With an MSI ITX Z97 motherboard in place it looks a little bare and keeping with the budget theme I put in an XFX Radeon HD6870 as well as a BitFenix 650w power supply., but there were some obvious problems right off the bat. Firstly it was clear that for all the good planning that has gone on with the Nova, it didn’t excuse using such cheap, thin steel that bends if it’s sneezed on. Granted, that means that if you bend a corner you can bend it back with your fingers, but it would be better not to be flexible in the first place.
Another problem I came across was that once the GPU was fitted I couldn’t place the PCIe retention bracket back on as the one of the holding prongs was blocked by a pretty ordinary graphics card… this isn’t something I’ve ever experienced before. As you can see above, though, that mass of cables is nicely hidden behind the HDD stack without any effort involved, and so they won’t be visible through the window.
Around the back, there’s so little space between the backplate and the case panel that only a few cables can be routed without risking warping that thin steel, so although there are plenty of routing options most are left empty and will look rather obvious in a white case. On the bright side, we’re not lacking in cable placement with that gap beside the HDD stack housing the 24 pin cable. It also turns out that I chose the right cooler (Intel stock) since there is no way I could fit a backplate on without taking the motherboard off again.