Building the HTPC
Building a system with a thin mini-ITX motherboard in this enclosure couldn't be easier. The upper case is removed with two screws on each side of the bottom, and the interior layout is very straightforward.
The motherboard installs in seconds onto the pre-mounted standoffs, but all components should be installed on the thin mini-ITX board before this stage.
Which brings us to the biggest (or possibly smallest) issue with a case that measures only 40mm high from the base. With the motherboard installed there is only 23mm of vertical space for a heatsink. Additionally, no expansion cards can be installed without a 90-degree adapter, which is available separately.
To make things simpler, P.H.T. sent along their own low-profile CPU cooler and a 90-degree PCIe adapter, both of which are offered for purchase on their site.
If your motherboard supports it, an adapter like this allows for an expansion card up to PCIe x4
I didn't install any expansion cards but I used the cooler for the build as well as all temperature and noise testing.
The extremely low-profile PHT HSF cooler installed
With CPU, cooler, memory, and an mSATA SSD installed on the motherboard this build is nearly finished already!
All that remains is the optional installation of additional drives. This model (T-ITX-6) allows for up to three 3.5 hard drives (or two with ODD bracket installed), which mount to standoffs and attach to the bottom of the enclosure. I installed two drives as I wanted to installed an optical drive as well. The optical drive attaches easily to the included bracket, which doubles as a 2.5" SSD mount if desired.
The optical drive bracket can also support a 2.5" drive, mounted below
Next I installed a pair of hard drives. One of the advantages of the width of this enclosure is space for 3.5" drives, and I took full advantage with 8TB of total storage with a drive on each side of the chassis.
Drives are mounted on standoffs and secured with 4 screws each
After installing power and data cables the build is nearly finished.
The final step is reattaching the upper chassis, which is vented above the motherboard to allow for better cooling.
Now we're ready for some testing!