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Looking for a HTPC Case

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January 27, 2010 7:08:43 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Mid 2010 BUDGET RANGE: $100ish for the case

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Watching movies, some gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: Amazon only(I live in Hawaii, newegg shipping to here is outrageous) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preferences

OVERCLOCKING: No CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Sharp 1080p TV

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking to build my first HTPC and having trouble finding a case. Ideally I'd like it be as small and quiet as possible. Though I think it's more important to me to have good airflow than it being quiet. It needs at least two slots for 3.5" HDDs. It would be nice to have a remote for it, but definitely not required.

I've got some parts already picked out:

Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2​H Micro ATX Motherboard
http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GA-MA785GMT-UD2H-Micro-A...]

Amd Athlon II X2 250
http://www.amazon.com/Amd-Athlon-II-X2-250/dp/B002BIQC6...

OCZ OCZ3P13334GK PC3-1066 DDR3 1333MHz Platinum Series 4 GB Kit
http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-OCZ3P13334GK-PC3-1066-1333MHz...

Western Digital 500 GB Caviar Black SATA 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD5001AALS
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-WD5001AALS-Frustr...

Sapphire Radeon HD 5770, 1 GB DDR5 Dual DVI-I / HDMI / DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100283-2L
http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graph...

LITE-ON 4x Blu-ray Disc SATA Internal Optical Drive iHOS104
http://www.amazon.com/LITE-Blu-ray-Internal-Optical-iHO...

So does anyone have a suggestion for a case? Or maybe change some of the parts I've already picked out? I've never actually used a HTPC case before so I don't know which ones are any good or not, it'd be nice to get some first hand advice. Thanks.

More about : htpc case

January 27, 2010 7:47:46 PM

This case has two 120mm adjustable speed fans for good airflow and two 3.5" internal HDD bays.

Antec NSK2480 Desktop case with 380W PSU. $109.89

The 500GB WD drive is not a good choice since it uses 250GB platters. The Seagate 7200.12 series 500GB drive is considerably faster due to using a single 500GB platter and saves some money at the same time. You've got to love a win-win!

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500 GB $54.99
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January 27, 2010 8:14:32 PM

Just an FYI that case can hold just 2 HDDs. Great case though. I wish it fit in my rack when I bought it. It was just a little bit too wide. The grills for the twin 120mm fans on the side stick out just a bit and that was just a bit too much.

When you say "some gaming" how much are you talking? That board has really good integrated graphics for HD video so consider seeing how it works for you and add a video card later if you really find yourself wanting to run higher-end games. You could take the money you save and get a bigger HDD (since you'll be limited in space), a better CPU, etc. You'll also have better airflow. It won't do any serious gaming though.

Speaking of airflow, add in one of these if you're not going to be using any PCI slots. They are completely silent and really really work well to vent hot air.

http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Cyclone-Blower-Case-Expansi...
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January 27, 2010 9:05:45 PM

Thanks quick replies. That case looks great. I think the 2 HDD slots are enough. And thanks for the tip about the faster HDD. I guess I'll go with Seagate.

What I plan to do is just buy the basics and stuff first so I can watch movies, then wait until later to add in the video card and the extra HDD.

Oh what about the PSU? Is the one the case comes with decent, or should I buy one separately? It is only 380W. And the 5770 should fit in the case too, right?
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January 28, 2010 3:36:44 AM

If you want quiet, get rid of the noise maker 5770. You don't need it. The onboard video on the Gigabyte has UVD 2 and is good enough to handle video decoding (read the 785g roundup article on this site ). Go for a 45W Athlon II x2 235e or 240e and use a fanless thermalright ultima 90 heatsink to reduce noise even further. Get a WD green drive instead of black as they are much quieter and still provide good speed. Can't comment on HTPC cases. I'm not familiar with them.
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January 28, 2010 3:46:01 AM

One more thing, you might want to head over to the forum of silentpcreview for advices. Folks over there are real savvy on matters regarding htpc and quietness.
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