Case Build and Finished Product
While this may be an unusual way to view the bottom of the chassis, this shows the point we made earlier about the ease of the PSU installation. Since the bottom panel of the chassis is removable, it makes sliding in and screwing down the PSU a cinch.
After we installed the PSU, we noticed that with the fan removed, there is plenty of access to plug things in and route them away from the fan. We can see the large cutout at the left for extended video card support, and options for fans with the various mounting holes.
We could have gone with a longer video card, but this MSI is installed to the Mini-ITX OS. The nice thing is there is plenty of room for wiring below, next to the PSU and at the top. There is also plenty of room to power cards at the side, or even via the opening at the front for cards powered at the end.
We did not fill the fan locations in the back, as it has been years since we used 80mm fans. We did test fit an I/O shield, and all went well there. The video card is very secure, and we already went over the PSU installation.
Looking into the right side of the chassis, we can see that all of the wiring stays low, and will not obstruct the venting in the side panels or even the view if you opt for the windowed panel here. Honestly, the toughest part to do was to connect the button and LED connection, as it got quite cramped when we put the I/O panel back on.
With the chassis all back in one piece, from this angle, the only visible change is that we can see the flashes of red from the video card through the ventilation. If you can see the card that plainly, you can be assured air can flow right through and keep it cool.
We decided to keep the windowed panel in the top of the chassis to afford the best view of the most hardware. On the side there is a nice view of the video card and PSU, but on the right, the view is less spectacular. We found this to be the best option for our tastes.
Of course, once the PC is powered, the 200mm fan comes to life, and with a three-pin connection, any header on the motherboard is fair game. With any PWM IC in control of the speed, it will vary from almost no noise, up to 35 dB at its loudest level.
Even with a stock CPU cooler, and no real changes to the positive air pressure design of this Core V1, we found air draws in the front well; this keeps the interior components cooler than expected. We missed the red flicker of the HDD activity LED, but with both the HDD activity LED and the blue power LED placed so low on the side, it doesn't fill the room with a massive glow of light.
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