Building A Rig
As the DIY community continues to expand, chassis designers have put more thought into making their cases easier to work with. Installing a motherboard still requires you to insert the right screws into the right areas, depending on if your using an ATX or Micro-ATX board (both are supported). Installing the drives are a snap, thanks to the tool-less design of the case. The brackets included with the Thermaltake Matrix VX VD3000 are shown below, and simply snap into the drives, which you can then insert into the case with a gentle push. You'll need to first remove the front cover before installing any 5.25" drives. This becomes a little awkward at first, seeing as how you need to give the cover a good pull in order to get it off. It's not hard to remove, just don't pull too hard as you could damage the wires. Even if you don't plan on adding any extra 5.25" drives, you'll still need to remove the front every so often in order to clean the dust filter on the front 120mm fan.
Installing the PSU requires user to remove the aluminum bar located near the top of the case. As you can see in the image below, there's plenty of room to hide any unsightly cables or wires. We used a PSU without cable sleeves in our review, and after some careful positioning, the cables and wires were hardly noticeable with the side panel on. Speaking of the side panel, there's no side-mounted fan, but there are a few dozen small ventilation holes drilled into the handle of the side cover. With the rear 120mm fan close by, this does an ample job of removing heat from your CPU, Ram, and Video Card. In fact it did a good job of keeping our ASUS N6600GT Silencer cool too, thanks in part to it's unique heatsink design. Still, a fan would have been a nice addition, especially if you're overclocking your hardware.
All and all, it took us about 15-20 minutes to install everything and get the case running. We didn't run into any major problems during our build, though as we mentioned before, the lock for the PCI cards didn't give a tight fit for our PSU fan controller. Even with a full complement of hardware inside, the case is still fairly light. The final result will give you something that's not overly flashy, but unique enough to be proud of. Despite the lack of a side panel fan, we were quite happy with it's ability to remove heat. We tested using an Athlon 64 (Venice Core) 3000+ running at 2.2GHz, and an ASUS N6600GT Silencer clocked at 550MHz/1100MHz. At the start of our testing, we used Rivatuner to record temps of 23'C ambient, 32'C CPU, 31'C System, and 47'C GPU. After a twenty minute Counter-Strike:Source botmatch, our temps read 23'C ambient, 42'C CPU, 33'C System, and 62'C GPU.