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Motherboard and Cable Routing
With the exception of the unlabeled holes for the standoffs, installation of the
motherboard went smoothly. The exhaust fan assembly and the airflow guide
were not hard to remove or replace, and the extended depth of the case made it easy to
maneuver the board into place.
Drive cables pass through this hole.
The hardest part was cable management. Except for a small hole between the
two chambers for SATA cables, all of the cables had to be routed through an
awkwardly positioned hole directly below the CPU heatsink. The main problem
is that the hole is several inches over the motherboard, meaning that cables
could not be routed flat against the motherboard tray. Instead, they hung awkwardly
in the air, cluttering the area behind the CPU heatsink.
Limited clearance between the edge of the motherboard and the bottom of the
Installing the power supply was straightforward. The power supply
was screwed onto a mounting plate, then loaded into the case and secured with
thumbscrews. Next, an airflow guide that directs the exhaust airflow away from
the intake fan was clipped on. Simple as that.
The mounting plate eases installation, and allows an airflow guide to be
Once again, the most difficult part was routing the cables. There is only about
an inch of clearance around the power supply, and once again, the cables could
not be routed against the bottom of the case. Instead, they had to be folded
sharply across the inner face of the power supply. This would place the cables
immediately in front of the intake vents if an 80mm power supply was used. With
our Seasonic S12-330, they merely blocked off one of the minor vents. There
was very little room for spare cables; we ended up stuffing them in the empty
drive by next door.
Very little clearance around the power supply.
We ended up using the empty drive bay to store spare cables,
but things would have been more difficult if the bay had been needed.
Installation of the hard drives is just as streamlined. Four special screws
are attached to the drive outside the case. Then the drive is slid into one
of the bays two tabs a flicked down to secure it in place. No troubles trying
to align screw holes or fitting the drive into a tight drive bay. The whole
installation took less than a minute.
Special screws allow drives to fit the pre-installed drive rails.
The drive slides into place, and is secured with this tab.
Simple as it is, the drive mounting system is not without drawbacks. There
is no direct metal-to-metal contact, which means that the drives do not benefit
from any conduction cooling. The front fan will almost certainly be necessary
to ensure adequate drive cooling. We would have liked to see some kind of damping
to reduce vibration noise from the drive. As it is, the drives are completely
hard-mounted, and high vibration drives are quite likely to contribute to system
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