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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 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 user.



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 retainer closed.



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 connector block.

 

 


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