GMC H-80 Case Reviewjlqrb - March 15, 2010
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The GMC H-80's internals are all steel, clean, simple and like the rest of the case, black in color. The first inner portion we are going to look at is the motherboard installation tray. This tray will support different motherboard form factors ranging from Micro ATX, ATX and Full ATX, which will give you a lot of options when considering a motherboard . There are a few cutouts on the tray itself and these holes are used for the purpose of making installation easier and also the help reduce cable clutter. The large square hole is the CPU back-plate access area, which sits directly behind the processor area and smaller rectangular holes that are used for cable management. These holes extend down to the bottom portion of the tray and will allow you to easily route your cables behind the motherboard tray, which will make for a cleaner look inside the case. Also to aid in hiding the cables, there are small anchors throughout the tray that will let you secure the cables to the motherboard tray with zip ties. There seems to be a good amount of room in the case and GMC lists the supplied space at 11.4", which is enough room for most graphics cards on the market, but not all. This will exclude larger cards such as the ATI HD5970, but this is the case with many of the mid-sized chassis, so it is not a real issue.
The front expansion areas all use tool-less rails that are color coded per area of use for installation. There are two open slots for installing 5.25" drive bays and one open slot for a 3.5" floppy drive. There are a few extra installation areas on the top drive bay, but only the three I mentioned have access to the front of the bezel. Below the 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drive bays is a HDD cage that can hold up to five internal 3.5" drives, which also uses tool-less rails for installation. At the back of the case is the bottom mounted PSU area. This area has four rubber stoppers that will elevate the PSU off the bottom of the case to improve airflow. The H-80 has a two-way mounting system that will let you install your PSU with the fan either facing up or down. Above the PSU area are seven expansion slots, which are covered by removable metal covers. This is where expansion graphics and sound cards will go. The back portion of the case also has a rectangular ventilation area, water-cooling access holes, rear I/O hole and a rear exhaust fan. There is also another exhaust fan at the top of the case.
The H-80 comes with a removable side directed HDD cage that can hold up to five 3.5" drives. To install the hard drives you simply insert a tool-less rail on each side and slide it into the cage. When installed the drives SATA connectors will be at the back of the cage, which will allow the cables to easily be routed to the drive and also help them be less visible. To make installation easier and allow access to the front intake fan, this cage can be removed. To take the cage out, you remove the thumb-screw that is securing it into place and then you push down on the tab at the top and once this is done it slides right out of the chassis.
The CPU access area on the H-80 is large enough to be able to fit across multiple socket types. From this area you can remove or inset a back-plate for an after-market heatsink without having to remove the motherboard from case. This makes the whole process very easy and its addition has saved me many headaches since cases have started to use this design.
Looking for info about the included case fans did not yield many results, so let's discuss what we do know. There are four included fans with three of them being 120mm in size and the fourth being a 250mm fan. The 250mm fan is on the side panel, has red LEDs and is a 12v fan with a 0.24 draw. The three 120mm fans come with two being regular black case fans and the third is a red LED fan. The two black models are 12v fans with a 0.18a draw, with one having a three pin header and the other a 4-pin Molex connector. The red LED fan is used to bring in air though the front and is a 12v fan with 0.22a.
Installation in the H-80 was very easy and the cable management system did a decent job of hiding the cables out of the way. There was an issue with the cable management though and this was that the H-80 does not have enough room between the back of the motherboard tray and the side panel. This made it extremely hard to get the panel back on, even with all the cables zip tied down. Other than that though, the case had a good amount of space for all of the installed components and when turned on, the red LED fans and front display added to the appeal of the case. As you can see from the last image, the front bezel and display have some very glossy parts, which can collect finger prints easily.
Next up, we are going to take a look at the cooling performance of the GMC H-80.