Ever since I saw the Hadron case come out, I have been wanting to build a machine with one of them. After Christmas and using some gift cards and some other parts I have had sitting around waiting for a home, I decided to replace my aging gaming HTPC for my living room.
The old HTPC was running a Core i5 750, 8gb of memory and a 7750 video card, and still works great for the most part. I have been wanting to put one in the bedroom for a while, but since I use the one in the living room the most I decided to upgrade it with a whole new setup, and put the old one in the living room.
Other than the EVGA Hadron case, the parts list for the new machine are -
Gigabyte H87N-WIFI motherboard, revision 2 with 802.11ac
Intel i5 4440 Quad Core
16gb of Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1866 (Got this through work really cheap).
XFX Radeon 7850 1GB Core Edition
Evga Hadron slot load DVDRW drive
Evga ACX air cooler, supposedly works with the Hadron
Samsung 840 EVO 120gb SSD
WD Blue Hard Drive
I am reusing my Logitech DiNovo keyboard for HTPC use, and for the bedroom machine I have a DiNovo mini that it will use.
Both the old machine and this machine will be running windows 8.1.
Anyways, on to the pics -
Slot Drive installed with the included caddy. In researching this case, I found no pictures or descrptions of anyone who bought the slot load drive they make for this case, presumably opting to go without an optical drive entirely. You load this with the right side panel taken off, instead of from the left side like the hard drives.
The board layout could use some work. The USB 3.0 header is in about the worst place it can be for this case, in the upper left of the board. Also, I would have preferred the ATX power be where the ram slots are, on the lower right side of the board.
Fast forward about an hour later, and I got everything to fit. I was worried about the RAM modules being too tall, but with the CPU cooler like that they fit great. I reversed the fan on the CPU cooler so that it sucks air and blows it to the top exhaust fans on the case. If I mounted it with the fan down, it blocks the PCIE slot so I would not have been able to fit the video card in there. If one was using the onboard CPU video, it would not be an issue.
I had to route the USB 3.0 front panel cable under the gap of the CPU cooler to get it to fit nicely into its motherboard header, something I would have preferred not to do. But I think it will be fine. The ATX power cables and front panel cables barely get by that CPU cooler in between the drive cage and the heatsink, but there is a tiny bit of play there.
The Case is a bit cramped on the bottom of the case for managing the extra power cables, but with some zip ties and patience you can get it looking somewhat neat.
Side panel is installed, and I put a playstation 3 controller in there for scale.
Back of the case in case anyone wants to see that.
I have not booted the machine up yet (didnt have time for that this afternoon), but I will post CPU temps and such with that cooler in this cramped case, as well as for the GPU.
I love the build quality of this case, I just wish that the 24 pin power cable, and the front panel cables were just a bit longer. A bit of a gap to route cables behind the motherboard would have been nice as well, but with the size of this case I can understand why that was not possible.
I am looking forward to getting this thing running tonight.