A complete HTPC was installed in the HD160XT to test the ease of installation and see how well the Zalman ventilation system could keep all the internal bits cool.  The following components were used in the build. 


    • Zalman ZM600-HP Heat pipe cooled PSU
    • Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard
    • Intel P4 @ 2.8 GHz with Zalman CNPS7700-Cu HSF
    • (2) Corsair CM2X512-8000UL DDR2
    • ATI X1600 Pro
    • ATI HDTV Wonder tuner card
    • Western Digital WD1200JD HDD
    • Sony 16X DVD
    • Windows XP Pro with SP2

Power Supply


Installing the ZM600-HP power supply was simple and straightforward.  Zalman’s ZM-600HP is an excellent PSU that features stable outputs, high efficiency, and quiet operation (read our review).  There is plenty of room behind the power supply for all the wires and cables.


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In theory, the ZM600-HP power supply can be mounted with the large, bottom intake fan either facing into the case, or facing to the outside.  In reality, the HD160XT PSU mounting holes prefer positioning the fan to the outside.  When the fan is facing in, the power supply will assist the case fans with exhausting warm air out of the case and slightly enhance overall case cooling.  This can potentially make the power supply fan run a little faster and generate more noise.  Positioning the PSU so the fan is to the outside, draws cool air directly into the power supply for the quietest operation.


HDD Installation


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(Courtesy Zalman-USA)


The HD160XT enclosure can mount up to five 3.5′ internal drives; four in the removable HDD drive bay and one below the optical drive.  Unless you really need five HDDs, I recommend leaving the 3.5′ bay in the ODD cage empty, which will make routing and concealing wires a little easier.


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For my purposes, three HDDs are ideal — one fast HDD for the OS and two large HDDs in a RAID array for storage.  Each 3.5′ HDD mounts into the HDD cage with four shoulder screws, which go thru rubber grommets to minimize vibration induced noise.


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Optical Drive


A single 5.25′ ODD bay is provided to mount an optical drive of your choice.  The HD160XT comes with an aluminum trim piece that is designed to fit on the front of an optical drive tray with double-sided tape.


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To install the trim piece you must first remove the plastic front (most just snap on or off) and then mount the drive into the 5.25′ bay.  Position the drive so it just makes contact with the drive eject button, but still leaves room for the button to work.  Remove the backing from the double-sided tape and insert the trim piece thru the front opening and press against the drive tray to attach. 


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