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Assembling My Gaming Box

System Builder Marathon, Q1 2014: The $750 Gaming PC

Opening up the Line-M requires removing a pair of black thumb screws from each side of the enclosure. Inside, we're greeted by an all-black interior parts and a surprisingly roomy layout. The front panel can be snapped off with a tug from the bottom lip, if you need to get under it.

Rosewill only taps eight of the nine mounting holes used by microATX-compliant boards. That's not a problem if you're using a full-width 9.6”x9.6” motherboard, but the case lacks the lower right-hand “S-positioned” standoff used by narrower platforms like ours. Although I could have gotten by with the five screws that line up, I grabbed a plastic standoff from my stockpile to support the board's corner.

The rear slots are basic knock-outs, found on many other budget-oriented enclosures. Rosewill adds a bit of value by including a pair of vented replacement covers in case you want to cover a slot back up later on. The three external drive bays include mounting clips, and extra screws are provided for those as well. Either method works for us; this build will be broken down after the Marathon and shipped to one of our contest winners anyway. I had the option of mounting my hard drive up above, keeping the interior a little cleaner-looking, or fastening it to the case's floor, which arrived outfitted with vibration-dampening grommets.

The front LED-equipped fan is outfitted with three- and four-pin plugs. But since Asus' motherboard only has one header, which I reserved to control the rear exhaust fan, I could either leave the cooler disconnected, get creative in dropping its voltage myself, or generate more noise by running the front intake at full-speed all of the time.

More problematic is that Asus' H81M-K lacks a front-panel USB 3.0 header. At least the case includes a pair of front-panel USB 2.0 ports compatible with our motherboard.

Lastly, Rosewill does include a few black tie straps with its case, but there's otherwise very little to help facilitate cable management in the Line-M. The chassis more than covers our basic needs in a modest build, though, and the modular power supply does help prevent clutter by eliminating unneeded power cables.

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