I had previously, the MSI gaming 5, only had 6 SATA slots. The next model up was more expensive than the z97 mpower, so I went with that one. Had the 8 SATA slots I wanted. Another benefit is the m.2 port isn't directly under the first pci slot. Will be easy to install that, if I ever get one.
I got everything installed. I had to un-clip the bottom fan of the noctua to slide it next to the ram, as the clip added an extra centimeter of dimensions to the heatsink. It's pushing the ram to the side ever so slightly. I'm hoping that's not going to cause damage to the ram or the slot it's in. There's a constant pressure being applied.
I think the fan will be ok, it's not moving. I positioned the clip inside the fins against of piece of anti vibration rubber that was glued in there. Hopefully it doesn't move over time with repeated power ups. Can't really see under there once it's installed.
I love the case format for HTPC purposes, but I hate working inside it. There's tiny screws to hold everything in place. If I need to access one hard drive, I have to unscrew 4 screws to get the cage out. Then each hard drive is attached using more screws. Same with the OD drive bays. I was afraid my video card would prevent me from using the second hard drive cage, which I don't have in the pictures, but I think I might be able to get it in there, with the cables going the opposite direction.
I put my old video card back into the PC I was using before this. Kept the windows 7 hard drive and 2 other 3 tb with most of my media in there. I haven't decided how to handle this. The new pc is going to be on my wall with my projector screen. The desk for the old computer is on the adjacent wall with a door inbetween. I haven't figured out how to handle the wiring yet. I don't want it draped across the floor, in the doorway, as it is now.
Apparently the little usb 3 hub I bought is bad, or has a bad port somewhere. I plugged it in with a long cable, so I could have it on the desk, but win8 keeps making the noise of disconnected hardware. Took forever to find out it was the hub, it was, of course, the last thing I checked. Removed the hub and the noise stops.
Oh, here are the current contents:
MSI z97 mpower
Corsair vengeance 2x 8g
MSI GTX770 4g
Crucial mx100 512g
1 seagate 3tb
Liteon bluray drive
Lian-Li PC-C60a silver case
I don't typically OC, but I will delve into that with this system. I'm going to run a game or two first, to see how the thermals are in it's current state.
Edit: wouldn't you know it, the case, in black, comes in stock at newegg $20 cheaper at newegg once again. After months of out of stock.