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.