A Closer Look – Still Life
Note: Due to the unusual nature of this case, evaluating the case in terms of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ would be rather silly. Thus, you’ll be getting it all in one go. Don’t feel too disappointed, though, we have a special feature for you on the next page.
As you can see, there’s not much mystery to this case. The heavy rubber feet keep it stable, as well as providing separation between the motherboard tray and the bottom cavity. The mounting brackets for 3.5″ drives, 5.25″ drives and the power supply are all held in place with thumbscrews, and can be slid out with little trouble. The radiator bracket in back can also be removed, though doing so with the motherboard tray in place is not advised, due to the relatively flimsy struts holding it up.
Taking the motherboard tray off is a simple matter, just pull up at each of the four corners and the rubber foot should clear the thumbscrew on the base. Putting the same rubber feet on the tray as on the bottom of the case was a smart idea; it makes working on the motherboard or attached components easier. The large central cutout in the tray lets you exchange backplates for any custom heatsinks or waterblocks you might be using with your CPU. Smaller cutouts along two sides allow for easy routing of power and data cables to the spots where they’re most likely to be needed.
Two areas that gave me unexpected difficulty: the expansion card rods and the power switch. The rods were very difficult to screw into place, and my first attempt to do so by using the thumbscrews on top for leverage resulted in the screws getting bound. Getting the screws free, and subsequently getting the rods in place, required the use of two pairs of pliers and marked the chrome finish. The power switch came with one of its wires actually loose, hanging out of the bottom of the housing. Fixing this was a matter of seconds with a #1 Phillips head, but it would likely have been the cause for much frustration if I had not noticed and fixed it beforehand.