The Build and Finished Product
Jumping into the build feet first, I got the motherboard installed at this point and saw I needed to remove the front panel. There are six clips under this panel that allow it to pop off and out of the way. I added the optical drive, and had to remove a cage to install a hard drive, so I figured what a great time to look at the front and how it is all put together.
With everything in place, I still have some extra space. I did use a m-ATX board, but you can see SLI or Crossfire is not an issue inside of here. One thing I don't like that is a carryover from owning the 900, and that is the proximity of the HDD to the graphics card. In my situation, it wasn't so much an issue, but those with a five drive RAID setup and SLI may find things to get a bit tricky to get everything installed. Most of the wiring is hidden, and the reason the 24-pin wire is out is the fault of a short cable, not that it didn't fit behind the tray.
A feature I found worth special mention, the cutout for access to the thumb screws. Most designs don't incorporate access to the Phillip's head of the screw. This makes installation a pain, not here!
The rear of the Solano, once everything is installed, is clean and everything lines up right where it should. There were no issues with alignment of the I/O plate or getting the PSU in on top of those rubber pads.
My PSU has a few too many wires, but even with another PSU, unless it was modular, would still have trouble hiding themselves. I tucked and I strapped, and I just got the rear panel back into place with the wiring you see here. Taking a fair bit of elbow pressure on one side, while I eyeballed and worked in the opposite side, I was able to get it on and locked into place.
Everything is tucked away and both doors are back in place awaiting power. As you can see, or not see rather, the window doesn't allow for much of a view for the components. I see my PSU wiring, the hard drive rack, and the right stick of RAM through this. There is give and take here, though. For great air flow, you have to give up a bit of the view.
Once the side panel fan is powered up, it is fairly easy to see through it. The bright lighting needed for the image negates it, but I assure you, in normal lighting the view is quite good.
The front I/O, once powered up, should light up the power switch in blue LED like this. My timing stinks; out of the three images I took I wasn't able to time the flashing HDD activity's amber LED when it was active.
The front of the AzzA Solano 1000 allows for the two LED fans in the front to shine through both the honeycomb plastic inside support and the fine mesh grills.
Just wanted to take a step back and get this image, so you can appreciate it all at once.
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