Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid - Installation - Waterblock, Hardware and More!

Article Index
Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid
3D Mercury - It is What is Inside That Cools!
Cooling System Closeup and Full Specs
Installation - Getting Started With The Merc
Installation - Waterblock, Hardware and More!
3D Merc. - Add Water, Test Setup and Info.
3D Mercury - Q6600 Overclocking and Conclusion

Installation - Carrying On:

After the board was strapped down, I panicked for a second as I remember the back stiffener plate was stuck to the back of the board.  I've seen many situations where the adhesive started to give out and the plate moved.  Thankfully, the adhesive was holding strong and all of the bolt holes were lined up with the holes in the motherboard.  I positioned the water block so there was little stress on the hoses and started to strap it down with the provided spring screws and proceeded to tighten them.  I checked the documentation to find out how tight to turn the screws - I was unsure if I was to bottom them out on the motherboard, or just provide "good" tension on the springs.  I consulted the guide and the manual, and the best I could come up with was "Secure the water block onto the motherboard with the attached spring screws."  Basically, I have no idea.  In the end, I tightened the screws unit the flat base came in contact with the board.  Because of the rear stiffener plate, the board won't flex and there will be adequate pressure for sure. 

 CPU Block Installed
CPU Block Installed
MOSFET Fan Installed
MOSFET Fan Installed

 

The MOSFET fan is optional to install, but if you plan on doing any overclocking, or if you are going to using a hot graphics card or two, additional airflow over the MOSFETs is always a good idea.  This fan is very quiet and moves some air over the northbridge chipset as well as causes a little breeze to blow on the RAM.  If you are going for a totally silent PC, you may want to put this on a fan controller, or skip it altogether.  I installed it though as the 975X MOSFETs get toasty warm when overclocking a Quad Core CPU.

Next up, I started running the front I/O cables (USB, Firewire, Audio) and discovered that the Firewire cable is a wee bit too short to reach the back corner of the board.  Many motherboards have the Firewire located farther ahead and this wouldn't be an issue, but it wouldn't reach in our system - until we re-routed the cabling from the front I/O.  This should not be required and Gigabyte should use a cable that would reach to every corner of the case.  In case you're wondering, that "girly" looking hand is not mine.  I borrowed it from my wife.

 Short Firewire
Short Firewire

 

Another thing that Gigabyte has done right on this case is expansion card and drive installation.  Some company's execution of tool-less expansion card installation is hit and miss, and often the cards are not secured very tightly.  In other cases, like on the Thermaltake Swing case, two-slot graphics cards don't work well if the bracket is one-piece.  The Gigabyte 3D Mercury Pro holds all the cards tightly and installation is super easy.  The entire bracket swings away and clips back into place to securely hold all of your expansion cards.  Even a heavy card like the Crucial X1900XTX is held tightly by the Mercury.

Tool-less PCI Bracket
Tool-less PCI Bracket

 

Next up we installed a couple of drives for this review and dropped in a LG 20x DVDRW drive - the GSA-H55N.  Installing this drive was an actual pleasure and required removing the front 5.25" cover and sliding the drive in the empty bay.  Then, you just push the clip forward and you're done.  Really.  I've never used a tool-less design this slick before.  Most tool-less designs require you attach rails and/or flip locks on both sides of the drive.  Although the device is only held on one side, the drive feels very secure and doesn't wiggle around at all.

 Tool-less Drive Installation
Tool-less Drive Installation
Hard Drive Installation
Hard Drive Installation

 

Hard drive installation requires using rails, but they are simple, sturdy and slide right in with no issues whatsoever.  There is no right or left - they are all the same.  Once they are attached to the drive through its screw mounting holes, it slides in and clips into place.  To remove the drive you much squeeze the protruding ends of the rails and pull it out.  Because the HDD rack is so solid, there is no play in this mounting method.