Inside The Box - Part II
Moving along the left side of the case we will make a stop at the fan housing for the side panel. This hinging door is simple to operate and also houses an 80mm fan. Just pull the housing off the door and insert the fan. There are no screws or retention brackets necessary for this, all tool-free.
Also take note of the seven pins hanging down from the fan housing. These are positioned so as to ride along the top edge of the peripheral cards used in the AGP/PCI slots of your mainboard. Simply push them down until they are snug against the top of the card and they will keep them securely in place. This is a huge benefit for those enjoying a little LAN action from time to time.
If you happen to have something huge in the way of these pins (like my Sapphire video board with passive cooling), you can simply remove the pins that get in the way and keep on going from there. For using it again later on, just insert the pin from the outside of the door and your ready to begin fresh.
I have seen similar tool-free PCI setups before, but they seldom work properly...until now. This simple system allows you to raise one of the PCI retention devices and insert peripherals normally. Then just push it down until it clicks into place. While it doesn't seem too hard a concept, I have had others fail when using tall peripheral cards. No problems with the SilverStone system, though. Whether it was a tall graphics board, a tall sound card or a short NIC, all installed without a hitch.
As a general rule, this case does a very good job at being tool-free in design, but there are limits. For installing drives, the enclosure makes use of a rail system allowing for easy installation of your devices. At least up to a pair of optical devices, a pair of hard drives and a single floppy drive. After this you'll need to make use of the screws provided to install these additional items the old fashioned way. At least the screws for doing this are also included with the case.
As I removed the right side panel I began to get excited. For those who have kept up with my reviews of enclosures, you will know that I am a stickler for removable motherboard trays. Even in large cases, the ability to install the mainboard away from the enclosure makes things a good deal simpler. So when I saw those handy little tool-free locking clips I was hoping for exactly what I got
Oh yeah! This is going to make things even better than they already were. Now it is an easy matter to install the motherboard, the processor and especially the HSF without having to sit all scrunched up over your case.
To finish things off with regards to the internals, we'll take a peek at some more cooling. The door is hanging in the open position, but all you need do is place another 80mm fan into the door and feed the wiring through the side slot. Hook up power and you've got a fan mounted that blows directly into the hard drive bays. This is a nice and easy way of getting active cooling into areas where they are really needed. With modern hard drives spinning at unbelievable speeds, the extra air moving over them will be hugely beneficial.
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