ó no airflow impeding drive cage or power
supply here! Airflow enters through the side vents and the top blowhole, is
drawn across the passively cooled north- and southbridges, and then exhausted
via a 70 x 15 mm fan at the rear of the case.
Airflow across the motherboard is quite unrestricted.
Fresh air for the CPU is provided through the top blowhole. A short duct ensures
that warm air is not recirculated inside the case.
The black box on the right is a blower that serves as an exhaust fan.
The power supply is the only major source of heat in the lower chamber. The
hard drive will likely require a small amount of airflow to keep cool, but its
location beside the air intake should ensure that it remains cool even when
the power supply is heavily loaded. In contrast with the open top chamber, the
bottom chamber will be tightly packed once drives are installed. The only space
for airflow is behind the optical drive, where air is drawn in over the hard
Airflow for the lower chamber is generated with the small (and potentially
noisy) 40 mm fan that doubles as the exhaust for the power supply. This suggests
that the airflow through the bottom chamber will be minimal. Fortunately, the
only heat-critical component is the power supply that contains the fan.
The hard drive sits at the bottom rear of the case, while the optical
drive is flush with the roof of the lower chamber.
The power supply is tucked into one of the rear corners, and takes up
the full height of the lower chamber.
Separating the system into two chambers may be a very good idea from a cooling
standpoint, but it presents the challenge of seamlessly integrating the two
sections into a cohesive system. This means cable management is critical. Both
power and data cables must be long enough to reach properly, but should not
The layout of the motherboard is a big factor in cable clutter, and, for the
most part, Trigem has done a good job of minimizing the cable lengths required.
The location of the power header on the motherboard is an excellent example
of the close integration between the chassis and the motherboard: The header
is close enough to the power supply that the cable need only be four inches
long! Because all of the drives are in the bottom chamber, most systems will
not require routing power cables from the power supply to the upper chamber.
A powerful video card is probably the only reason that power would be needed
in the upper chamber, but most people are unlikely to use this configuration.
The power header is perfectly located on the bottom of the motherboard,
right next to the power supply.
The SATA and IDE headers are also well located along the side of the motherboard
above the drive chamber. For ease of installation, the included cables are longer
than absolutely necessary, but the extra slack is unlikely to seriously affect
IDE and SATA headers are also well located.
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