I finally picked up my new ITX case from the courier yesterday and started putting all the hardware together yesterday evening.
This is the Procase Noah 3988 ITX case that I purchased from http://mini-itx.com It’s a very compact but despite it’s size theres plenty of room to fit a 3.5″ hdd & slim optical drive or 2.5″ drive PCI riser card. With a little creative cable management, I’d say that it might be possible to fit two 3.5″ which is something I might try later. Having an external laptop style mains adaptor helps to reduce noise on this otherwise very quiet/fanless ITX motherboard.
I’m glad to see that the front panel is brushed aluminum rather than plastic. It does add a little to the overall weight but it looks much nicer than say silver coloured plastic. The bottom flip down bezel hides the audio/mic jacks, x2 USB ports, reset switch and firewire port.
Another suprising bonus is the sheer number of connecting cable, converters & fittings that’s included which should cater for lots of motherboard/hardware configurations.
Included are the following parts –
- PCI Riser card
- x2 slim IDE ribbon cables
- 20 pin to 20 pin ATX power cable plus 4 pin 12v supply for those motherboards that require it (mine doesn’t)
- 3.5″ to 2.5″ IDE cable with 4 pin molex power connection
- 4 pin molex to Sata power cable
- Slim optical drive converter board
- Molex to molex, floppy/opticial drive power cable
- Mains adaptor and mains lead (UK plus European included)
- Tool-less case screws
- Adhesive rubber feet for case
- Small cable ties and cable tie hooks
- Lots of screws including those for mounting the motherboard.
- Case diagrams/instruction sheet
- PC caddy to allow for the case to be positioned vertically if required (not pictured).
Attached to the internal power supply main board are usual assortment of motherboard header cables and front panel cables.
With case lid off, you can see where the optical drive would be mounted at the front. The hard drive is mounted upside down and attached the plate on the left of the picture below.
First things first, get everything installed to ensure that everything is working and worry about tidying up the cables later. The hdd/cd mounting bracket is easily removed by unscrewing five screws. With the plates removed, the ITX motherboard is easily placed onto the bottom case standoffs and screwed in place. I connected all of the motherboard header cables, power connections and case fan (the case contains an 8cm stock case fan, I’m not expecting this to be silent therefore I have a replacement if required…or I’ll disconnect entirely).
As you can see, with the cables loose, it looks a very tight fit and very messy but once the cable ties are used, there should be plenty of room and increased airflow.
Apart from O/S installation, I won’t be needing a permanent CD drive attached therefore a 2.5″ hdd should fit in its place.
Transferring the case to my study, I plugged it in and hit the power button. If it wasn’t for the HDD activity light i would have thought it wasn’t switched on. Even with the stock case fan attached, the only noise produced was the occasional click of the hard disk…perfect!
Freenas was installed, configured and accessible via web gui
I spotted that the power light wasn’t lit and on re-checking the cable connections, i’d noticed that I’d mistakenly got the header cables the wrong way around.
That’s much better! (the light isn’t that bright, it just my camera on a slower shutter speed!).
Happy that everything is working now, I can tidy up those internal cabling now.
I’m really happy with this case. It’s stylish, fairly inexpensive (£70), compact, silent with lots of cables & extra’s included. The more I look at it the more I’m thinking about swapping out my existing mATX based HTPC in favor of a fast ITX motherboard installed into another NOAH 3988 case.