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Pros: I've owned this case for awhile. I had a core 2 setup with 5 hds + optical for awhile (a Raid0 and a Raid5) - with a full size PCIe card - I just cut out the metal area in front of the middle bay to be able to moved the drives forward.
A week ago, I rebuilt this box using only (1) 3.5" and (1) 2.5" WD black drive (will buy SSD soon) with a Z68-UD3H-B3 and i5 2500k proc. Just using the onboard Intel HD3000 now. Made it into a hackintosh/HTPC and it's fantastic.
Mounted the power supply "upside down" as many have suggested.
Cabling can be a bit tight, esp. with sata connectors that point parallel to your mobo, but with patience you can make things work. Again, I had this box loaded for bear for almost two years without a problem.
The two included 80mm fans are FINE noise wise for HTPC purposes - my wife would normally notice something like that and hasn't at all so far.
Cons: Yeah, it's tight space, but bigger would mean.. bigger!
The stick on dvd plate looks good and works except for one niggle.. Because it's attached to your drive, when you're reading a disc, it can amplify the vibration a bit- the metal stick on place inside the case. But who uses optical drives anyway nowadays? With my recent rebuild I almost just pulled the optical drive out altogether.
Other Thoughts: Going from (5) 3.5" drives to 1 2.5" (750gb WD Black) and 1 3.5" (2tb WD Black) and onboard video instead of the full sized xfx 8800 that was in there, I feel like I have tons of room now! If I were you, I'd either use onboard video and then just use the center drive cage (leaving the one behind the PS empty) or if you need a full sized video card, then leave the center one empty. But with some work you can fully stock this with 6 HDs.
Actually, if you used all 2.5" drives, since you can fit (2) 2.5 in one 3.5" slot - you really could load this thing up if you so desired. But this isn't really meant to be a NAS case, now is it? =)
I really do love this case, and let me tell you, I have a wasteland of cases downstairs. From Lian Li to Antec and onwards.
One last big piece of advice: GET A MODULAR POWER SUPPLY!! I don't have one for this and wish I did. The less cables the better.
Pros: Very fast, very spacious so far.
Cons: none so far.
Other Thoughts: I just bought this as a WD Elements 2tb from another major etailer that you all know.. cracked open the case, and voila, christmas time, it was this exact drive for half the price - 64mb cache black and all (normally the elements come with one of their green drives). i'd heard they do that sometimes, but that's awesome. too bad its still only the 1 year elements warranty, but i cant complain.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: This is a great case all around.. However, it would've been nice if they'd made it a bit deeper to mitigate the issue of 5.25" drives overlapping your power/memory connectors and using the middle drive cage with longer video cards..
This is a perfect case for HTPC and at a great cost.
Having said that, there's a fix for the drive cage issue:
Cons: This is an easy fix folks which requires a dremel (could maybe use tin snips).. Where the center drive cage is, simply cut out a square in the front steel divider (not the black front of the case itself) which will allow the drives to stick out in the front. Basically when you're done the drives will touch the front of the case itself. This took me maybe 15min to do and allowed me to fit 6 drives in the case with one of the "longer" video cards (8800gts). It's snug, but it works.
Other Thoughts: I ended up with 3 750gb drives in the outer most bay, two 74gb raptors in the center bay (top and bottom of the cage, I left the center open to leave a little breathing room for the pci-e connector to the rear of my 8800gts). With a 5.25"=>3.5" converter you could fit another drive in under your dvd drive.
You can make 7 (or even 8 if you went sans dvd drive) hard drives fit in this thing without too much pain. Although if you're building from scratch, I'd definitely just buy the now very cheap 1TB drives and leave the center bay open.
Display Name: Joshua H.
Date Joined: 01/18/02
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