The M8’s installation kit includes four medium-length and two extra-short SATA cables, a power cord, screws, a hex key for the exterior handles, a card support bracket, keys for the side-panel lock, rubber side-panel feet for horizontal installations, and an ASRock-branded ballpoint pen.
ASRock doesn’t support screw-on CPU coolers in the M8, but we do. Installation difficulties are caused by a motherboard tray that lacks access hole (which we imagine the BMW team found too ugly) and installed cables that make the motherboard tedious to remove.
Maximum supported heat sink height is approximately 80 mm, minus whatever space above that the cooler needs to function properly. Most of the coolers in this lab are either too big to fit or too small to facilitate any meaningful overclocking. The Xigmatek Janus fits with 20 mm to spare, so I upgraded its 120 x 15 mm fan to Noctua’s thicker NF-120 120 x 25 mm fan. We even arranged an upcoming cooling round-up to explore our other low-profile options.
Because the lower drive bay is tough to access, I decided to mount an SSD on the upper tray. I also chose the most unusual position of that tray to show how the fourth drive fits. Unfortunately, support tabs for the drive mount above it block access to its screws. Thanks again, BMW?
A double-slot graphics card can be secured using screws, a flip-down bracket, or both. The bracket is shown unlatched.
The double-slot graphics card has plenty of breathing room, even with the drive cage installed.