Date: March 10, 2003
Article by: Burt Carver (Hardware Reviewer & Newsposter)
Product was donated by: ClearPC.ca
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INSTALLATION OF COMPONENTS
This is a case review, and I could have just left it at the case, but I decided to 'test fit' some components. The components I installed included:
- EPIA m9000 MB (Mini-ITX)
- Card reader bay (screw legacy floppies!)
- 3.5" HD
The EPIA board swims in this case, but it gave me an excellent idea as to how this case comes together. One observation: all the parts fit incredibly well. Some metal cases leave you jimmying and jacking to try to get your CD-Rom in place but this thing fit nicely. Every one of the components just slid in with very little resistance. Nothing ended up scratched (also a surprise) and the HD installation went surprisingly well.
After all that beautiful praise, here comes the tough part. The case comes shipped with motherboard stand-offs (to support the motherboard and prevent it from contacting the case) specially designed for the case. What does specially designed mean? Well, take a nut, a bolt, and a 1/2" piece of acrylic tubing.
Thread the bolt through the non-removeable motherboard 'tray', place the hollow tubing over the bolt as a spacer, then place the motherboard on the stand off. Fasten a teeny tiny nut and its done!
Sounds easy right? Well, I might be the thickest fingered in the west, but it wasn't easy. In fact, it was difficult. I considered laying the case flat to prevent the bolts from pushing out, but there would be no way to hold the bolts in. In retrospect, some scotch tape over the bolts to prevent them from falling out would have probably solved my problems, but 11:30pm at night is not a good time for problem solving. With many dropped bolts and curses I did manage to mount the MB. Another issue with the standoffs is that, depending on the spring resistance of your MB supplied backplane, it may be fun as the bolts will tend to float around. A possible solution to this whole mess is to pick up an additional 4 nuts from the hardware store and snug up the bolts to the case before the MB goes in. This would give a static mounting point for the motherboard.
Another image courtesy of ClearPC