Smooth Creations Broodling Gaming System
A benefit to using a full-tower case is that it is much easier to have a neat layout on the inside. The Smooth Creations folks did a decent job on cable management, keeping as many of the cables out of the way as possible.
The side panel pops off right off with the release of a lever on the back of the system. The Diamond Radeon HD3870 X2 graphics card occupies one of the two PCIe 16x slots. The AX78 motherboard supports CrossFireX with its second PCIe 16x slot, so upgrading to a total of four GPUs with a second X2 is always an option. Three PCI slots and one 1x PCIe slot are all vacant; however, plugging a card into the 1x PCIe slot might be a tight fit as the graphics card is right against it. All four DIMM slots are populated with 1GB modules, bringing the system up to 4GB--half of the motherboard's maximum supported 8GB. The Smooth Creations artists included some of their handiwork inside the system as well. They painted the CoolIt Systems Eliminator CPU Cooler's chiller/pump module with logos for the various component manufacturers of the system as well as a shout out their favorite technology Website! Occupying the most space in the system--and adding a bit of a cluttered feel above the CPU--is the Eliminator's CPU fluid heat exchanger. Effective cooling at this level means that this system has room for overclocking.
There is no shortage of available drive bays here. The system sports five accessible, external drive bays--only one of which is occupied with the Lite-On DVD+/-RW drive. Below the external bays are six internal bays--one of which is populated with the 500GB Western Digital hard drive. The motherboard includes a total of four SATA connectors, supporting RAID 0, 1, and 0+1. Those looking to go old school will be happy to know that the motherboard also includes an IDE connector and a floppy disk drive port.