Interior Tour And Building
The Gaming S5 officially supports motherboards up to 10” wide behind its three modular drive cages. Grommets dress up cable passage holes above, in front of and below the motherboard, and an extra hole behind an ATX-sized board allows cleaner cable management on microATX boards.
By default, the 2.5” drive cage is centered between 3.5” cages. Though that fact doesn’t fit neatly into the previous page's dimensions table, it allows the placement of expansion cards up to 12.6”-long in slots two through five. That is, until you move things around.
Covered by a magnetically-attached mesh sheet, the S5's top panel supports multiple spacing options for up to three 140mm or 120mm fans. Though you won’t find space for the end caps of radiators with three 140mm fans, a 3x120mm configuration fits down the center thanks partly to the top panel’s two inches of motherboard clearance. Thicker radiators can be offset to the left side, though upper drive bays limit this location to a 2x120mm length.
The same type of mesh that covers top-panel vents also filters dust at the power supply and lower fan inlets. Users with standard-sized power supplies (PS2 form factor) could potentially put a 2x120mm radiator here, though most high-capacity power units are too long to allow this.
Removing a drive cage extends maximum card length to 16.5”. A modular design allows these to be stacked any way you wish. Using slide tabs, a single cage can be hung from the top or secured to the base, and a screw at the front of each cage prevents it from sliding out.
Slides for the lowest drive cage engage a screw-in tray. Removing the tray provides access to the forward bottom-panel fan mount, and is required for fitment of a front-panel radiator. Users who don’t need any of the drive cages and can use a relatively short power supply will find room for up to three radiators!
Front-panel bay adapters make it possible for some builds, especially gaming machines, to get by without the drive cages. Mounting patterns for 3.5” and 2.5” drives are found behind the black-anodized brushed-aluminum face plate.
Screw-free mounting pins are found on both 3.5” and 2.5” trays, and additional 2.5” drives can be screwed onto 3.5” trays.
The Gaming S5 has enough space behind its motherboard tray to accommodate an ATX/EPS main power lead, along with other cables. But its access holes are very small. We found it necessary to remove the grommet if we wanted to route a 24-pin connector behind the tray. Fortunately, the grommet can be stretched around that connector once it's removed.
In addition to the expected screw kit and grommets to replace the two rear-panel knock-outs, Supermicro adds a front-panel header adapter for motherboards from other vendors. That's because the case’s stock cable is designed exclusively for Supermicro platforms.
Most motherboards (apart from Asus and Supermicro) use the Intel-specified nine-pin front-panel LED/switch header, which places power LED wires adjacently. Carried over from the old AT form factor and retained by Asus, Supermicro’s adapter spaces these pins three positions apart. Splitting the connector allows it to fit both standard and Asus front-panel headers.
An ATX motherboard (12” x 9.6”) fits nicely, but oversized platforms like the 12” x 10.7” MSI X99S XPower AC I like to use would block access to cable passages along the front edge. That could be a big deal for many high-end builders, since a lot of enthusiast-oriented motherboards are similarly oversized.
The finished build looks clean and stylish. But the side-panel vent is a little worrisome concerning noise. Let’s find out if Gaming S5 results can overcome those worries!