Here we go with another rebuild of my inventory, this time into the Apevia X-QPACK3 case. Got the whole set of slick teflon cables installed in this one (pics to come), and a 5" bay for my CD/DVD drive since it's apparently tough for me to live without.
Temps have been way better since the rebuild, though I think much of that credit has to go to the thermal paste. The paste that came with the Zalman cooler didn't spread as much as I was expecting, and barely half the CPU was in contact with it. Fixed that on this install by going back to the Cooler Master grease from my 212 EVO.
Most of the parts are the same as Heliotrope v.2: Lyra.
Case: The Apevia case was overall very nice to work in. It had a couple of installation foibles. First off it says if you want to take the mesh off the front, just pull from the right location. I've included a pic of the front detached. It's held on by little spring pins like drywall screws (what are these called?), and I'm fairly certain that if I'd pulled it off as the manual instructs, the front mesh would have been bent. It's easier to use a pair of pliers to pinch the pins from behind. Second foible was the front doesn't actually open all the way down to rest on the table completely out of the way, it hangs on its hinge there. I ended up propping it against the box. Power LED on the top, as others have mentioned, is VERY bright. I don't mind, it shines straight up to make a blue circle on the ceiling and doesn't bother me. Power button makes a satisfying click. All in all the case seems a bit flimsy when open and solid when it's all reattached. Best features of this case, to me, are the windows on both sides, easy hard drive trays, filter mesh for the fans, and 5" bay. Double plus good, would build again.
The huge Zalman cooler does fit into this case. I'm still getting a compatibility error here, likely since the case doesn't provide a measurement for cooler clearance.
If I did this build again I'd aim for an ITX board or one that doesn't have all the little header connectors in their messy multicolored glory right in front of the main window. Also, with a USB3.0 front connector header somewhere that's NOT impossible to get my hand into.
Edit: More pics added 2016/07/01.
Included a pic of a funny vent on the back of the case beside the PSU, not sure what this is intended for though I guess you could add an 80mm fan there? Anyone know? It has brackets to fit something square.
Second set of RAM are causing problems so I left them out of the final build.
Thanks for your comments PCPP community! Without you I likely never would have got into building.
Changes to come: Looking back at this rig to take pics, I now really want to re-route the wires through the HD trays to leave another one open. I've also got to do something with the CPU cooler wires and the ones coming from the front fan controller. Always more projects...
Good board, easy to navigate BIOS, weird locations for some of the smaller headers.
Love this case.
Pros: Opens right up for easy building. Double windows! Comes in a bunch of colours, very cheap ($60 ish). Tall feet keep it up out of the dust. Mesh on bottom, top, and front intakes for dust. Fits huge air coolers.
Cons: Took off one star for somewhat cheap materials. Side windows scratch easily, and case feels flimsy when it's all opened up so you have to be careful. Outer mesh panels are easily dented/warpable too, can't wrench on them too hard when you pop them off to work inside.
TL;DR: Sexy easy case, would build again.
Five stars purely for longevity. I think this thing is going on 15 years with never a hiccup. Still clicks cleanly and tracks accurately. Lost its gliding feet somewhere along the way.