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System Builder Marathon, Q3 2013: $350 Bonus Entry-Level PC

Quick And Easy Assembly

There’s so little to putting this build together that I’d want it for a speed-building challenge. Assembly was quick and easy, and everything went according to plan.

The inexpensive DIYPC FM08-W case is lightweight, like we’d expect at this price, though not at all flimsy. I only had to remove one side panel, and the enclosure was rigid enough to hold its shape. If you’ve ever wrestled a warped panel back into place (which I have, even on enclosures costing twice as much), then you'll appreciate how easy it is to get a straight one put back together.

The enclosure shipped with six standoffs installed for ATX, and the extras didn't interfere with our microATX motherboard. Unlike the slim mini-ITX chassis I used in last quarter's SBM, there was ample room with which to work.

From top to bottom, you see a nine-bay 5.25” drive cage. A plastic adapter is included for installing as many as two 3.5” drives. DIYPC doesn’t include an instruction manual, aside from a thin strip of paper with a couple of unclear drawings highlighting hard drive installation. In essence, though, 3.5” drives can be mounted using just a pair of screws on the front side and indented pressure on the back of the plastic housing. I wouldn’t be too confident shipping this enclosure with drives installed, but they do sit snug and secure on a desktop.

The expansion slots are covered by the break-out tabs often seen on cheap enclosures, though we don't even need to touch them for this build.

It's a little strange that DIYPC includes an 80 mm exhaust fan when the mounting holes also accommodate 92 and 120 mm coolers. What is nice, however, is that both bundled fans are wired for either a four-pin Molex plug from the power supply or a three-pin motherboard header.

The case is plenty roomy for our modest hardware, though it's completely devoid of modern cable management features.