Note: The TJ08-E User’s Manual goes into great detail about the size limitations for various components in the section towards the back titled "Component Size Limitations" (pg. 20-28); check it out if you are unsure if your hardware will fit.
It’s always nice to have a nice looking case that comes packed with features but what really counts is how well all the parts go together during assembly. In this section we are going to look at each of the major components and check on fit, alignment, clearances, cable routing, etc.
(MSI 785GM-E65, AMD Phenom II X4, 8GB SDRAM)
The TJ08-E incorporates a removable motherboard tray, which is a great feature in a small-tower case. Just remove three screws and the motherboard tray slips right out. There is a large cutout behind the CPU socket area and most of the threaded standoffs come pre-mounted. The case comes with a few extra threaded standoffs, which can be inserted in optional mounting hole locations if needed.
Once the motherboard, RAM modules, CPU cooler, and rear I/O plate are installed, the motherboard tray assembly can be mounted back into the case. I found the motherboard lined up perfectly once installed.
Many of the new Micro-ATX motherboards come with acceptable built in graphics adapters but if you choose to use a more powerful video card the TJ08-E enclosure can easily accommodate one. Even one of the longer 12"~13" video cards will fit as there is just over 13" between the rear expansion slot openings and the front intake fan. The video card I installed lined up perfectly with the dual expansion slot openings and had plenty of available cooling air. Note: Expansion cards are held in place with easy to reach screws and not some flimsy plastic quick-release clip.
The good folks at SilverStone sent along one of their top-of-the-line downdraft CPU coolers, the NT06-E, for us to try out during our review, but for all I really like the build quality, performance potential, and robust mount of the NT06-E cooler, I was not able to use it on this particular build. The MSI motherboard AMD socket AM3 mount only allows for two mounting positions. In one position the cooler’s heatpipes blocked the first two memory slots and in the second position it prevented installing the HDDs. However, it appears that SilverStone’s NT01-E tower cooler would be a better option for use with the TJ08-E case. But since I don’t have an NT01-E cooler to test I just installed a big tower style cooler instead (Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo), which is a full 6-1/2" tall and it still fit inside the TJ08-E enclosure just fine!
Bottom line, the TJ08-E enclosure provides a lot of room around the CPU socket area for a Micro-ATX case, which gives the end user a lot of options for selecting a cooler that will meet their particular needs. Note: The TJ08-E Manual goes into great detail about the acceptable size of CPU coolers in the section towards the back of the manual titled "Component Size Limitations" (pg. 20-28).