Build and Finished Product
Once we had the motherboard in, we pre-wired everything; since we have a modular PSU and a short cable kit, this is easy to do. This is also the last chance we get to see most of this as very soon we will have to install the PSU over the motherboard, which is why there is the 76mm restriction of CPU cooler height.
Since we had no plans to use the top storage plate, and we don't care to pull against the stock CPU cooler, we have installed the PSU fan-side up to allow it to draw its air from the top of the chassis. We can also start to see how the holes in the front line up to wiring giving an option to route them there.
We installed a drive at the top of the left side of this build for two reasons. It is out of the way if we need to access other components later, and using the top slot allows the CPU cooler to draw air in through the side venting in the door.
Even without a rear I/O plate for this board, we did test the fit, and everything is fine there. The PSU slides right in with no issues with the fan grill. Since we did not have the newer tiny cards, we left the expansion slot covers in place.
If you want to try to swap out memory or need fast access to remove a wire from a fan, this side is where you have the best chance. Mostly unimpeded, this side allows the CPU cooler to draw in air from this side once the panels have been placed back on the chassis.
With no optical bay and no windows, what we got out of the box is what we see now. While we usually like to get a view of the components, with this small of a design and the orientation of the motherboard, all we would see would be the VGA, if we used one; the clean look we get is pleasing as well.
Once we fired up the rig and were getting the testing under way, we see that the logo on the front lights up blue, and we were able to catch the red HDD activity light as well. More importantly, the chassis fan will get up into the 40 dB noise level, but the components were very cool considering the compact nature of this design.