Lian Li Pitstop T1 Mini-ITX Spider Test Bench Reviewajmatson -
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The directions included with the Spider are very vague. For all of the pieces there are only a series of small pictures across two pages and it was not very helpful at all. All in all, it should take about 30 or so minutes to put it all together. To make it a bit easier on our readers and to show what goes into building this case I am going to do a run down, explaining the parts as I go along and how to put it together.
The main part of the test bench is the motherboard tray. You can find the motherboard tray by looking for the piece below with the Lian Li logo pressed on to the front. To prepare the motherboard tray there are a few items that need to be put into place. First is the Spider "eyes" which are LED's that are placed in the front of the tray and let you know the system is on when lit up. There are two small holes on the front of the tray, one on each side of the Lian Li logo. To install the LED's you need to slide the plastic LED clips into the holes and then slide one LED into each clip until it is securely into place. Next, on each side of the tray there are two circular holes about a nickel thick. Slide the two plastic wire protectors into the holes until they are secured into place.
With the motherboard tray prepared, we are ready to start installing the components. You may have noticed the big hole in the middle of the tray above - this is where the 3.5" hard drive is placed. To install it, just flip the motherboard tray over and line the drive up into the slot, with the bottom of the drive facing the bottom of the motherboard tray. There are four screw holes on each side of the hard drive support to secure the drive.
Next, take the optical drive tray and again secure this with the four screws. Make sure the tray is in the upward position and the optical drive is facing up as well. To mount the optical tray to the motherboard tray you have to pay close attention. The face of the optical drive needs to be facing to the rear or away from the front logo on the motherboard tray. This is important because if it is installed incorrectly, then you will not be able to access the optical drive when the test bench is fully built. Once the optical tray is installed, flip the motherboard tray back over and it should look like the fourth picture below.
The main support is the body of the Spider test bench. This is what everything else will be connecting to, making the design complete. On each corner of the support tray is where the legs get attached, which we will look at in a bit. The main support is also where the power and reset buttons for the system are located. The wires from the support are the power switch, the reset switch, the power LED, and the HDD LED leads. These will be plugged into your motherboard for operation.
The motherboard tray is installed onto the support tray in one section only. On the front of the support tray, there are two tabs that hang down. Line up the two tabs on the motherboard tray (near the logo) with the two tabs on the support tray. There are two screws that go in on each side. One holds the motherboard tray in place and the other is adjustable, allowing more or less slope to the motherboard tray for a better look.
On the bottom of the support tray is where the cable management bracket goes. You can choose either of the slots for the cable support and press it in. The holes in the support tray are where you will route all of your cables through, keeping a neat appearance. Flip the connected chassis back over and we are ready to place the motherboard standoffs in and get ready for the motherboard. There are four standoffs in total to be installed for supporting the mini-ITX motherboard.
Now we have the body of the spider completed with the installation of the motherboard. Notice how little room there is with the board installed. A mini-ITX motherboard measures 6 1/2" on each side, so you can see how it fits perfectly into place. The back panel of the motherboard faces forward on the chassis allowing you quick access to the cables and panel if needed.
The motherboard sits in the open, which will use the ambient air to keep the components cool with no heat buildup. On the rear of the chassis under the board, you can see where the optical drive is at. This allows you access to it without being blocked by cables or other parts. One thing of note, is that with this test bench there are no support brackets for expansion cards, so installing a heavy graphics card might cause damage if it is knocked into or uneven in the socket. Lian Li states on their site that a graphics card is not supported.
With the body complete we can move on to the final leg assembly and see how this beauty comes alive.