Like most compact cases, the Nebula features an extruded mount for graphics cards, which means the screw are located on the outer side of the chassis. The mount save a bit of room inside, so this approach is fairly common in small enclosures. The metal mount is removed prior to installation and screwed back in place once you get the card in there. Of course, you can choose not to use it at all.
We believe Xigmatek should have gone with a tool-less approach here, with proper screws that can be undone manually like on the Xigmatek Aquila chassis.
A dual slot graphics card will still have enough air, as there is about a centimetre of room between the card and the side panel.
The biggest problem is the activity LED housing, which wastes space and limits the length of dual-slot cards to 175mm. For example, the EVGA GTX 750 TI FTW is 228mm long and it could not be mounted until we disassembled the LED housing.
The housing itself is oversized, but luckily it is possible to remove the lid by undoing two screws. This will have no impact on the operation of the LEDs.
The cosmetic surgery was a success and it allowed us to install the EVGA card with room to spare.
Although there is enough room on either side of the card, we still think it is a good idea to choose a blower-style card.
Then we started to push our luck with the HFA2 GTX 780Ti Hall Of Fame. This triple-slot card proved too long for the Nebula, but at least it was not too wide.
The memory modules can be installed through the right panel. Of course, there is not a whole lot of room to play around with, so bear that in mind.
Sadly, neat cable management is not one of Nebula's selling points. It takes a lot of time and effort to arrange all the cables and a modular PSU comes in very handy indeed.
However, at the end of the day the Xigmatek Nebula is still a very attractive chassis with a couple of minor shortcomings that won't affect users who don't tinker with their rigs on a frequent basis.
The build quality is great and the included exhaust fan is very quiet. As far as cooling performance goes, the chassis can heat up due to its limited volume, but for most configurations this should not be an issue. It is easy to remove a side panel during extended gaming sessions and let's not forget that it is possible to install a compact water cooling system, too.