Interior and Build Notes
The side panels of the Nova TG are easily removed, with four thumbscrews securing the glass panel and another two thumbscrews holding the rear side panel in place. And now we have our first proper look inside the component chamber:
In reviewing cases for the past few years I have seen an ever-growing trend towards the reduction in storage drive support, and the resultant “open” internal layout so common to mid-tower ATX designs today. This Nova case, on the other hand, is something of a throwback as we will see. It is kind of a refreshing change for me, but maybe I’m sentimental; in either case, this design has what some users demand from a new case in 2018: actual support for the stuff we’ve had in our computers for the last 10 years!
Hard drive support is good, but I'd love to see a fourth 3.5-inch tray. Three hard drives and three SSDs (or 2.5-inch hard drives) is good, but I feel like there is space for another hard drive here.
Towards the rear of the case we have a 120 mm exhaust fan (with red LED lighting), and something below that fan that screams 1990s – but this time not in a good way:
You might have spotted the punch-out expansion covers, and once they are punched out, there is no way to cover those slots without finding some spare covers (none are included). This was my biggest problem with the case, but as I only needed two slots for my video card, it was just fine for this build – though I'd have to look for some matching slot covers if this became my primary case. Oh well, some things have to give to reach the sub-$60 retail.
The glory of a 5.25-inch optical drive!
Optical drive support is another selling point, and this option is increasingly rare these days – though 5.25-inch SATA optical drives are of course still available from all computer parts retailers (you just wouldn't know it by looking at the design of most computer cases today). Don’t expect compatibility with older (long) optical drives, but anything of the shallower depth found on drives of the past decade and a half or so should work perfectly, and installation was a snap (literally, the tool-free mount uses a snap-in bracket for the sides of the drive).
The build process itself was quite smooth, and while the ATX motherboard does get quite close to the top of the power supply, it’s still a proper fit.
Next, we have a quick look at the slide-out plastic trays for both 3.5 and 2.5-inch drives in action. The trays themselves aren’t going to blow you away, but they are tool-free, and they seem pretty durable.
On the next page, we'll see the finished build and then check out thermals and noise from the Nova TG.