The Case, Power Supply Unit (PSU), and Mounting

Okay, now with the advisories out of the way, let's move on to the proper preparation and installation of the case and motherboard.

The A7N8X is an ATX style motherboard - make sure your case of choice supports this size of motherboard. This motherboard, because of all the extra on-board options and power requirements of modern graphics cards requires an appropriate power supply to ensure correct operation and safety. Generally, AMD recommends a UL-rated name brand 350 watt (minimum), ASUS recommends a 230 to 300 watt. or better PSU. I personally feel that a 370 watt or better PSU is required.

Most ATX Mid- to Full-tower cases have nine or ten stand-offs that hold the motherboard onto the case. Many motherboards use ten - the A7N8X uses only NINE. I mention this because, if you do not check the stand-offs on the case, you can possibly damage your new motherboard with the "tenth" unused stand-off. Make sure to check this and remove the stand-off(s) that is/are not necessary.

As for the stand-offs themselves, most cases come with a hardware package that has many screws, washers, stand-offs, etc. Please make sure to use the insulator washers (usually reddish in color) between the stand-off to motherboard and attaching screw to motherboard for proper insulation. Some users have reported that they do not have enough washers or that the washers supplied with their case are not adequate - you may wish to purchase additional washers from your local PC supply house or head down to ACE hardware and pick up 18-20 suitable plastic washers.

Those with plastic retainers with push-in clips used for their case will not have to worry about this step, as the plastic acts as its own insulator. The only concern is correct placement of the clips.

At this point, you'll want to verify your power supply has the correct connectors to use with your motherboard power connection. Now, at this point, the installation path changes. If you're upgrading from an old motherboard, I would strongly suggest you take the case down to its bare configuration, except the power supply. If this is a new case, then all you need to do is install your power supply (if it was not already installed).

Now, carefully compare the mounting holes on your motherboard to your case, mark the locations on the case side with a magic marker and install the stand-offs as previously described. Now you're ready for a test fit. Verify that all is OK and then install the mounting screws - do not forget your insulator washers. The mounting screws must be affixed tightly but not overly so. Make sure to follow the supplied wiring diagram for the power button, and add on peripherals as described within the motherboard manual.

Case fans should pull air flow in from the front, and exhaust air flow from the rear, the top fan (if any) should exhaust air flow out of the case, the side fan (if any) should draw air flow in to the case. It is highly recommended that at least one front and one rear case fan be implemented for proper air flow though the case, more fans add more air flow and better cooling potential, but additional noise.