Within one second of pressing the power button, smoke started pouring out of the top vents of the chassis, giving it the appearance of an oversized box-shaped boiling kettle. Our initial guesses as to the cause were the usual suspects; the power supply or the motherboard. To observe what was actually smoking, we opened up the chassis, laid it on its side, and turned it on. To our surprise, the smoke was emanating from just above the CD/DVD drive. We took out the CD/DVD drive and saw that the molex power connector to the front panel had caught fire, melted, started smoking, and charred the top of the CD/DVD drive.
We tested the power supply using a Thermaltake Dr Power II, and it passed all tests. The power supply also functioned flawlessly once removed from that chassis. It has been brought to our attention that there might have been Over Current Protection on the power supply, which might have caused the power supply to shut off before the wire caught fire. However, it is quite possible that the wire was not generating enough current to trip the OCP. Also, the question is academic, as there is no doubt the short was caused by the chassis, OCP would have only prevented the fire, not the short circuit. Our replacement chassis did not have any short circuit issues, thankfully.
The Stealth had one more major feature we have yet to discuss; the VGA Card Stabilizers. The case can fit a graphics card up to 310 mm. The stabilizers work by unscrewing a tension screw that holds the stabilizer in place. The stabilizer itself is a long bar that sticks out of the cage at the front of the chassis and is completely adjustable. We had an NVIDIA GTX 670 on hand, and installed that into the system. However, the maximum length of the stabilizer was short of reaching the card by quite a bit. The GTX 670 is 9.5” long, so it is possible that a card like the GTX 690 (11” long) or an HD 7970 (which is slightly over 11” long) would be able to take advantage of the stabilizer. However, for anything other than the highest end NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards, the stabilizers are useless.
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