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Old December 26, 2012, 09:13 AM
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AkG AkG is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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After build two rigs using this case I have a couple things the add that may help people out:

1) the top '200mm' fan location WILL accept 230mm CM fans. The 200x230 big boys that come with -for example- HAF-X fit perfectly

2) the top fan location is less than optimal for cooling GPUS. First couple pcie slots will get SOME air from it...but most will hit the CPU location

3) with dual 140mm front fans....a top fan is not needed, it has great internal air flow!!!

4) 140mm fans are a PITA to install in this case. SOME 140mm fans will not fit. What happens is the front plastic fascia has a plastic 'strip' that runs along the bottom edge of the fan area. If you use Crosair AF140 fans...you will need to clip this plastic strip off or the front will NOT go back on. A pair of nail clippers work fine as the front plastic is thin and flimsy. First time this is a GOOD THING! :S

5) The PSU area is very tight. Using 160mm deep modular PSU == tough times. The issue is the backplane of the 3.5 bays uses a MOLEX connector not sata so this connector sticks out a nice ways...and reduces PSU cable area. This should have been SATA connector.

6) The backplane for the 3.5 drives is VERY delicate. Plugging in sata cables and then gently routing the cable around the PSU cables has caused BOTH to break at least one port on each. If I was to do it all again...I would remove the backplane.

7) right angle SATA connectors will NOT work with the backplane. The two ports are too close together for it to work 'right'. This combined with the delicate sata ports on the backplane == nightmare. Stick to straights.

8) the bottom 80mm fan locations work fine for the 2.5" bay. I recommend two gelid silent fans sucking air OUT. Do not use just one. If you do, it will just suck air out from the adjacent fan port.

9) there are air vents along the bottom that will provide some air to the 2.5" bay when used as above.

10) 3.5" drives...use only 1. They sit close together and there is going to be zero air flow to them. One will be fine. But stack two together and they will run hotter than otherwise. This is OK, but why bother? ssd + 1 hdd is perfect.

11) Air flow for the mob is GREAT with the 140s installed. Will keep the mobo and all GPUS nice and cool.

12) Use a good AIO water cooler for the CPU. This case can easily take an air cooler, but why bother? Pump the heat out the back. A Corsair H60 gen 2 on a 3770K @ 4.3 doing prime95 will stay well under 70. H80i is better again. ;)

13) Front IO pannel is very less than optimal. CM needs to take a page from other companies and do quad USB 3.0. There is room on the fascia and io panel area that was not used. Include dual USB internal headers w/ usb 2.0 'tails' so all four can be used.

14) stock 120mm fans are less than optimal. swap them out for good fans.

15) A H60i, dual AF140s, dual Gelids == low noise rig. The LG DVD burner is WAY louder than anything else in it. The 5.25' bays really need some vibration dampening material!

16) The 3.5" bay adapters are plastic. Very less than impressed with them.

17) If you do populate the 80mm locations pickup a couple molex fan adapters as no fans wires will bel long enough to wrap UP and AROUND to plug into the mobo. CM should include a pair of them.

18) when doing a build. Do it in THIS order:

a) Remove the side panels, top panel AND mobo plate from the case
b) Install fans. Start with dual 80s. Then the front 120/140 mod front fascia IF needed
c) plug in SATA cables on backplane
d) install ssd WITH sata cable
e)install ALL the PSU calbes you will need IF using modular
f)install PSU...GENTLY. that 3.5 backplane is DELICATE!!!
g)install dvd drive WITH sata cable already installed
h) plug in all the various 'bottom zone' devices to PSU
i) route cables between the 3.5 and 5.25 zone. Nice little hole for the sata cables and power cables for 'top zone'.
j) install cpu, ram and cooler backplate to mobo
k)install mobo to mobo removable tray
l)install mobo tray
m) install AIO cooler in rear location. Rotate it so the inlet/outlet ports on the rad are facing the 'left' side away from mobo
n) plug in all your cables
o)swap out the small black thumbscrews for larger ModSmart screws. The stock thumbscrews are small and tough to use IF you plan on swapping out parts on a regular basis.
P)put pannels back on w/ larger black thumbscrews
q) plug in...and enjoy

19) I really DO like this case. It has a couple 'warts' but its very nice.

For anyone interested this is what I did for my own personal rig (the 2nd was for a friend and onboard HD4000 was more good enough)

Two 800GB DC S3700 SSDs
One 520 Intel 240GB ssd (might plan for dual DC S3700s 200GBs...but maybe not have plans for the small 'uns elsewhere)
One 4TB Black HDD
One DVD burner

Intel 3770k
Asus Z77 Deluxe
Kingston 32GB DDR3 1600
Asus Xonar Soundcard
Asus GTX 580 (plan on upgrading to either 680, dual 670s or waiting for next gen)

Hope that helps peeps who opt for this excellent case.
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