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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [10.30.06]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake



I've alluded to it a couple times already; having such a slim case brings with it a couple detractions. First of all, you need to have a motherboard that places the graphics PCI-E slot directly below the Northbridge. If you plan on using a micro ATX motherboard, you will need to buy an optional extension kit (and we all know how easy these optional parts are to find in stores, right?).

Secondly, you'll be limited to just an x16 PCIe and two PCI slots (one, if you use the PCIe slot).

This riser is actually quite a bit nicer than ones I have seen in the past. Knowing that motherboards seldom place the PCI slot in the same location, the PCI adapter is attached via ribbon cables.

Once the riser is installed, your motherboard will look like this:

Only 3 ports. Oh well, what did you expect with a case that is 90mm high? This is just one of those unavoidable things you have to deal with when dealing with speacialty hardware.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that the installation of the riser card above was done incorrectly. The 2nd PCI slot has a mini-card stuck into it, with coloured cables going back to the card. This is supposed to extend down to a 2nd PCI slot, giving the riser 2 PCI ports and a single PCIe port.

However, as you can see below, installing a video card with even a slim heatsink will block the PCI slot below it. So if you're using a video card in this setup, you will only have access to the top PCI slot anyway.

The riser is also a tight fit; here's how it looks once a video card is installed (the card shown is a 6600GT with a single slot cooler):

So there is definitely not enough room for a double-wide cooler in there, so you can just about forget about using a fanless video card with this. The best option may be to use a motherboard with integrated video, if you can find one with decent video output and audio (yes, such a thing does exist believe it or not; we'll be looking at some in the near future).

One other thing I should note here is that a modular power supply is highly recommended when working with small form factor or HTPC cases. We used a standard 550W Thermaltake Tough Power Supply in this test, and as you can see, it was a VERY tight fit:

The cables you see spilling out onto my blurry desk are not being used in this system at all. A modular PSU would have come in handy here. Some manufacturers like SilverStone make short-cable versions of their power supplies, which is even nicer.

Next Page: (Usage; Conclusion)