From the outside
The Shark's 5.25" drive bays utilize a rail mounting system that's similar, if not identical, to what Antec has made available on its cases for years. For 5.25 drives, rails are great because they allow users to remove drives without having to fiddle with side panels or screws. Thermaltake hides the Shark's unused rails on the inside of each 5.25" drive bay cover, so they shouldn't get lost.
While the Shark's 5.25 drive bays rely on individual drive rails, both of the case's external 3.5" bays are housed in a single drive cage. The cage is made of aluminum and easily slides in and out of the case. When secured in place, it sits perfectly flush with the front panel.
Rather than facing forward, the Shark's front ports are situated on the right side of the case. This placement keeps the ports hidden from direct view, but they're still easily accessible.
Getting the Shark's front ports wired up is easy if you have the right motherboard. The Shark uses connector blocks that combine the wires and pins necessary for audio, Firewire, and USB, which is much more convenient than having separate pins for each wire. The connector blocks are designed for standard motherboard AC'97 audio, Firewire, and USB headers, and they worked perfectly with the Asus P5GD2 that we used for testing. Motherboards that have non-standard port header pin patterns won't be able to use the Shark's connector blocks without some creative rewiring
The Shark is sold as a bare case, so the power supply is up to you. From the rear, you'll notice that the Shark has a 120mm exhaust fan shielded by a honeycomb grill that shouldn't obstruct air flow. Having a 120mm exhaust fan makes the Shark compatible with many external water-cooling kits. The case also has rear punch-out holes for tubing and is, of course, compatible with Thermaltake's own Aquarius water-cooling system.
To simplify removing the side panel, the Shark is equipped with relatively large thumbscrews that are easy to grip and unscrew. In this day and age, all enthusiast cases should be equipped with thumbscrews.
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