We ran into another problem during Thunderbird testing that In-Win case owners interested in purchasing a Voodoo5 card should be aware of. Quite simply, the Voodoo5 5500 card initially wouldn't fit inside AMD's mid-tower case!
First off, lets get everything straight. The case the Thunderbird system was housed in was an In-Win S500 mid tower case. The case dimensions (taken straight from the In-Win page) are 420 mm * 198 mm * 465 mm (H*W*D) -- 16 1/2" * 7 3/4" * 18 5/16." No small case by any means.
What really makes this case appealing is the vent at the rear of the chassis, perfect for blowing cool air over the CPU and other system components. In fact, I just built a system with this case just a week before I visited AMD's offices to test their Thunderbird system!
As you can see in the pictures below, the Voodoo5 card was brushing up against the IBM hard drive and its cables, the card had to be slightly bent just to make basic contact with the AGP port.
The V5 card isn't quite
all the way in
Fortunately, the S500 case has a removable drive cage, once the cage was removed, Voodoo5 testing was completed without incident.
Everything's working fine now
Keep in mind that the AMD system contained two hard drives. The drive used for testing was the bottom hard drive, perhaps the card would have fit better if only one drive were used but removing the drive cage was the quickest solution to the problem.
In any cae, we wanted to alert our readers of this issue we encountered. We highly stress that you may or may not run into this problem with the Voodoo5 5500 and the S500 case, depending on your exact system configuration. If you do find that your Voodoo5 5500 card brushes up against your hard drive and its cables, keep in mind that 5 1/4" drive tray kits can be purchased for as little as four or five dollars.
Before we begin to discuss the numbers, we'd like to remind you that we don't consider our results to be final. For one thing, the motherboard used for our Thunderbird tests didn't contain any settings for adjusting parameters such as memory timings, AGP settings, and especially CPU settings.
We noticed that the motherboard used DIP switches but weren't told their exact function nor was the motherboard itself labeled with settings to adjust CPU parameters such as system bus and core voltage. (Both are parameters frequently adjusted via DIP switches)
Once we get a Thunderbird processor in our hands we'll test the processor with a more robust motherboard. We feel with a more tweakable motherboard, our results can only improve.