Installation of System
Well, let's just start off by saying that a removable motherboard would have been a very useful item for this otherwise very good case. The mid tower design is not large enough to allow people with large hands (like myself) to work easily within it's confines. It all started from the moment that I had the brass inserts set up on the fixed tray. I placed the motherboard ever so carefully onto the brass studs, then made sure that everything was lined up, started putting the screws carefully into place, and dropped the screw closest to the power supply three times because there wasn't enough room to work.
After an arduous battle to get the mainboard mounted, I started to get the rest of my components in line. The hard drive was next to be installed since it was the lowest of the drive units to be placed. it's normally easier to work from the bottom up so that the larger units on top don't get in your way. The drive went in easily, and was a simple chore to get the retaining screws in place. When you remove the side panels from the case, there are cutouts on the backside of the 3.5" bays that allow you to easily fit a screwdriver in and tighten up the screws. Something that I found to be a novelty was the fact that the cutouts actually lined up with the holes of the drive bay. I can't even think of the times when the far cover is removed just to find that the cutouts don't line up with the blasted holes! No worries here, though. Everything was nicely set up and the drive was installed without incident.
Next on the list of components to install are the CD-RW and DVD drives. Since the metal cover plates were still in place, I decided to take off the front panel of the case to make it easier to twist them out. This is when I found out that the top cover to the case had to be removed to get to the topmost screw of the front panel. I was beginning to think that this was going to be a real pain, but it ended up working out in the end. With the top cover off the case, the drive bays were even more easily accessible. I have never had an easier time installing drive units as I did when putting these two drives in this case. They laid right into the bays and screwed in without a hitch.
As for the actual installation of the drives, they fit very nicely into the top two bays, and went in without any trouble. The front panel of the case is of a standard size, so it was no problem to line up the face of the drive to match the front of the panel. After that, it was a simple matter to put the front panel back on and reinstall the top.
OK we now have the motherboard in place, and all the drives happily residing in their new homes. Now we get down and start to install the peripheral cards into the system. The case comes with the same sort of metal plates for the PCI slots as you normally find in the drive bays. A piece of metal that has to be twisted a bit to break off and reveal the hole behind it. I really prefer to have all these slots available and just have empty plates screwed into the holes to hide the ones that are not needed, but this was not the case here.
But even so, it was not a large chore to remove the necessary plates and get everything put into its proper place. I used the same cards in the same slots of the motherboard so that Windows wouldn't have a cow when I first powered up the system. Everything went right where it had been previously so there were no problems.
The final stage of this installation was to get all the cabling hooked up between the drives and the mainboard, and get the power to all the necessary connectors. While mid tower cases are smaller than I am accustomed to, there was ample room to maneuver and the cabling was finished up in no time. After looking at everything, I was beginning to think that some rounded cables would have been a good idea. Those ribbons were everywhere, and I was beginning to think that there would not be enough air flowing throughout the case but that worry turned out to be unfounded.
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