Date: June 6th, 2006
Article by: Mike Carter (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: iStarUSA
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION (cont'd)
Taking off the side panel is painless, with the included thumbscrews. On the backside of the side panel, there is a CPU wind tunnel, which can be removed and replaced with an 80mm fan. The tunnel is adjustable, but it still might fit over some of the latest super-ginormous CPU coolers. Below the tunnel is the other half of the PCI Express vent. While you cannot mount a fan in this area, it does allow hot air from your SLI setup to be exhausted directly out of the case.
Inside the case you'll find the box containing the mounting hardware, tucked neatly into the side-facing hard drive cage. You also get your first look at the tool-free mounting for your drives, both optical and external 3.5”.
Inside the small hardware box, there's several small bags containing screws, case feet, and standoffs, a bracket for mounting a standard PSU, and 6 drive mounting rails. At first, I was a little disappointed with the number of rails, but that changed as I started to investigate how to build the case. I say “investigate” because there is no instructions for assembly, only a simple, hard-to-read diagram listing what parts are what. The bags of screws are also unlabeled, and I don't know about you, but I have a hard time distinguishing between thread counts on screws. It took me way too long to figure out which screws were for the motherboard standoffs.
PRODUCT PICTORAL AND WALKTHROUGH
Earlier in the review, I mentioned that the case felt heavy, and I decided to see if that feeling held true in the construction. I'm quite happy to say the S8 passed the “fat guy test” quite nicely, showing no signs whatsoever of being sat on by a 230 pound reviewer. And believe me, I've buckled some cases in my time.
Now that I'm assured the case will hold up, let's get to installing hardware.
(And no, I'm not posting pictures of my butt.)
Mounting the motherboard is standard fare for a lower-priced case. Install the included brass standoffs in the proper holes, pop the I/O shield for your particular board into the hole provided, and screw the board down. The motherboard tray is not removable, which I didn't expect in the S8.
Next up is the PSU. Unlike a typical ATX case, a standard PSU will not fit without the included bracket. iStar makes several mini-redundant PSU's, and this case is designed to accept those as well. The S8 does not come with a PSU, which is not surprising at this price point.
The bracket screws on to the back of your PSU, with the angle-side up, then the bracket screws to the inside of the case. There are two, long brass standoffs near the PSU, which are labeled PSU Standoffs, but I really have no idea what they are for. The lack of a manual here is frustrating. At any rate, I didn't need to use them.