The next thing you notice are the dual 120mm rear case fans – a first as far as I know. A front 120mm fan has also been fitted to cool the hard drive bays. All the fans have built in blue LEDs that match the blue lit front of the case, but more on that later. If you worry about sonics you’ll be happy to know that all of the fans are very low speed – a mere 1,000rpm – and produce a minimal amount of noise.
The motherboard is installed using standard copper standoffs which are screwed into the aluminium back plate – not ideal in my opinion, but as long as you don’t change them around this should be fine. I’m slightly disappointed with the amount of screws that comes with the case as there are only nine standoffs and nine screws for mounting the motherboard, which isn’t enough for some boards if you’re going to use all the holes.
However, I do have to give Gigabyte praise for the pre-routed cables to all of the fans as well as all of the front connectors, which is the best I have seen in a case that is not part of a barebone system. There is even a special adaptor supplied for two different types of onboard FireWire connectors, albeit one of them is specifically for Gigabyte motherboards.
You don’t have to bring out the screw driver to fit any cards either, as they’re all locked in place by a single mechanism. The good news is that you can still use screws if you’d want to, which can come in handy if you have a card that takes up to two slots, since the locking mechanism doesn’t work that well with those types of cards.
All of the case accessories come in a small plastic box which is screwed in to the 3.5in hard drive bays. This is a good place for them as you won’t lose them and you know were they are. Well, as long as you don’t install more than two hard drives that is, since the plastic box takes up three of the five 3.5in drive bays. A set of screw-less drive rails are provided for installing hard drives. However, it can be slightly awkward to get the drive rails to lock in place and you have to use a fair amount of force to push them all the way in.
There are also two front accessible 3.5in drive bays and five 5.25in drive bays, all screw-less. In contrast to the hard drive mounts, all of the front accessible drives are easy to install. Take out the front blanking plate, slide in the drive, push the latch inside the case forward to lock the drive in place and finally push the lock button downward and it’s all done.
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