Date: September 13th, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Lian Li
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PRODUCT ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
I don't want to reinvent the wheel here, so this isn't going to be a glorified rehash of the assembly guide. (A download of the guide is available HERE. ) Rather, I'll be following the guide and will only comment on a particularly interesting feature an assembly issue that I find during the process. I'll also be timing myself to give you some idea of how much time it will take to assemble a working Pitstop test bench chassis. After carefully reading the guide, it appears that the only tool I'll need is a Philips screwdriver; Lian Li provides everything else. After assembly, I'll go through the same drill with installing components. Let's begin.
As I mentioned above, the Assembly Guide is really quite good, but there are a few spots where some clarification is in order. Here, the guide tells you to use “H” screw, but this flathead looks nothing like the picture. It wasn't hard to figure out, given the shape of the corresponding hole, but other screws will fit the receiving threads so this is a relatively critical detail. After one realizes that this is screw “H”, things will go much easier with the rest of the assembly. Also note the position of the bottom and side panels and placement of the rubber feet on the bottom plate. This is also a little hard to see in the guide.
When it comes time to mount the motherboard tray assembly into the chassis, you have three position options to choose from, depending which two mounting holes (red arrows) you use. As you can see, I've installed it in the middle position for now, but I may want to change this after I see how stable it is with the hardware installed.
There are a couple of options available with the expansion card holder as well. In this position, everything will line up when a double motherboard standoff is used 9blue arrow, should one wish to double the distance between the mobo and tray. In the more conventional single standoff mode (red arrow,) the bracket will have to be moved down and secured via the bottom hole (white arrow.)
Once I figured out which screws went where, the assembly went very smoothly and the fit and finish was, as expected from a Lain Li product, superb. I spent just over one hour getting the Pitstop put together and taking the necessary photos. Once assembled, the Pitstop is pretty robust, with the top handle and motherboard tray adding considerable stiffness to the unit. It would be easier to install the drives during assembly, as the guide suggests, but I wanted to give you a look at the Pitstop without any hardware getting in the way. The HDD cage is removable, and the 2.5-inch brackets are open on both sides, so they shouldn't be much of an issue. On the other hand, at lest one of the ODD brackets will need to come off to secure drives from both sides.
While the Pitstop doesn't come with any I/O ports on the front, there are cutouts and mounting holes for their model PW-IE5V550 multi media I/O port kit that's available on the web for around $25 should a user find these necessary. The power and reset buttons are the same excellent units found on most Lian Li cases and have integrated power and HDD activity LEDs. The wiring is clearly labeled and of generous length.