The Build and Finished Product
To swap out the drive configuration or just simply to add an optical drive, you must first open the sides of the front panel to access the tabs that hold the covers in place.
As I was adding components, I had to remove one of the bottom fan and grill assemblies. Once the tabs on the sides are released, don't pull it too far; there is a short wire that needs to be unplugged from the right side to allow it to get completely out of the way. Once the fan is out of the way, the hard drive trays easily slide out the front.
Adding a tool-less clip to either side of the optical drive allows you to just slide it in until it clicks into place. Gently pushing the tabs toward the drive will allow it to be released and slid out for removal later.
Fully assembled, the Blackhawk does come out pretty clean and tidy. Even with a power supply with short length, this is able to get the job done inside of here. The build went simply, but there is a slight issue. I used the stock cooler and it fits well, but depending on your motherboard, a typical tower cooler will hit the fans up top. Something to consider when looking at the Blackhawk!
For what was long enough to run back here, the holes were fine. The majority of the extra wires went in the space beneath the lower HDD rack and it took quite a bit of wiring. I didn't do much for keeping the cables close to the tray because with the front hinging door panels, they will flatten the wiring as they are closed.
A finished peek at the rear of the Blackhawk before I add power and light this thing up!
The shiny bit at the top that I mentioned hid something is now lit up with a HDD activity light in the front and a backlit XClio logo. Down at the bottom both 120mm fans spring to life with an audible hum, but it is very tolerable.
Getting a little closer to the controls, you can see the strip on the back of this panel lights up as a system power indicator. You also get a hint of the glow coming out of the top.
Looking through the venting at the top, the blue LED is nice, but the amount of flow coming through the tight mesh top was impressive.
From the side the same tight mesh protects the fan here, but once it is up to speed, you can see inside at your motherboard and graphics card, or possibly a debug LED.
One of the coolest things I found on the case! The rear is lit with a flood of blue LEDs at the push of a switch. This makes getting a new USB device hooked up or looking for what is keeping your mouse from reaching very simple to do without having to leave your seat. Honestly, I would like to see this on more cases, as I personally keep a flashlight on my desk for just such occasions.
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