Date: February 22nd, 2005
Article by: Joe Anderson
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth
(Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product Submitted by: Thermaltake
<--SHOP FOR A THERMALROCK CIRCLE SILVER ATX CASE HERE
PRODUCT WALKTHROUGH, SETUP & INSTALLATION (cont'd)
The rear of the Circle chassis has a number of unique
features. Near the top, you can see that a PSU plate has been included
allowing the power supply to be slid into the back of the case. Seven
expansion slots with replaceable covers are located just above the motherboard
plate and rear 120mm fan. As you can see, the design of the fan opening
provides for good airflow with minimal restriction.
There are two locking mechanisms on each of the side panels
providing easy, tool-less access to the case interior. A padlock hasp
and intrusion alarm switch are also provided for the more security-minded
Below the 5.25 and 3.5 bays is a cage for the addition
of an 80mm fan to blow air across the PCI/AGP cards. Unfortunately,
no fan is included. Just to the left of the 3.5 inch bays is the pre-installed
motherboard speaker. Near the bottom is the 120mm fan.
At the rear, the top half of the Circle chassis provides
room for a power supply and a hard drive cage that will hold six HDDs.
Two studs on top of the drive cage have rubber bumpers installed to
support the big, heavy power supplies that are becoming more and more
prevalent in high-end rigs these days. The wire going across the drive
cage is for the intrusion alarm mentioned above and while it doesn't
interfere with drive installation, it is easily removed if not needed.
Like its twin brother in front, the rear 120mm fan is housed in a snap-in
cage and connects with a 4-pin Molex to the power supply. A single wire,
three-pin connector from each fan plugs into the motherboard fan headers
for speed monitoring and control.
ThermalRock has done a great job making the Circle both
tool-less and user-friendly. An excellent example of this is the expansion
slots. To install a PCI or graphics card, you merely snap open the black
plastic retainer, remove the slot cover, install the card and snap the
As you can see, there is a lot of room in this case. While
a removable motherboard tray is always a plus, I had no problems installing
components into the Circle without one. Everything lined up perfectly
and there was plenty of room to work. Strategically placed cut-outs
and stamped "loops" for wire ties eased the normally tedious job of
routing and securing wires and cables out of the way.
The wires and cables from the front panel were well marked
and installation went smoothly. The USB wiring is split up into individual
connectors for the motherboard pin headers as were the front panel audio
connectors. The Firewire cable was terminated in the more conventional