Installing the Components and Full System Build

Drive Mounting

Hard drives, both of the 3.5" HDD variety and the 2.5" SSD variety, mount directly to the surface of the middle tray. SSD drives are mounted using the inner mount rails. HDD drives are mounted using the middle mount rails. In either case, the drives sit on top of the middle tray with screws mounted through the bottom of the tray. Both the PSU and 5.25" device bay screw into the outer mount rails, allowing for mounting of HDD or SSD drives above the cages without one mount interfering with the other. Drives can be mounted in any of the four quadrants on the middle tray.

Motherboard Mounting

With an ATX motherboard mounted to the test bench, cable pass-throughs along both sides of the board as well as the bottom pass-through remain usable. The board itself sits elevated over the tray surface, resting on the nylon threaded uprights.

Installing a video card into the board is as simple as plugging it into the board's PCIe slot. As long as the PCIe backplate was adjusted correctly, the card's back panel can be fixed to the PCIe backplate using the supplied thumbscrews.

With an mITX board installed in the test bench, all cable pass-throughs are usable – three to the left of the board, one to the right, and three directly below the board. With a video card installed into the board, only two of the pass-throughs are usable (the one directly to the left of the board is blocked by the video card cooler).

PSU Mounting

The PSU is mounted to the bottom of the middle tray using the two provided brackets. It can be mounted in any of the four quadrants of the middle tray using the outer mounting rails. It is shown mounted in the back right section of the test bench. To mount, first attach the rear bracket to the back of the PSU, making sure to orient the PSU fan-side down. Loosely mount the front bracket to the middle tray, and then mount the rear bracket while supporting the PSU. Slide the front bracket over the PSU so that it is supported by the lip of the bracket and tighten to secure the PSU in place.

Radiator Mounting

The test bench's rear panel allows for internal or external mounting of a radiator with mounting holes provided for both 120mm and 140mm sized fans and radiators.

Internally mounting a 360mm radiator is easy, simply mount the radiator using screws through the back of the rear panel. As shown, a 25mm thick radiator easily fits along the inside of the panel with more than sufficient room provided behind it for intake fans and tube routing as well. When mounting the radiator, make sure to face the inlet and outlet ports towards the inside of the bench, to prevent blocking of ports by the rear panel surface.

Mounting the 360mm radiator externally is just as easy, using screws through the inside of the rear penal to hold it in place. While external mounting does increase the external footprint of the test bench, it opens an abundance of usable space internally for the test bench. Make sure to be mindful of the radiator port location because the rear panel surface can block internally facing ports.

In its optimal state, the internally mounted 360mm radiator with push-pull fans, six total, fits into the allocated space without issue. The outer set of fans stick out slightly passed the rear panel's surface, but do not appreciably add to the test bench's size or bulk. The internal mounted fans also do not stick out very far into the test bench's interior, leaving plenty of room for tube routing and component mounting (as you'll see below with the full system pics). Further, inner mounted fans pulling air through the radiator act as a cooling source for any HDDs or SSDs mounted to the middle tray surface and a secondary cooling path for the motherboard mounted to the tray sitting on top of the radiator/fan assembly.

Full System Build

In the full system build using the Praxis WetBench test bench, we chose a design that allows for easy removal of the motherboard tray from the base structure with minimal hassle (more on that in a bit). The motherboard tray itself provide an immense amount of cable routing opportunities along both sides of the motherboard and along the bottom of the tray. The provided pic, you can see the motherboard ATX power connector, the drive cables, and the PCIe power cables routed through the bottom pass-through. And you can route the ATX12V cables through the right side pass-through for easy access to the CPU power ports. In the lower right corner of the tray is the CPU waterblock inlet valve with a mounted interface allowing for easy transition for the tubing coming from underneath the board.

We used Koolance quick connect barbs mounted to points beneath the motherboard tray and along the side of the test bench to be able to easily isolate the motherboard tray liquid paths from the rest of the system (which is mounted directly to the under-structure). The quick connect barb is located underneath the board, connected to a revolving 90 degree barb for easy cable routing to the tubing coming from the radiator. Further, the 90 degree barb keeps the tubing well above and out of the way of surface-mounted drives.

Removing the motherboard tray exposes the "guts" of the system. The storage HDD and O/S SSD are surface mounted above the under-tray components. The top port (inlet) on the radiator comes from the side mounted XSPC 170mm Photon reservoir, with the bottom port (outlet) routed to a female quick connect barb. This quick connect attaches to the male quick connect barb on the underside of the motherboard tray. The simplicity of this design comes through in the easy with which you can connect and disconnect this tubing union – you simple ready through the hole in the side panel and pop the female connector off. The outlet from the CPU waterblock routes through another quick connect junction, directly into the inlet port of the underside reservoir. In between the two surface mounted drives is an eight-port Swiftech PWM fan controller, within easy reach of all the rear-mounted fans on the radiator.

From the lower view, you can better see the innovative methods used for mounting the 5.25" device bay and the XSPC Photon reservoir. The reservoir is mounted horizontally along the right side panel using a combination of mounting screws and double-side tape to secure it firmly in place. The top cap of the reservoir can be removed for easy filling and draining. Mounting the 5.15" device bay was a bit trickier because of space constraints imposed by the PSU mounted directly behind it. To ensure sufficient room for the PSU cables and the optical drive cables, the device bay was mounted flush with the front lip of the middle tray, using two screws in the top back of the tray and double-sided tape along its mounting lip to hold the cage securely in place. The mount is tight, but there is more than enough room to accommodate both components.

From the side view, you can better see the mounting mechanism for the XSPC Photon reservoir and the quick connect feeding the reservoir inlet. The reservoir is mounted with two screws/washers at its upper mount points in conjunction with double-sides tape along its lower portion. We could have drilled holes for the lower mount points, but have found double-sided tape to be strong enough based on past builds. The quick connect barb in the upper right of the side panel is mounted to a 90 degree revolving barb so that the the tubing connection adds minimal width to the test bench real estate. The side view also give a better picture of the inlet quick connect barb and how easy it is to interact with.

The rear view of the system build gives a good look at the PSU, reservoir, and outer fan mounting. Three fans are mounted in a pull configuration to the radiator with their power leads routed to the inside of the test bench. The reservoir sits along the right side of the bench, tilted slightly to force liquid into the pump at its bottom. The PSU sits in its own mount cage along the bottom left of the bench, oriented so that its wall power connection and on/off switch face the case rear. All cables were routed from the bottom into the center cavity to keep them out from underside mounted components.

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