Once the cover was removed, we had a clear view of the intake port of the front mounted 120mm near-silent fan. This fan is situated near the lower three hard drive bays so that the fan blows cool air directly on any installed drives. This is the ideal scenario for keeping the drives cool. The rear of the case has a matching fan to exhaust warm air. GIGABYTE added a nice touch by mounting each fan with rubber buffers to absorb any vibration created by the fans.
As we stated earlier, the case can support a total of 10 drives, with five 5.25" external bays, two 3.5" external bays and three 3.5" internals bays. The 3.5" and 5.25" external bays utilize a tool free mechanism for securing the drives. Each group of bays has a similar mechanism, which includes an unlock switch and slide rail. Installing both Optical and Hard drives is a snap. Simply slide each component into place and lock each drive into place.
Installing hard drives into the internal cage is even easier than the front mount bays. Simply attach the side rails to the drive and slide the drive into positon until it locks. To remove the drives, release the tension on the rail tabs and pull forward. When it comes to mounting drives, GIGABYTE has come up with a simple tool free design that works exactly as expected.
The next major area to focus on is installation of PCI cards. Like the drives, GIGABYTE integrates a tool free mechanism. The latch is a two stage device that requires you to push it down to release and then pull it up to open. It's a little different to other toolless designs we've seen, but works rather well once you get the hang of it. Once the card is put into position, the latch easily locks into place, securing each card.
The Triton 180 comes equipped with all the necessary connections pre-wired including USB, FireWire and Audio plugs to connect to the motherboard headers for each. There are also the standard hard drive and power LEDs as well as Power and Reset switches. Both the front intake fan and rear exhaust fan can be connected directly to a single motherboard chassis fan header as both are combined into a one plug assembly. We should note that the rear fan comes from the factory with its wire neatly routed to the front of the case, which is a nice touch. The last item to cover is the cone added to the side panel to help focus cooler outside air onto the CPU. This is an interesting idea that follows Intel's CAG1.1 spec, but may get in the way with oversized coolers, such as the popular ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED 92mm CPU cooler which is quite tall. Fortunately, the cone is easily removed with four screws if necessary, so this isn't a major issue.