|NZXT Gamma Computer Case GAMA-001BK|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Sunday, 22 November 2009|
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Detailed Interior Features
One of the most interesting features of the Gamma is that all of your drive installation can be done tool-free. The Gamma comes with side plates that fit 3.5" hard drives. They are very slightly magnetized, and fit right into the screw holes on the sides of the drive. Attach one plate to each side of the drive and you are ready to put it in the bay. The drive slides right in and locks into place. To remove the drive, simply apply pressure to both of the side plates at the same time to release the lock and pull the drive out. This sure makes adding drive extremely simple.
The Gamma even provides you with thumbscrews for your 5.25" drives. Very convenient. It's small details like these that make the NZXT Gamma stand out above the crowd. Features that you wouldn't expect, and certainly wouldn't notice if they were absent, are commonplace on the Gamma. Even the black color for the interior of the Gamma shows that the slightest details were not overlooked.
The holes in the motherboard plate for the Gamma are very functional. The large hole that looks like it sits right about where the CPU goes is there because it sits right where the CPU goes. You can see the case here with the motherboard installed. Unfortunately, my motherboard does not have the increasingly common CPU brackets mounted on the backside of the CPU. Your motherboard might however. If you have brackets on the back of the motherboard, they likely hold your cooling device in place from the top of the board. Also, some companies, like Thermalright, make CPU coolers that mount here on the backside of the motherboard. For added ease during the installation and maneuvering of such devices, NZXT has added this hole to the motherboard plate on the Gamma.
Down at the bottom of the motherboard plate, near where the PSU will be located, you can see another hole. This hole, along with the two holes placed vertically along the drive bays, are for cable routing. All of the cables from the power supply that will be used for your peripherals can be routed through the bottom hole. Since I put my optical drive in the very top drive bay, I had to keep the cable for that on the frontside. All the other cables, including the ones I didn't use, were routed through that hole and attached to the backside of the motherboard.
I even routed the cables coming from the faceplate of the Gamma through those holes. Which brings me to another point. The cables from the faceplate are directed right through top two front-to-back facing 3.5" drive bays. This really makes the drive bays unusable. Not that five drive bays isn't enough, and I'm sure you could reroute the wiring through the front somehow if you really needed those two bays. And while I'm talking about the drive bays, let me quickly mention that the bottom 3.5" drive by has screw holes through the bottom of the Gamma that will fit a 2.5" drive. That is the only bay with built-in accessibility for a 2.5" drive, so if you happen to have multiple notebook drives or solid state disks, you will have to find a conversion kit.
So after routing all the cables through the holes in the motherboard plate on the Gamma, what happens to them? Well, contrary to popular belief, they do not disappear into an endless abyss of unheard of space filled with spare cabling. But that is no problem for the NZXT Gamma, because they have provided small divets on the backside of the motherboard plate that are perfect for twist-ties or zip-ties for tidying up the excess cables. This allows the side plate to slide into place perfectly and effortlessly, and also makes the inside of your case free from low-flying, annoying cables.
There are, of course, a few cables that cannot be routed through the well designed plate on the Gamma. These would include the PSU to motherboard cables, the PSU to video card cables, and in my case, the IDE cable. Yes, my optical drive still uses an IDE cable. So let's explore some of the issues with these cables. One unintentioned drawback of having the PSU mounted on the bottom of the case is that the cables may not be long enough to reach over your expansion cards to the motherboard. I made the mistake of plugging them in before installing my video card and had to unplug them all to get it in. Had my cables been an inch shorter, or if I had another video card, I'm not sure the cables would have reached. On the other hand, I did find out that my MSI NVIDIA 9800 GTX+ does indeed fit nicely inside the Gamma.