High Speed PC Top Deck Tech Station
|High Speed PC Top Deck Tech Station|
|Assembly, Installation and Usage|
If you are a hardware enthusiast, gamer or hardware analyst, you know how much of a pain it can be to constantly take things in and out of your case. While a case offers a safe home for your hardware, removing a motherboard from the tray each time you want to try out a new HSF, install a new waterblock or even replace your CPU can be a pain in the neck if you do it often. I've actually worn out a couple of cases over the years from all the screwing and unscrewing of the PCI devices. We have the High Speed PC Top Deck Tech Station on our bench today and will find out if this product will replace your test rig case, or if it's better left in the store. This product is not new, but I believe it deserves some consideration as a case replacement alternative for the hardware guru.
Small Shipping Size:
Because the HSPC Tech Station is a build-your-own kit, it comes is a fairly small box. This allows for cheaper shipping rates based on size, but not necessarily on weight. This thing is pretty heavy as it is well designed and well made. On earlier models, the "ATX Control Kit" was optional, but on the unit we received, it was included in the box. The ATX Control Kit consists of power and reset buttons, HDD and Power LED's and a speaker.
Everything is packed pretty well, and the entire bundle of contests is wrapped in a bubble-wrap bag. Between the two platforms there is also a neoprene pad to prevent abrasions that is also used as a non-slip pad once the unit is installed.
Included in the package is everything you need to get up and running - including some well written instructions. Without them, assembly would take much longer. High Speed PC has included a quiet 120mm fan and fan guard that is positioned strategically for cooling RAM, bottom mounted Hard Drives and even blows air across some motherboard components. You should have no cooling issues with this setup.
Tech Station Includes:
- Two tier work bench
- PCIe/AGP/PCI/ISA card brace with thumb screws
- HDD Rails for storage/cooling for two hard drives
- Secure rubberized motherboard standoff system
- 120mm fan: HDD and motherboard cooling
- Neoprene mat for non-slip lower bench surface.
- Assembly & usage details
- ATX Control Kit:
- Mini on/off & reset switches
- Power & HDD LED's
- System speaker
Before we get into assembly and usage let's take a look at some highlights according to High Speed PC.
A good home for your hardware: Based on ATX form factor motherboard specifications providing a full 13x13” of surface area for total accommodation of all motherboards from micro ATX to large extended ATX (server) motherboards. The motherboard is perfectly secure on the upper shelf with a high friction rubberized standoff system that supports the motherboard 1/4" off the bench surface (accommodates CPU cooler back plates and increases air circulation). Nylon guide posts position the motherboard perfectly on the Tech Station. AGP/PCI cards are securely locked in place with thumbscrews so the motherboard is safe yet available for hands-on work and is easily removed.
Hard Drive Storage/Cooling Rail System: Slide the HDD's in/out on smooth non-conductive acrylic rails. Two standard 3.5" hard drives can be easily inserted, protected and cooled by rails suspended under the top shelf. One end of the HDD Rails open to catch air from the 120mm cooling fan, a nylon stopper keeps the drive from making contact with the fan. The Large model can support an optional second set of HDD Rails to hold a total of four hard drives!
No loose AGP/PCI add-in cards! The AGP/PCI support brace solves the problem of loose motherboard add-in cards, loose cards can damage circuitry. The brace offers universal support for all add-in cards - blocking no cables or connections, and has some lateral flexibility to make adding/removing cards easy. Nylon thumb screws twist into the top of the brace and are positioned at ATX form factor spec locations so the AGP card and six PCI cards can be locked in place. The support brace can also be removed, flipped over and turned to support BTX form factor.
Bottom shelf, load it up: The lower shelf is for stacking the drives and power supply. Includes a neoprene mat to make the entire shelf a non-slip and non-conductive work surface. There is plenty of real estate here to hold optical, extra hard disks and floppy drives.
Power the PC On/Off and monitor HDD activity: Plugging directly onto the motherboard, The ATX Control Kit takes the place of the computer case power and reset switches, power and hard disk drive activity lights, and system warning speaker so that PC hardware can operate totally independent of a standard computer case.
Non-conductive materials: The Tech Station is made of non-electrically conductive, scratch-resistant, high grade polymers. (The bench can hold over 150 lbs!) Metal screws and brackets are not exposed in sensitive areas, the motherboard rests on protective rubber standoffs, the lower shelf has a non-slip neoprene work mat, and the test bench sits on non-slip thermoplastic rubber feet. No worries of frying your hardware like with a metal bench.
Keep things cool: A 120mm 12v fan positioned on the left side forcing air over heat sensitive components on the motherboard and the Hard Disk Drive(s) mounted under the top shelf. A finger guard is included but the fan can accommodate one on both sides.
Lots of room to work: With the motherboard on the top shelf there are no height restrictions for CPU heatsinks and all the motherboard components can be changed very easily! The height between shelves is 7” offering enough room for all your optical drives, power supply, and even more hard drives if needed.