Removal of the front cover is accomplished by grabbing the bottom of the front panel using the handle shown and simply pulling it away from the case. Slight caution is recommended, as a sharp tug is actually required due to the snug fit of the panel to the steel. Once removed the top three drive bays can accept the 5¼" devices from the front by sliding in, lining up mounting holes, then locking using the screw-less brackets from the left side. Removal of the two lower drive cages, along with the two 12cm intake fans and filters, is easily performed by removing four screws at the corner of each assembly then pressing the two plastic tabs on either side inward while pulling the cage forward. Cleaning of the dual intake filters, just behind the screen covers and in front of each 12cm fan, is accomplished with the front panel removed as well. After installing the optical drive, card reader, then three hard drives distributed across the two drive cages and replacing the fan assemblies, the front panel popped back into the metal body perfectly snug.
Having preassembled the processor, CPU cooler and 4 ram modules to the motherboard outside the case, the motherboard was easy to place upon the mainboard tray standoffs due to the huge amount of working space within the Tempest EVO. At no time was the motherboard or any mounted component in danger of being bumped or scraped against the case edges or the back end of the hard drives. Clearance was 3.2cm from the top edge of the CPU cooler to the bottom of the dual 14cm fan housing and 6.7cm from the edge of the ATX motherboard to the back edge of the hard drives protruding from the drive cages.
The power supply was installed, fastened and then the two 23cm (9") long video cards were inserted and secured. Measured distance from the expansion slot openings to the rear of the protruding hard drive was just over 31.1cm (12¼") which should allow installation of Radeon 5970 or GTX 480 cards without removing either drive cage or repositioning hard drives. Hard drives can even be added to the build by sliding a drive with attached rails into the lower drive cage from inside the case, if a slot is visible, without removing any installed components. Most of the extraneous cabling was able to be kept to the bottom quarter of the case, close to the mainboard tray, out of the primary cooling airflow path.
With a few ties and a bit more time taken to carefully route the extra lengths of drive and fan connecting cables, nearly all the wires could be hidden in this space behind the mainboard tray. From this angle, four points of access are seen which should allow for relatively easy routing with cables of standard length. The sizable yet appropriately styled bulge in the steel cover panel on this side helps a great deal stowing away the stiff, thick cables such as these shown above. The only real disappointment is the lack of wiring holes which would allow us to better hide the drive cables behind the motherboard tray.
There was a time a few years ago that Hi-Fi/AMP like HTPC cases were everywhere. That has changed a bit in recent times due to some excellent m-ATX boards allowing builds in compact chassis however there is still something about the home theatre component style of design which can be appealing...