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Date: February 22nd, 2005
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product Submitted by: Thermaltake
<--SHOP FOR A THERMALROCK CIRCLE SILVER ATX CASE HERE

 

PRODUCT COMPOSITION (cont'd)



A cardboard box taped to the inside of the case contains the accessories pictured above. Clockwise from the lower left are four opaque plastic drive rails for the two front 3.5" bays, ten steel drive rails for the five 5.25 front bays, four red cd-r disks for the front panel, twelve steel drive rails for mounting up to six hard drives in the internal drive rack, a zip bag containing screws and standoffs for the motherboard and the manual. The very cleverly designed drive rails require no tools or hardware for installation. A speaker is included and pre-installed in the case. While the Circle case does not include a power supply I personally don't see this as a negative. I think power supplies get too little respect and some users put up with a low quality power supply solely because it was included with their case. I suspect that most enthusiasts interested in a high end case like the Circle would rather choose a power supply more suited to their own individual needs.


Let's crack this big mutha open, take a look at some of its innovative features, install some hardware and see what the Circle has to offer.

 

PRODUCT WALKTHROUGH, SETUP & INSTALLATION



The two USB and one Firewire ports are located on the top surface of the plastic front bezel, while the audio ports are situated at the lower left corner of the case. All ports can be accessed with the door open or closed.



Inside the front door you'll find a metal hook for the locking mechanism while access to the CD storage feature is provided by the four disk-shaped retainers that thread onto a central spindle. The Circle chassis will accept up to five 5.25 inch, and two 3.5 inch devices in the front panel. Four magnets set along the right edge of the bezel keep the door securely closed yet allow it to be opened with minimal effort. Should you wish to lock the front door, a lock with two keys is provided. The power and reset switches are surrounded by grillwork with a fair amount of open area to supply the 120mm (included) and 80mm (not included) fans located behind the grille. The bottom of the bezel also has a large opening to facilitate airflow when the door is closed. The aforementioned audio ports are visible at the lower left. Four plastic swivel feet are provided to keep this potentially top-heavy beast stable. The fit and finish of the bezel/door assembly is very good. Aluminum and acrylic accents combined with sturdy hinges and intelligent wiring show the kind of attention to detail that is sorely lacking in some cases I have seen recently.



In the hinge area are two thumbscrews for adjusting the position of the front aluminum accent piece.



Removing the bezel/door assembly from the steel case body is easily accomplished by depressing six tabs with your fingers and pulling the bezel forward.


TweakNews Tip:
This particular case had the USB and Firewire cables attached to the top of the case with a zip tie. Removing the front bezel without first freeing up these cables may cause damage to the front ports and render them useless.


Like most cases, to use any bay other than the top one, you must break out the steel blanks that block off the bays. Unlike most cases, the Circle provides a way to put them back if you wish. Two screws put them right back where they were.

 

 


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