Interior Design & Layout
Getting inside the LANShark Extreme is quite simple. Both side panels are held in place by four screws. Only the screws are holding the side panels in place, so you'll want to take care when removing them. There are no latches or anything like that, which means the panels will start to fall out before you are done removing the screws. We recommend holding the panels in place as you unscrew them. As you can see in the pictures below, once the left panel is removed, the LANShark Extreme's insides are exposed. You can see the the DFI motherboard, Kingston RAM, Diamond video card and the watercooling kit.
We hope you'll also notice that the flat surfaces inside the case are also painted. Check out the power supply, the metal edges hiding the optical drive and watercooling components, and even the bottom of the case. We didn't think the airbrush work could impress us more until we noticed just how complete it is. We've been called anal retentive before, so we really appreciate this level of thoroughness, and we don't see it very often. We also have to mention how clean the wiring is in the system, especially considering its size. All of the cables and wires are hidden, tucked and routed out of sight (as much as they can be anyway).
If you are like us when we first opened up the LANShark Extreme, you are wondering where the hard drive is mounted. Take a look under the power supply in the first picture below. It's mounted in between the motherboard and power supply and appears to be floating. As we'll show you below, the hard drive is indeed mounted to the "back wall" of the system, and it rests there quite securely. In the second picture below, you can see the video card and its watercooling block.
We removed the right side panel as well to get a better look at how Smooth Creations assembles the LANShark systems. You can see how most of the cables and wires are routed back here to keep them out of the way and out of sight. You can also see how the hard drive is mounted by examining the three images below, especially the third one. Directly beneath the power supply, you can spot the Western Digital logo and the three screws holding the drive in place. At first glance, this installation method may not seem very solid, but it actually works very well. It's a clever solution in a cramped space.
As with the external design, we were left quite impressed by the interior design and layout. Not every builder out there takes the time to deliver such a complete and clean design. The company's attention to detail is excellent.
If you looked through the pictures on this and the previous page, you probably noticed the hole on the top of the case that has a tube leading up to it. This is the watercooling system's fillport hole. There is a hex bolt that helps secure the tube in place. Unscrewing the hex bolt releases the tube, which allows you to add more water or coolant to the system if needed. We actually had to do this to our system because it was overheating when we first set it up. During shipping, some air bubbles somehow entered the pump. The presence of the air bubbles was causing the CPU to get hot enough to automatically shut down the system (thanks the a setting in the BIOS). Smooth Creation's support crew recommended we add water, and the problem disappeared.