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Which small desktop case would you recommend with these features?

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Last response: in Systems
April 23, 2008 1:06:45 AM

Okay, I've got an good entrepreneur gig going requiring me to have a Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation 4 host on which to develop code for an embedded Linux (DSL) target box. Intel makes some sufficiently modern (though not state of the art) micro-ATX mobos based on the Q965 chipset (I've chosen the DQ965GF). I've already got 2GB RAM with the right timing and so forth for this board, and the CPU and case and everything are/were to come from from my co-entrepreneuring partner's computer store.

The thing is, that included an Antec "Cube" desktop enclosure, but I'm afraid that even though I admired it very much at first, with use I don't like it much after all!

Now, Antec is a great company with a history of great products. I built my most recent workstation into their supremely great P160 midtower, and I love it.

And therein lies one of the reasons I don't like this Cube case: The P160 -- like a lot of Antec enclosures -- was a tool-less design. But the Cube is anything but! It's just screws, screws, and more screws. No thanks -- as a home-builder, I'm in and out of my cases rather often, and I liked never having to use a screwdriver to do anything with the P160.

Other poor design "features" include no front-panel LEDs for power & HD activity and no front-panel Firewire port.

So here's what I'm looking for:

- A small desktop enclosure (something mini) for a micro-ATX mobo -- the smaller the better, but with a good mechanical design that allows for easy access for adding and removing components, ideally tool-free

- Front panel: Minimum: Power and Disk LEDS, 2 USB, 1 Firewire, standard audio I/O, power & reset buttons

- Internal support for at least 2 hard drives and 1 DVD drive

What would you folks recommend?

I'm kinda in a hurry, so I'll start shopping myself in the meantime, but please contribute your recommendations as soon as you can, okay?


- Marty

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