After a quick browse through the instructions on the Mountain Mods website (here
) and after a lot of head scratching, I finally figured out which bit goes where and with what screws. I started my mission by making the removable motherboard tray first which was pretty straightforward with the hardest task finding a small Allen Key to use for the cap head screws. With the tray assembled, I then slotted the tray into the rear panel and attached it using 8 screws. For purposes of quick removal, I would have preferred to use thumb screws for this area as screwing and unscrewing this panel will no doubt become tedious after a few occasions.
Next up came the fitment of the front panel power and reset switches along with the corresponding LED's. This is easily done by threading the units into the front panel and fastening the nut behind. The LED's are very bright blue in colour which again, can be relatively easily swapped out should you decide they do not fit in with your plans.
The 5.25 bays are assembled to the front panel through the corresponding slots and then the drive bay holding plates are then screwed to the units with counter sunk screws. Because of the size of the case I chose, a maximum of six slots can be utilised but should I have opted for the standard front panel, this would have allowed a further four drive bays to be used. As I have more need for cooling than drive bays, I went for the additional radiator option rather than the extra four drive bays as I simply do not have the components to fill 10 drive bays. One disappointing aspect of the drive bay area however, is that there were no blanking plates included. While these can be purchased separately, it would have been nice to have a couple included should you not have the means of filling up the bays rather than be left with gaping holes in the front of your case.
For attaching the hard drive plates you will need a fan (not included) as the hard drive plates attach to the fan, which then obviously attaches to one of the many spare fan holes. This simple method of attaching hard drives to the case has a two fold benefit. Firstly at all ow you to fit the hard drives pretty much anywhere you choose. Secondly, because the hard drive is attached to a fan the drives will be kept nice and cool when in operation. Unfortunately, the plates were not packed with this case (an oversight on Mountain mods part) so luckily I had a spare set from a previous build lying around. Rest assured though, 4 plates that will house up to six hard drives are included as standard. If you have more than 6 hard drives then you can purchase more plates separately should you require them.
To support the motherboard tray a 'C' shaped bracket is included. This is one part of building up the case that threw up more questions than answers. No matter how I orientated the panel it just looked out of place. It wasn't until I realised that the tray just sits on the bracket and the screw holes at the end of the motherboard tray were not for the bracket that I felt confident I had gotten it right. I do however believe this is not a very good design and indeed it's an opportunity missed as the bracket would be better fixed to the tray rather than just balancing like it does. The reason for the holes at the end of the motherboard are for fixing the motherboard horizontal rather than vertical which is great as it's modular but unsightly when not used in that configuration. Another problem the bracket causes is the issue of the side window. It sits perpendicular to the window blocking the view which is less than ideal. This is something I'm sure Mountain Mods will rectify in future revisions.
With the internals now assembled, it was time to put the finishing touches to the case by attaching the panels. This is done by using a combination of counter sunk and button head screws. Once the side panels are attached to each other via lips on the front and back panels, a cross member can be attached to each side along the top of the case which allows the top panel to be fitted with button head screws. Halfway through screwing it all together I dreaded coming to fit the top panel as I envisioned a trapezium like shape would greet me. My fears however, were unfounded with everything slotting into place perfectly, not too tight, not to slack. Here's a quick hint though, do not screw all the panels down until you have it correctly in place!
Remember how I said Mountain Mods also offer an engraving service? Below left is the image I sent to them and asked if they could engrave that. I didn't expect them to be able to do it as engravers normally like to use a black/white simple image with no shading. However, as you can see, Mountain Mods did an amazing job of engraving both side panels with the Angel picture. This was done by the use of a 40w Laser engraver which can engrave images up to 1500 DPI. All the window panels were also cut by the same machine ensuring precise cuts are achieved.
So with the panels attached, the case is complete. It's certainly not what I would call gorgeous, more awe inspiring than pretty. It's not designed to be pretty to be fair though. You have to appreciate that this case puts function over everything else. No other case that I know of will fit FOUR Thermochill PA120.3's without any modding. Do you really need that amount of cooling? Well in most cases no, but then this is not about 'need', it's about 'want', it's about a case that can take anything you choose to install, it's taking things to the extreme. If you can see past the ugly gaping holes waiting to be filled, you will see that the Ascension is a PC case like no other. It's the ultimate platform from which to launch a very special personal computer build.