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Written by Nate Swetland - Edited by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 08 October 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
nMediaPC 6000B HTPC Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Detailed Interior Features

Here is a closer look at some of the interior features and how they function. After loading up the hard drive cage and installing it, the seemingly ample space starts to feel a bit cramped. If you take notice of small detail, you may notice that on the previous pre-installation pictures, the two screws securing the hard drive cage have been moved. There are two mounting points (A and B) that you can use to install the optical drive. It purely depends on your drive and how it fits in there, but one seemed to give me much more maneuverability when installing and removing the HDD cage.

nmedia_6000htpc_installedtopfull.jpg

Speaking of the HDD cage, the concept of having it rotate upward is a seemingly good idea, but it does not work as well as I would have liked. I ran into a couple problems with it. When rotating the cage up, if your cables are not long enough, you will have to unplug them, leading to more annoyances when you have to plug them back in while you are trying to rotate the cage back in. Another oversight is the where many motherboards place their SATA connectors. Many SATA connectors are located in the top-left corner of the motherboard (if you are using this image as a reference). When the HDD cage rotates in, it has to be pushed forward slightly to secure it into place. I would up breaking one of the SATA plugs on the end of one of my SATA cables during this procedure because the cage pressed up against all the SATA cords and then had to be slid into place. Not good.

nmedia_6000htpc_installedrearfans.jpg

Here you can see the rear exhaust fans. They provide excellent air evacuation from the hot CPU. The problem with these fans is that they have Molex connectors, so you cant use the typical 3 pin connectors on your motherboard to power them. This only adds to the mess of wires in the case. Notice how close the PSU is to the CPU, however. With the GPU, PSU, and Hard Drive cage being all in there, the CPU seems a bit boxed in. This could be further magnified with many of the newer heatsinks on the market today.

nmedia_6000htpc_installedrearpci.jpg

Notice the unfortunate method of securing the PCI cards. You have to remove that plastic piece whenever you wish to change out PCI cards. Also, notice the break-out style PCI slot covers. You would think that with custom PC cases being such a commonplace, this type of PCI cover would be practically extinct in favor of removable, reusable ones. Too bad. One redeeming factor is that it can hold full-height PCI cards.

nmedia_6000htpc_hddcageback.jpg

This is a rear shot of the hard drive cage. There is room for 6 hard drives and 1 optical drive. There is definitely a proper order that the drives need to go in, and if you are anything like me, you change your drives around every once in a while. The optical drive and topmost hard drives should be permanent fixtures in your computer. If you want to remove these drives after installing any drives on the bottom, the respective bottoms ones will need to be removed before you can get to the screws holding the top ones in. Depending on how you see it, this can be good or bad. I found it annoying more than anything.

nmedia_6000htpc_hddcagebottom.jpg

The layout of the way the drives are installed makes sense, but does not leave a great deal of room for wire management. The outmost hard drive cage on either side can be removed to provide more space. This was an extremely nice feature that I made good use of. Removing the outmost two drive cages took care of the SATA cord issue from earlier, and added a lot more room for cable management and air flow.

nmedia_6000htpc_hddcables.jpg

Notice the awful rats nest of wires I encountered after installing the hard drive cage. The closeness of the HDD cage to the motherboard paired with the case fans Molex plugs makes power cord management difficult. With so many people using SATA drives, and nMedia recommending SATA drives for this cage, it seems silly to still use those types of power connectors for their fans. It almost seems like an additional inch or so on the depth of the cage would make a world of difference for this situation.



 

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