NZXT Lexa Blackline Case Reviewnismozcar - October 16, 2007
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Installation is fairly straightforward. I will progress through the install and give step by step directions. The tools you should have handy are a philips-head screwdriver, a utility knife, a flashlight, and a pair of scissors. I will start the process with the PSU, then the motherboard (including CPU & RAM), followed by the hard drives and optical drives. Along the way I will make observations about things that help the install and any issues that arise. The items I will be installing are listed below.
- Intel E6300 C2D
- EVGA 608i SLI A1
- 4x1GB OCZ Platinum Rev.2 PC6400
- 4x80GB Hitachi Deskstar (RAID0)
- XFX 8600GTS
- 2x Samsung DVD-DLRW
- Antec SmartPower2.0 500w
In order to begin the installation process, you will need to remove the side cover. In the manual it states that you just need to push the lever towards the center and it will pop open. It neglects to mention that the two screws on the backside of the case will have to be removed. I have them highlighted in the photo below.
The first step is to screw in the gold standoffs included in the package into the appropriate holes that correspond with your motherboard's layout. Keep in mind that not all holes will be occupied due to the fact that this case accepts the layouts of four different styles of motherboards. Next you will take the I/O plate and insert it into the back of the case from the inside.
It's always a good idea to install PSU while the case is empty. This is due to the varying sizes of mainstream PSUs, as well as clearance from other items in the case, such as the CPU cooler or optical drives. I was unable to install the PSU without removing the back cage. The fourth screw in the bottom left (highlighted), was blocked by the edge of the cage. To remove the cage, simply apply slight pressure and bend it towards the center until the tabs at the top clear their slots. Another problem arose after the PSU was secured. The 80mm exhuast fan had very little clearance between it and the PSU. This caused the top-most power port to be blocked, and rendered it unusable, a serious problem if more power connections were needed. After the PSU is in place, you are ready to install the motherboard.
Once you have your motherboard centered over the correct holes, you can begin to screw it down. I opted to attach my CPU cooler and install my memory before installing the motherboard into the case. I ended up short by one screw and having an extra standoff, but luckily I have amassed a large collection of computer related hardware, and had no trouble finding a spare. With the board secure I can begin the process of connecting the peripherals. I started with the power connections (8-pin & 24-pin), and then the power and reset buttons, along with the power and hard drive LEDs. Pay attention to polarity when connecting the LED cables, if backwards the lights will not function properly.
Next comes the USB, Firewire (1394) and the front audio inputs. Connect each to their respective pins, although some boards no longer include Firewire. Also anyone who uses an separate audio card will want to connect the front panel audio into the card itself and not the board. The audio cable provides the option to connect using AC’97 or HD audio for those whose boards support it. I got lucky and the cables just barely reached my firewire and audio pins, but I still feel that they should have been made longer to accommodate any pins that run along tha back edge of the motherboard.