I’ve got a bit of an issue with my current HTPC setup. This is my current rig:
-Asus P5B mobo
-LaCie HD-DVD/BluRay Drive
-2 GB of ram
-couple SATA HDD’s
-AuzenTech X-Plosion sound card
-Gigabyte 4950 1GB Silent video card
-Silverstone LC16M case
I just replaced my old silent nVidia 7600GS with the Gigabyte 4850 card and the problem is that because the 4850 is a full length card it interferes with my LaCie drive. In order to get the card in there I had to remove the drive completely as seen in the pics below.
I see three possible solutions:
1. Buy a different video card – just bought the 4850 and I couldn’t really find anything else silent and powerful enough so this option is out.
2. Buy a different HTPC case – I’ve looked around and the only case that I really like is the MonCaso 832 but it has the stupid LCD issue so this option is out unless I can find another case.
3. Buy a new mobo/proc – Buy a mobo that has the PCIEx16 slot located “lower” on the mobo which may move the card over enough to clear the LaCie drive.
I’ve done a few searches online looking for a mobo with a slot located lower but there’s isn’t much out there. The ones I found so far are:
The problem is that not all boards that have more than 1 PCIEx16 slot run the second slot at x16 bandwidth, most run at x8 or x4. And even then I don’t know if I can use the lower slot as my primary slot.
The X38 or X48 chipsets support full 16x on both PCIe slots (meant for Crossfire) so you won't lose any performance if you use the slot. Or you can go with a 780i chipset if you don't plan to ever use more than one radeon card. ~$200
It looks like the moncasos are the deepest HTPC cases at 18" compared to silverstone's 16.9-17.4". Maybe step up to the moncaso 972 or get a different case that has the dvd drive off-center? Maybe this one by Zalman: HD160Plus or this other Silverstone: CW01B-R
BTW, I have a Moncaso 832. I assume the LCD problem you are referring to is the brightness of the backlight (too bright). It is too bright... but I personally don't mind it.