Even more goodies
This closeup of the drive area without the cages in place provides for a good basis to explain some of the subtler elements of the Spedo.
Tidy cable routing is encouraged by the cutouts in the motherboard tray and the neatly-bundled wires from the port cluster. More plastic latches are utilized for the seven optical drives, and while they work OK, I didn't get quite the same sense of security that the hard drive cages provided. A single, red-LED-equipped 140mm fan provides active intake for the hard drives. Additional passive venting on the right side and on the floor panel is now plainly visible, too.
Normally we don't have to take too much time to explore a case's right flank with the side panel off, but the Spedo has some pretty ingenious cable management, which Thermaltake dubs CRM, or Cable Routing Management.
In preparation for installing the test system, I decided to put the one spare 120mm fan that's included with the case behind the CPU area instead of on the movable mount in the middle of the chassis. I felt this location would be more beneficial than simply adding more airflow in the core of the chassis. With the last fan in place, it was time to connect all the Molex plugs and loosely tie the wiring together.
Each of the three plastic covers clips in on three-quarter-inch high legs that sit at each corner. This leaves plenty of room for a multitude of cables to fit under the sides of each cover, and the posts then act as guides to better route cabling. You can use the system as I did to simply hide a relatively quick and dirty routing job, or you can use it in conjunction with Velcro, zip-ties, or whatever else you prefer to create something a little more immaculate.
While we're talking wiring, I should note that Thermaltake includes an extension for auxiliary 12V power cables. This is a great addition because the upside-down chassis puts the motherboard's power plugs further away from the PSU than traditional designs.
After preparing cabling, I put the assembled motherboard into the case on the provided standoffs. With it in place, its easy to see just how large the empty area between the top of the case and the motherboard is. If one wanted a very large, internally-mounted radiator, there would certainly be space for it here, although you'd have to get creative to incorporate or replace the 230mm fan.
Although there isn't nearly as much space under the motherboard as above it, there was plenty of room for our Enermax power supply, or indeed any unit up to twice its size. This picture also gives you a pretty good idea of how the tool-less expansion clips workthey unlatch from the rear and pivot out, with their shape acting like a spring to hold cards tightly in place. In the past, I've had problems getting Thermaltake's previous plastic expansion card clips working with SoundBlaster cards and some graphics cards. Without an alternative, I was forced to just let the cards dangle loosely. However, you don't have to rely on just the clips in the Spedo, since the case also comes with normal back plate mounting screws. For me, the ability to fall back on screws is the best part of the tool-free clips.
Before we move on, note in the picture above that there's plenty of room to the right side of the motherboard. The Spedo's motherboard area isn't quite wide enough to accommodate Extended ATX boards, but there's enough room for graphics cards up to 13 inches in length.
After installing the motherboard and power supply, my attention turned to the optical drive. Like other cases we've looked at lately, the Spedo's whole front panel simply snaps off. From here it's easy to put an optical drive in any of the available seven drive bays; once aligned, the respective plastic clip holds the drive tight with a surprisingly simple lock.
If you're not happy with hard drives being installed sideways, a quick transformation lets you slide a drive cage in from the front.
This rearrangement is as easy to perform as it is useless, in my opinion. It basically robs you of three 5.25" bays without providing any more useful space; it's not like you can easily put anything else in the area where the hard drive cage usually sits. I supposed a crafty water-cooling case modder might appreciate the space for a single 120mm radiator or pump assembly, but as mentioned earlier, there's a lot more space for that above the motherboard.
Nonetheless, the dual-position hard drive cage is a cool exercise in case modularity, and I'm sure some will appreciate the option to have easy access to the hard drive sleds from the front of the case. Note that you'll need to remove the 5.25" bay pop-outs to gain access to the drive sleds from the front. This looks a little funny, since the larger bays aren't designed to match the dimensions of the smaller drive sleds.
Overall, it was easy to assemble our test system in the Spedo thanks to its spacious interior. With a little more effort, you could even clean up the cabling quite a bit given the numerous routing options available. We chose to leave our hard drive cages in the default location for what we felt would be the best configuration for testing.
|The TR Podcast 185: Honey, I shrunk the Fury||3|
|Friday Night Shortbread||55|
|Run, gun, and murder aliens in 3D Realms' Bombshell||22|
|Light and shadow play together in Calvino Noir||4|
|Go pro with Razer's Wildcat Xbox One controller||8|
|CliffyB returns to the FPS scene with LawBreakers||23|
|There can be only one Headlander||7|
|Deals of the week: Asus' Strix GTX 970 and more||17|
|Chrome will soon block Flash ads and auto-playing background media||36|