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Case Question for HTPC

I’m trying to design my first PC, although I’ve assembled some specified by others. System is to receive and record OTA HDTV and get away from Comcast. The current component list is: i3-2120T, two AverMedia TVHD Duet cards, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 memory, Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.5" internal drive, Blue Ray R/W drive, Bluetooth (for keyboard), wifi (for network) and firewire (for movie camera). Planned board is an Intel DH77EB, which supports consumer IR interface, though I’m still trying to make sure that all the stuff will have some place to plug in.

I’m having a terrible time finding a case. Because of the furniture, it can’t be over 5” high. No real constraint on width, but depth needs to be 15” or less. And with a front IR port. Won’t need a big power supply, but I’d rather install my own than have one build in, if possible.

I’ve been going from vendor to vendor site and having to search through each description. I can’t find a selection tool that even admits to such options as Consumer IR ports.

Any suggestions on finding cases, or comments on the planned machine?

Any help appreciated.
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  1. IR ports aren't that common in my experience and even less often on the front. It will probably be pretty difficult to track down what you need.

    I don't have one in particular for you, I just wanted to throw that out there.

    You may want to think about your requirements some more.
  2. Use an old NES case, I do and they look terrific :)
  3. vrumor said:
    Use an old NES case, I do and they look terrific :)


    Too old school for me. I not only wouldn't know where to find the specs, I wouldn't know where to find an actual box. Ebay search of NAS returns all sorts of stuff.

    Thanks for the lead, but I don't know enough to follow up.
  4. NES not NAS. Its the old Nintendo Entertainment System. Can fit a really nice HTPC under the hood of that thing and even a decent little 720p gamer.
  5. I have to say it is a pretty hillarious concept that someone might be playing Skyrim on what appears to be an NES.
  6. Ive actually done it :) I put a mini ITX board in there, can be any CPU honestly, even high end i5s. But for the ones im sellingcurrently ive been using the E-350 chipset. 4 gigs of RAM 64 gig SSD, and a 430 GT 1gb 128 bit DDR3 and a slim BluRay. I had Skyrim running at 1080p at High settings with a tiny bit of lag. 720p it would run great. Even ran Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3 on it. Can post pics if you like to see what I build. But it is pretty damn cool :)
  7. I believe you, no need to post pics. I am nowhere near that good with building things. No workshop, no dremel, none of that stuff. I just think it is cool when others repurpose things.

    I used to know a guy that used a gameboy to reprogram the ECU in his car.
  8. vrumor said:
    Ive actually done it :) I put a mini ITX board in there, can be any CPU honestly, even high end i5s. But for the ones im sellingcurrently ive been using the E-350 chipset. 4 gigs of RAM 64 gig SSD, and a 430 GT 1gb 128 bit DDR3 and a slim BluRay. I had Skyrim running at 1080p at High settings with a tiny bit of lag. 720p it would run great. Even ran Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3 on it. Can post pics if you like to see what I build. But it is pretty damn cool :)


    Found the cases, and wow! -- it's too much for me. I'm an amateur at this, so I need specs and drawings, and everything laid out before I order any parts. Cool idea though!
  9. All you need is a dremel really since you are only cuttin thru plastic and some hot glue and super glue. No way to really build any type of brackets inside, but it all fits really well, even have an internal power supply with an external brick. All runs on an 85w power supply torture tested on Unigine overnight. Ran without a hitch. eowens I have one currently id sell with 2 USB ports in front where the normal gaming pad would plug in. Also has an external hard drive if you are interested let me know. Altho it wouldnt have some of the things you wanted unfortunately. Namely no Firewire but it is by far one of the coolest repurposes ive seen. Runs Blu Ray flawlessly.
  10. Best answer
    You could get a 3.5 or 5.25 bay insert that has a built-in IR receiver. Antec makes one called the Veris Basic. The IR receiver can be used with any MCE remote, or Logitech Harmony.

    If you are still having trouble finding a small case with both 5.25 and 3.5 external bays, maybe consider getting this bay adapter that will allow you to install the above mentioned 3.5 IR panel and a slim optical drive in a single 5.25 bay.

    So something like this setup:

    Case: Silverstone ML03B $60
    Bay adapter: Slim Optical & 3.5in Hard Drive Mounting Bracket $26
    3.5" Bay IR: Antec Veris Basic $26
    BD: Panasonic UJ240 6x Blu-ray Burner $70
    SATA to mSATA Power Adapter: DIG-31631 or SLSATAADAP $6 to $9

    That puts you at $188 without a PSU. A little expensive, but it will get you a nice HTPC case with built-in IR.
  11. Good suggestions! I didn't know that one could get IR ports other than already build into the case.

    All the Silverstone cases seem to come with USB ports. Is it possible to replace one with a Firewire connector? A firewire connector on the front would be a good video camera connection.

    Thanks for your help!
  12. Best answer selected by eowens0124.
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