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System Assembly

System Builder Marathon, Sept. '09: $650 Gaming PC
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Assembly

This was a fairly simple build, with no major headaches but rather just a few minor annoyances and concerns.

First off, the 9.2” width of the GA-MA790X-UD4P motherboard is a bit odd, leaving it just shy of reaching the third row of motherboard standoffs. Considering this Rosewill case uses raised sheet metal rather than brass screw-in type standoffs, we came alarmingly close to having the motherboard make unwanted contact with the case. It fell just shy of doing that though, so we didn’t need to take precautions of insulating the unused row of standoff “hills.”

For added support, Gigabyte placed an extra motherboard mounting hole right at the bottom corner of the fourth DIMM socket. This hole didn’t match up with anything on the case itself, and with no supplied plastic standoff, we had to just leave this one blank. Even with this extra support in use, we would still suggest you use caution when attaching the GA-MA790X-UD4P’s main 24-pin power or any other connector that may put pressure on the unsupported end of the motherboard.

Mounting a HDD within the Wind Ryder consists of screwing four of the included special screws into the drive itself, and then sliding the drive into the mounting mechanism until it clicks into place. While this makes for quick removal of the drives (assuming no add-in cards are in the way), it does let the tail end of the hard drive rattle around a bit. Despite us not liking the arrangement as much as some of our past builds, it was still simple to set up. 

The trickiest part of this build was deciding on the placement of the hard disk drive within one of the four internal 3.5” drive bays. Although the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850s are only 9” cards, that length still brings them about a half an inch away from a mounted hard drive. We actually tested each HDD bay and found one would not work at all, while all three of the others still made it difficult to attach the 12V PCIe power leads and SATA HDD cables. The morals of this story is when using the Rosewill Wind Ryder, be sure and avoid multiple graphics cards over 9” and use even shorter graphics cards if you want to utilize all of the internal HDD bays.

The Wind Ryder also includes a screwless card-slot mounting system that we used, if only to be able to comment on its functionality. While it worked fine, we wouldn’t be inclined to use this plastic clasp and will be sure to remove it and screw in each card before shipping the PC to whoever wins it.

The last semi-issue was simple cable management, especially when mounting the motherboard’s external SATA slot bracket. While somewhat unsightly, we chose to mount this in the top slot, above the video cards, to avoid the possibility of interference with one of the graphics card fans. 

While we nitpicked a bit, the Rosewill Wind Ryder isn’t a bad case and is certainly a bargain for $30. It’s narrow, so watching the height of aftermarket CPU coolers and, of course, the length of the graphics cards is important when utilizing this chassis. The dual 120mm fans are a major plus. And while not particularly loud, the front intake fan seemed to be the most audible one in the system, which had a similar noise level as an Antec Three Hundred’s tri-cool fan on medium speed.   

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