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Hardware Installation

System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $1,000 Performance PC

Cooler Master’s Hyper 212 Plus uses standoffs atop the motherboard to secure a support plate beneath the board. An included socket allows those who lack sufficient tools to tighten its nuts with a screwdriver. The cooler’s top bracket is then attached to those standoffs using spring-loaded screws.

Note that the screws have springs on both sides, with shafts that narrow below the bracket. These must be pulled outward in order to change their alignment within the bracket’s three mounting positions (LGA 755, 1155, 1366).

Rosewill’s Redbone cases (including the tested U3 version) do not support 2.5” drives. Fortunately, Mushkin’s Chronos Deluxe includes a 3.5” adapter tray.

Rosewill’s Redbone cases also lack any cable management features. Front-panel cables were too short to even tuck between the motherboard and its tray. We had to settle for a messier installation than I'd tolerate in a $2,000 build, using cable ties to secure them out of the airflow path.

Our CPU fan prevents the side fan from fitting in its upper mount, and the lower fan mount is blocked by any full-sized power supply. Fortunately, the vent holes are spaced close enough to the fan’s screw holes to mount it in the middle, just below the CPU cooler, where it feeds cold air to both the CPU and graphics card.

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