Date: August 12th, 2008
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Moneual Labs
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The back has cutouts for a PSU and I/O shield along with two 80mm exhaust fans and seven expansion card slots. One of those slots is used for the VGA cable for the LCD screen.
Four feet with rubber pads help keep vibration to a minimum, and there are also more vents here on the bottom. They are located right under the hard drive cages, so that will aid in keeping them cool as well.
Two thumbscrews release the top panel to expose the interior. Two hard drive cages are on each side, and a single optical drive cage is between them. Micro ATX as well as full ATX motherboards are supported, which is great since some HTPC enclosures only accept micro ATX boards.
The exhaust fans have blue colored blades (no LEDs), but it won't make much difference since they aren't too visible when the system is running. Four pin Molex adapters are included for both of them. I had not heard of “Cool Age” fans before so I did a web search, but wasn't able to find any info. Also in this shot we get a view of the expansion slots and mesh covering the vent.
Time to install hardware and continue on with the rest of the goodies…
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Here's the hardware that will be going into the Moncaso 972:
- Biostar K8M800-M7A Micro-ATX motherboard
- AMD Athlon 64 3200+ CPU w/Thermaltake Venus 7 cooler
- 2 x 512 MB Patriot PC3200 RAM
- ATI X800 XT PE Video card
- Samsung 120GB HDD
- NEC DVD-RW
- Antec Smartpower 500W PSU
According to the manual, optical and hard drives should be installed before the motherboard and PSU due to the layout of the case. Each HDD cage will hold two drives for a maximum of four. With today's drives having such large capacities, four bays should be enough for just about every setup.