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POLL: Which HTPC case do you find more attractive?

Last response: in Components
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Which case do you like better?

Total: 37 votes (7 blank votes)

  • Antec Fusion Black
  • 27 %
  • Thermaltake DH101
  • 74 %
March 13, 2008 1:51:08 AM

Based on looks alone, which case do you find more attractive and would be more welcome along with your other AV gear?
Keep in mind, that although you cannot see the LCD on the first one, it is indeed the same as the other one.

Antec Fusion Black


Thermaltake DH101
March 13, 2008 1:59:48 AM

I voted the Thermaltake. The Brushed AL on the front looks better than matte plastic or metal.
March 13, 2008 2:02:00 AM

I'm pretty sure it's brushed as well. Perhaps that angle isn't the best.
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March 13, 2008 2:08:37 AM

OK, well either way I think the Thermaltake still gets my vote.
a b ) Power supply
March 13, 2008 12:16:22 PM

Both of the above are very nice cases. I like the Thermaltake because it hides the front USB & audio hookups. That makes it less obvious that its a PC in the living room. Also, I like the two-tone aluminum which would match either black or silver AV gear. Plus, the Fusion cases have become the typical case to use in HTPC builds it seems, and I like things that stray from the ordinary.

I wish my Soundgraph front panel had the black background with blue lettering like the picture shows. My case has the opposite: blue background with black letters and I think it's too bright.
March 13, 2008 12:19:59 PM

Which case do you have? Maybe we could trade Soundgraph displays if I order the TT case?
a b ) Power supply
March 13, 2008 12:30:50 PM

I have the Moneual Moncaso 832P:



According to Soundgraph's website, they have all sorts of different combinations for LCD displays that are available for OEM. The website doesn't give any purchasing info though. I guess you have to contact their sales dept.
March 13, 2008 12:47:01 PM

^ That would have been my first choice in the sub $300 range, but I can't justify an added $100 above the Tt case. Too bad about the LCD though. I've heard about poor legibility regarding Antec's LCD too. Do you find air flow in the Moncaso to be adequate with the supplied fans?
March 13, 2008 12:48:35 PM

Have you looked at silverstone's offerings?
March 13, 2008 12:56:48 PM

That Silverstone is a very nice case. It carries $100 premium over the ones above though, unfortunately - something I can't justify on a case alone.
March 13, 2008 1:09:42 PM

How about ditching the VFD. This is what I rock at home, I spent under $120 on it:

Otherwise do the Antec. What is the price range anyway? Does the antec fit full ATX. IIRC i didn't get it because it was mATX or used half height PCI cards.
March 13, 2008 1:39:55 PM

Antec, no questions. 2 120mm fans right by the CPU zone, that's a no brainer. (I am a bit bias since I own an Antec NSK2480 case, same without the VFD and IrDA). It's cooling is awesome and [near] silent when you set the tri-cool fans to low. Additionally, it comes with a very respectable Earthwatts 430, whereas the TT comes sans-PSU and costs more.

The LC17 is also a good case. My brother owns one and is very pleased with it, however it does not included the pretty stuff (namely display) the other two mentioned do, but is considerably cheaper.
March 13, 2008 1:42:53 PM

The advanced cooling properties and silent operation make my antec a winner. I can barely hear the zalman video card cooler in it.
March 13, 2008 1:44:39 PM

cyborg28 said:
What is the price range anyway? Does the antec fit full ATX. IIRC i didn't get it because it was mATX or used half height PCI cards.

Antec - ~$200
TT - ~$240

Yes, the Antec only supports mATX (with full-height expansion slots), but if it's going to be an HTPC do you really need a full ATX MB? (unless of course you just need to house an existing system which is ATX)
March 13, 2008 2:09:13 PM

KyleSTL said:
(I)f it's going to be an HTPC do you really need a full ATX MB? (unless of course you just need to house an existing system which is ATX)


In My case yes:
Asus P5K, Old mobo didn't have enough slots & space for Radeon HD2600XT, Wifi Card (no ethernet in livingroom), & TV Tuner, both existing PCI cards. PCI slots blocked space for cooling on HD2600. Modern mATX have 1, maybe 2 PCI slots. And PCI-e is still sadly underutilized (slowly starting to change). I still want to add a PCIe TV Wonder 650 Pro Dual Tuner HD combo card.

Although the new amd solutions with HD3200 graphics on board would make me think about going mATX.

Antec Fusion Black + AMD 780G (w/ HD3200) + Athlon64 X2 4850e & Giant passive cooler FTW.

http://www.hothardware.com/articles/AMD_780G_Chipset_an...
March 13, 2008 2:21:07 PM

cyborg28 said:
Antec Fusion Black + AMD 780G (w/ HD3200) + Athlon64 X2 4850e & Giant passive cooler FTW.

I totally agree. I would be remissed to not mention the maximum interior height inside the Antec case is ~132mm. You can go a little larger than a Scythe Mini Ninja, but not much.

Edit: for reference, an Aerocool HT101Jr fits only if you remove the plastic cover on the top of the HS (it's ~1-2mm too tall otherwise).
a b ) Power supply
March 13, 2008 2:34:39 PM

Thermaltake.

If it's sitting in the living room you don't want usb ports showing
a b ) Power supply
March 13, 2008 3:36:49 PM

floepie said:
^ That would have been my first choice in the sub $300 range, but I can't justify an added $100 above the Tt case. Too bad about the LCD though. I've heard about poor legibility regarding Antec's LCD too. Do you find air flow in the Moncaso to be adequate with the supplied fans?
When I have my case outside of the media cabinet, cooling is superb. I’ve got 1x 120mm intake fan, 1x 80mm HDD fan, and 2x 60mm exhaust fans. Inside my media cabinet, it gets a little hot but I can’t blame the case. My HTPC is shoe-horned into the cabinet with about 1cm of space on each side and the back of the media cabinet only has a small cut-out for cables. Plus, it’s above my LCD TV so the heat from that rises up and adds to the overall heat. Still, I don’t really have any overheating issues with CPU temps getting up to the low 50’s when encoding video (100% load).

For legibility of the Soundgraph LCD, I've found that setting it to Arial font, 12pt size, with a -2 vertical offset give me the best front view display that I can read from my sitting position. Oh, and heads up: if you plan on using Vista, don't even touch the included Soundgraph drivers. Go to their website and use the beta v7 drivers.

I like my case, but I had to spend extra money to get fans. I think if I were to do it all over, I would have spent a little bit more and got the Zalman HD160 Plus which also has the negative blue Soundgraph LCD:
March 13, 2008 3:57:03 PM

Yeah, my left brain tells me the Antec is the way to go, and it would seem to offer better cooling/air flow. But, I'm a sucker for aesthetics, and concealed ports, in addition to the more meaty look of the Tt case, is pretty attractive IMHO. But, I can't help but think that the Tt would also keep things moving inside with its front 120mm fan and very good ventilation throughout. As for price, they can be bought for the same price now, aside from the lacking PSU in the Tt. That Zalman is pretty sweet too!
March 13, 2008 9:57:00 PM

ML02 FTW!!!





a b ) Power supply
March 13, 2008 11:21:59 PM

Antec Fusion Black because it blends in with the rest of my stuff :D 
a b ) Power supply
March 13, 2008 11:47:34 PM

I voted Antec because its a little slimmer and i like the dual side fans.

MATX should be good enough for a HTPC and AMD's new chipsets would work great.
April 21, 2008 7:46:50 PM

And the winner is...

... um floepie feel free to jump back in ...
April 21, 2008 7:52:09 PM

NEITHER! I'm pretty set on the Omaura TF11 from Dell with the OLED display kit. One sweet price BTW on a very high quality chassis - way better than that Thermaltake. Thanks for recommendations!
a b ) Power supply
April 21, 2008 9:51:56 PM

Blends in nice.
a b ) Power supply
April 22, 2008 12:54:57 AM

Hmmm...

I've been looking for an appropriate case for my next HTPC for several months now. The one I keep coming back to the same one:

SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum Crown Series CW02B-MXR ATX Media Center




Basically my criterias are as follows:

1. ATX Mobo compatible
2. At least 6 drive bays
3. Tall enough for a 150mm heatsink (my current Scythe Ninja Plus)
4. 120mm Exhaust fan, but 80mm is acceptable.
5. Good ventilation


My only concern is that I've read it only takes up to a 12" x 9" mobo. My MSI 975X Platinum is 12" x 9.5". Yet there is no other case (excluding the silver version) that meets most of my requirements.

I suppose I will take my chances and order this case. If necessary I will buy another mobo that's no larger than 12" x 9".
a b ) Power supply
April 22, 2008 12:57:04 AM

Oops! I forgot...

As for the poll, based on purely on esthetics, I'll choose the Thermaltake.
April 22, 2008 6:31:31 PM

floepie said:
NEITHER! I'm pretty set on the Omaura TF11 from Dell with the OLED display kit. One sweet price BTW on a very high quality chassis - way better than that Thermaltake. Thanks for recommendations!



How much is it? I see $220 for just the case. What about your display and PSU?

I thought that would be way out of the budget.
April 22, 2008 6:39:29 PM

It sort of is. :)  But, a big coupon code certainly helped!
!