A splash of color and the sheen of brushed aluminum separates its Gaming S5 from Supermicro’s traditional products. You're also looking at a sub-20” depth measurement. Given the company's traditions, we were expecting at least two feet. This might be the first Supermicro desktop component we’ve tested that actually fits atop most desks. Of course, you could also shove it under the desk. But then I’d wonder why you want to hide it. Either way, the pair of USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks are lined up along the top of the front panel to ease access from either location.
A pop-out panel at the bottom of the front face features mesh backing to catch large dust particles. Two 120mm intake fans behind the filter can be upgraded to your choice of 120 or 140mm replacements.
Supermicro includes (but does not install) the two grommets for its rear-panel coolant line passages, instead leaving round knock-outs in their place. Extra space for radiator mounting is highlighted by a row of vents above the motherboard’s I/O panel, leaving the presence of only seven expansion slots as the S5’s most obvious externally-visible limitation. That is to say it won't take a full complement of graphics cards; an eighth slot is required to place a double-space graphics card into an ATX motherboard’s bottom slot.
A glance at the dimensions uncovers a few additional restrictions, such as the 11.2” maximum graphics card length in some slots when all drive cages are installed. But a look inside will reveal configuration options for users of longer cards. So, let’s take a peek!