Date: September 10th, 2007
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Cooler Master
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)
Four aluminum feet with rubber pads are each held in place by a single screw. These can be removed and installed on the left (bottom) panel if the case will be oriented in a HTPC position.
In addition to the usual power switch, reset, and HDD LED connections, there is another set of connectors for the front panel. The LCD screen has its own internal USB connection and also has its own 20 or 24 pin power cable (both are supported). One end plugs into the main power cable coming from the PSU, the other end plugs into the motherboard.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Here's the hardware I'll be putting in this case:
- Biostar TForce 550 Motherboard
- AMD X2 3600+ Brisbane CPU overclocked to 2.8 GHz
- 2 x 1GB GSkill PC2-6400 RAM
- XFX Geforce 8600 GT Video card
- 2 x 80GB WD800JD Hard drives
- Antec Smartpower 500W PSU
The power supply and motherboard installed without a hitch and there is ample room inside to work in. With space for a 120mm fan on the side panel I was able to install the Aquagate S1 watercooling system (see the review HERE), and that will help keep the system quiet which is important for a HTPC.
Installing optical drives is done with a simple slide and lock mechanism common to many cases these days. It required a lot of force to actually get the drives in the bay though and I'm not sure why. It almost seemed like the bays were just a bit too small to accommodate the drives. Eventually they got installed, but not after I found myself muttering some choice words out of frustration.
With all the hardware installed, let's take a look at the process of flipping this case over and orienting it in a HTPC fashion. The first step is to remove the front panel and optical drives. After that, four screws are removed around the cage that houses the optical drives and it is rotated 90 degrees clockwise. The drives can then be reinstalled. Lastly, the faceplates on the front panel for both the optical drives and the LCD screen are rotated the same direction, and they pop off and on easily via plastic tabs on the inside of the panel. The whole process doesn't take long at all.