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Installation and Testing

I have been pretty lucky as far as motherboards go lately. I have enough of an assortment that I can mount just about any style board that I want to see how a case works. I stuffed three different boards in without difficulty and finally settled on the AOpen AK33 since it is about as close to the average board as I can get. Keep in mind that I did mount one Soyo board (narrow) and an Abit board (wide) just for kicks and had no problems. The motherboard is mounted with metal mounting tabs that have to be installed from the same side as the motherboard. The mounting holes are all labeled but should you miss one you'll have to yank the motherboard out to correct it. The Cyclone's side cover is held on by three thumb screws and A-Pro even provided some extras. Drives are mounted using conventional screws. I was a little skeptical about the one-screw mounting brackets for 5.25" drives that were included with the hardware but it worked very well. Dare I say innovative? When you mount your 5.25" components such as your CD-ROM you'll have to add a plastic appearance piece on each side of it. Its all included and keeps the smooth look of the front.

With three 80 mm fans moving air in the case you'd expect the unit to sound like a jet fighter taking off. I found the unit to be very pleasant and not at all obtrusive. Take this from a guy whose main rig is a full tower with no less than twelve fans in it though. My friends and family are far more delicate when it comes to fan noise than me and not a one made a single complaint. I took some pictures of the case for you to see. Feel free to click away to see the larger versions.

Front Cover

A-Pro provided a 300w Fortron power supply that is fully compatible with the ATX 2.03 spec and even has the extra power connector for a Pentium IV motherboard. This power supply is fully compatible with older ATX boards and offers a certain measure of future-proofing. I haven't really planned to purchase a Pentium IV setup yet but you never know what is down the road. What's the extra power connector for? Since the Pentium IV has a higher power demand the extra power cable (12V) is required. Don't have it and your Pentium IV isn't going to work. Pretty simple, but something to consider for future purchases. It's pretty likely that we'll see these things popping up on motherboards that aren't designed for the Pentium IV considering how many components manufacturers are packing on motherboards these days.

A-Pro provided an extra front bezel for the 3.5" bays that allows you to setup for only one exposed 3.5" bay. It has a slot already cut out to hide a floppy drive behind. I'll stick with the bezel that lets me have two 3.5" bays even if you have to see the generic looking front of a floppy drive. Below are some pictures.


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