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The build
Happily, the hardware build portion of the process was ridiculously easy. I like to think I've gotten better at this over the years, but after this experience, I have to admit that the actual hardware involved has improved quite a bit more than anything else. Modern cases have accumulated a whole host of smart features over time: tool-less access, "upside-down" layouts with the PSU at the bottom, removable drive trays, generous cable-routing holes ringing the motherboard, and blessedly large cutouts in the tray beneath the CPU socket for access to cooler mounting mechanisms. The 600T participates in them all, whereas the Sonata that housed my old system had precious few such amenities. The 600T is also part of an emerging class of plus-sized mid-tower cases that grant lots of room to access each component.

Add in the improved standards for things like I/O cables (ah, stringy SATA, how we do not miss your ribbon cable forebears), and you have a potent set of tools at your disposal. Not only is it easier to build a computer than in the past, but it's also easier to do it well. I've never been much for spending extra hours arranging pristine cable routing and locking everything down with zip ties, but everything about this build made clean routing feel like the default and easiest choice, not some neat-freak's extra burden.

bd-drive-install.jpg, 61kB

bd-connections.jpg, 116kB

Take the task of installing the Blu-ray burner, for instance. To do so, you just reach inside of the case, squeeze a couple of plastic tabs, and pop out the mesh-finished drive-bay cover. Then, slide the optical drive into the bay until it clicks into place. That's it; no further adjustment is required.

With both of sides off of the case, routing cables to the drive is also a snap. You just push the SATA cable and power lead up through the routing hole and plug them into the drive. At the other end, the SATA cable pops up through a hole right next to one of the mobo's SATA ports, while the power lead pokes through near one of the sockets on the modular PSU. All of the criss-crossing cable mess runs behind the motherboard tray, where it it will be obscured once the side panel is installed.

ssd-tray.jpg, 128kB

The 600T's flexy plastic drive trays have four posts pre-installed, so they're ready to grip a 3.5" drive with no tools needed. They'll also accept a 2.5" drive like my boot SSD, but you have to remove one of the posts and fasten the 2.5" drive via the four screw holes included for that purpose.

drives.jpg, 96kB

drives-plugs.jpg, 90kB

Here are a couple of shots of the two drives installed in my system. The thumb tabs on the drive cages protrude into the, er, "top" side of the case, where the motherboard's slots and socket are accessible. Around the other side, where the cable mess is hidden, the SATA power and data ports are exposed.

The 600T has two of the three-bay drive cages like you see above, but I removed the upper one to allow for better airflow from the large fan in the front of the case.

psu-cables.jpg, 92kB

psu-modular.jpg, 114kB

The Corsair AX750 PSU comes out of the box with zero leads attached and a bag full of modular cabling. As you can see, I wound up attaching most of the leads and feeding them down through the routing hole right next to the PSU. Gloriously, no extra, bulky cables were left wadded up next to the PSU.