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Assembling Our Gaming Box

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: $800 Gaming PC
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Although the Asgard Pro's exterior looked well-built in its price range, one of the side panels turned out to be very hard to remove due to an inward bow in the middle of the frame. Once that panel was off, though, I straightened the lip to make future work under the hood a lot easier.

Popping the front bezel off also required quite a bit of force. Normally I would have left it alone. But for a System Builder Marathon story, I like to follow those issues up for the sake of commentary. The thing eventually popped off without any collateral damage, and once I had the enclosure prepared, the rest of the build was a piece of cake.

The addition of tall rubber feet creates plenty of room for airflow, so I chose to mount the power supply fan facing down, pulling fresh air in from under the case (rather than blowing up, acting as an exhaust). A removable air filter, which came with the Asgard, helps protect our power supply from dust and dirt build-up.

Cable management cutouts in the motherboard tray are well-positioned with tight but adequate spacing on the back for our wires and connectors. The front HD Audio cable is on the short side, though I made the hook-up with unsightly direct routing. Lastly, our big, heavy graphics card sagged until I secured it to the case's 5.25” drive cage, relieving some weight and protecting the card and motherboard slot from potential damage.

All in all, Xigmatek's Asgard Pro isn't a bad chassis. Personally, I prefer its plain styling over more flamboyant gaming designs. This latest version offers a flat black aluminum bezel, whereas older models had rounded high-gloss plastic edges. Photo shoots were a nightmare. But aesthetic preferences aside, the NZXT Tempest 210 I used last quarter was more precisely built.

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