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HTPC Case suggestions, preferably evenly centered?

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January 5, 2013 3:07:51 AM

Hi, I am looking for an HTPC to place in my living room, for games and media. I want a case that's at least a microATX size, or compatible, so no miniITX cases. but im looking for a certain style. most cases look boring or have features that I don't really care for or need.

I would prefer a case that is "evenly centered" (not sure the term off the top of my head, but basically where everything looks even on both sides) doesn't have to be perfect, but something similar to the Silverstone GD02:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=175&area=

This is actually a case I'm currently considering. Problem is, Silverstone is no longer manufacturing said case, and as such it is impossible to find here in US. Of the very few online retailers I found that claimed it was "in stock" after ordering or contacting, I come to find out they are out of stock, and overseas wants around $300 to order and ship it here to US. So before I decided to blow that kind of money (might as well get one with a touch screen on it for that price), I figured maybe I Could find some help here on alternatives, or even if someone can help me find it for cheap. :) 

I personally find most HTPC and computer cases in general boring, they all seem to have that typical "Box" look, although the GD02 has closer to what I like, and to me looks a bit more stylish than most. something that wouldn't stick out so much in an entertainment center.

Any suggestions are appreciated, though something similar to that is what I prefer. Haven't really found any other case that caught my eye like that. :) 
a b ) Power supply
January 7, 2013 5:50:00 PM

Have you looked at any of the Moneual cases? The 312 or 320 might work for you if you don't mind half-height. A little pricey, but they are very nice. I've got a Moneual 832P laying around and it was a good case.

http://www.quietpcusa.com/Home-Theater-PC-Cases.aspx
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a b ) Power supply
January 7, 2013 7:38:58 PM

whats ur budget, and do u have a colour or design preference?
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January 7, 2013 9:11:42 PM

The moneual cases are nice, but I don't really think its my style, though silverstones cw02 case is similar to some of the moneual's, and I like it, but I don't think an LCD screen is my thing. Plus, not a big fan of all the front buttons. Lol. Currently I have a zalman 135 case with a basic vfd display, but soon after purchasing found out there's only so much you can actually customize, and most of it is rather pointless. I'm starting to think a non LCD design will be fine for what I'm wanting, though if anything stylish enough for what I want comes along, I might consider it.

Not really on a budget, though I can hardly see myself paying more than $2-300 for a non LCD type case. Color preference doesn't matter as long as its not tacky (no pink or neon bright yellow cases lol) basically this is going to be for a TV entertainment center in the living room, so a case to match most set top boxes, etc would be suffiecient. :) 

Basically what I'm doing is creating a hackintosh. It's going to dual boot both windows and Mac. I already have most of the hardware. A i7 3.4ghz, 16gb ram, gtx 670 graphics, 650w PSU, wifi card. I'm going to move most of the wireless to the front of the case (Bluetooth, ir, etc). I also want to use an apple remote for its simplicity in design, so I'll have to mod a USB wire with a apple ir. so far, I'm liking the gd02 I mentioned in my previous post because of the dome-like top, and the " trim" that runs along the middle of the case in the front. This is where I was hoping to mod the case to hide my wireless devices behind said "trim". The problem is because this case is no longer manufactured, I can't find any retailers in US, and almost all international retailers I've contacted that have it don't ship to US. :-/ hence why I'm looking for help here if someone can help me find a us seller, or a nice case alternative.
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January 8, 2013 1:17:14 AM

Those are definitely nice, but the moneural was already suggested. As for these though, they either look too much like a traditional pc case, and the others I just don't see the need for buttons. The point of my setup will be a mostly wireless entertainment center, so I doubt I would ever really use the buttons and knobs on those cases. As for the LCD, seems nice but I've always been curious, can Lcds like that one allow media playback (music, videos) without the need for the pc to be on? Even sleep mode would be useful, but if I have to have the pc completely on, it just seems more a novelty and waste of money if its something I'm not really gonna use. I would use it if I didn't. Need the computer completely on all of the time, but I doubt that's how Lcds on the case work
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a b ) Power supply
January 8, 2013 1:20:32 AM

well thats all there is as selection wise, ur welcome to look more but thats all i found sorry.

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January 8, 2013 1:36:12 AM

Lol that's fine. Perhaps I'm pickier than I thought I was? Lol. Since it seems I'm so hellbent on the silverstone gd02b case, perhaps someone that knows more where to look than I do, can help me figure out where I could find this case? :p 
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a b ) Power supply
January 8, 2013 1:37:42 AM

the problem is its discontinued, maybe try a new grandia 05 model?
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January 8, 2013 6:36:59 AM

How about Fractal Design's Node 605?

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January 8, 2013 7:44:48 AM

The node case looks nice. I wonder though how I could mod an ir into this without messing up the aesthetics? :-/ I assume the top half opens as well for a drive bay? Like for a DVD drive?
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a b ) Power supply
January 8, 2013 12:58:55 PM

or u can buy the grandia with lcd for 400$ :D , i also admit that node is very nice.

:o 
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a b ) Power supply
January 8, 2013 2:29:10 PM

unvaluablespace said:
Currently I have a zalman 135 case with a basic vfd display, but soon after purchasing found out there's only so much you can actually customize, and most of it is rather pointless.
What exactly are the shortcomings of your current case? The Zalman you already have is a pretty sweet HTPC case. Is it just the VFD?
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January 8, 2013 4:35:32 PM

unvaluablespace said:
The node case looks nice. I wonder though how I could mod an ir into this without messing up the aesthetics? :-/ I assume the top half opens as well for a drive bay? Like for a DVD drive?


I'm sure you could find a place for an IR sensor, and you are correct regarding the drive bay being behind the fold down panel as well.


Personally I like the clean lines of the Node 605 over those other HTPC cases with odd angles and face mounted LCD screens. Also, the Node 605 has a built in card reader.
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January 8, 2013 4:38:11 PM

It's too boxy, and the vfd is rather pointless. Ever since I switched to windows 8, the screen shuts off when the system gets shuts down, which defeats the purpose of the remote for me, and even then the program and drivers don't work properly on it, not to mention that after connecting the pci-e power connectors into the side of the graphics card, the lid won't close properly. It's too small. I had to cut down the black plastic on the cables down just to make it barely fit, and even then it still barely closes. Before it wouldn't even close at all. It's working for the time being, so I'm not really in a rush for a new case until I find something better suited for my taste. The problem is that wireless devices don't work too well, I don't know if its the case itself, or the place I have it set up in. But for some reason when I have, say my Bluetooth adapter, plugged into the back. Nothing works from not even 5-10 feet away. I'm not far from my couch at all. Same goes for my wireless keyboard and mouse, which use logitechs unifying reciever. So I plug them into the front of the case, but that's ugly to me as the flip down lid constantly has to be open, and I don't want to ruin this case by modding it to make the stuff fit in the front, which is why the gd02 looked so appealing. The touch screen version of that case was my first option, but its hard to find in US as well, and after seeing how the VFD on my current case is pointless for what I use it for, and studying the more basic case that's where I originally got the idea for modding that case. I figure I could fit the wireless stuff into that trim, and still make it look nice without harming look of the case, since most wireless adapters these days are so small lol. That's why I was hoping to find something better here, or at least similar. :-/

If I could make the power connector fit Better so I can actually close the lid on this case, or do something useful with the vfd, I probably would just stick with the case.
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January 8, 2013 4:42:01 PM

Sluggercz, yeah it does look nice. Looks like it would blend in with an entertainment center setup as well. I wouldn't use a DVD drive very much, so having it covered like that wouldn't be too bad. :)  my only other issue is where I would be able to setup the wireless stuff. Perhaps I could somehow cut out a small window in the front of the case? Maybe put a tinted glass so you couldn't see inside it, then I could set a couple USB ports behind it for my wireless stuff lol.
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a b ) Power supply
January 8, 2013 4:50:43 PM

You can also use USB extension cables. Plug them into the back of the HTPC, and run them someplace inconspicuous that gets better reception. Behind the TV maybe?
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January 8, 2013 4:52:39 PM

This is the back of the rig:


I guarantee you that your motherboard will have USB slots so just plug in your peripherals back there.
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January 8, 2013 6:04:18 PM

Lol. My motherboard does have plenty of USB slots. as I said, my wireless devices don't work properly when plugged in back there. Constant drop of connections, etc. as for the USB extension. That's how I currently have it setup. I have a USB plug under the case. Currently my setup is just the case with my tv sitting on top of it, but I plan on getting a bigger tv later down the road and having the case sitting on an entertainment center shelf.
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January 9, 2013 3:37:49 AM

I think im just going to stick with the case I already have, my zalman 135HD. I opened the case up and removed the VFD since it does nothing for me, and because of that now have a nice tinted window which should be perfect for what I want to do. To be honest, ive pretty much already seen all of these cases here before, as I've extensively searched for various HTPC cases, none of which really matched my taste. the only one I've never seen is the node 605, but it looks pretty similar to my current case, at least in overall shape. So I think since Im so picky and stuck on that Silverstone GD02b, then I'll just stick with what I have until I find that case somewhere in US, or just forget about it altogether, since with my new window it should give me room to do what I want. I'm planning on cramming my Logitech USb receiver In there, a Bluetooth adapter, an ir sensor, and (hopefully) a wireless gaming receiver (such as the xbox 360 receiver). Now I just hope they don't interfere with one another lol.
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a b ) Power supply
January 9, 2013 3:41:31 PM

alright, as long as ur happy with ur case and possible future upgrades, u can buy the gd02b but its 400$,

enjoy ur current case, atleast i gave u alternate choices.

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January 9, 2013 4:18:41 PM

Yeah thanks very much for the help! ^_^ I was originally planning on getting that version of that case, but I didn't want to pay $400 for it when the touchscreen would probably be useless to me, and i probably can't mod it as easily as I want like the gd02b lol.
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a b ) Power supply
January 9, 2013 4:18:59 PM

haha, alright cheers mate

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January 17, 2013 12:00:51 AM

I've been looking for some time at HTPC cases and for whats out there I can't bring myself to spend 200-400 on one. I have been eyeing this one for the price and I personally don't think it looks bad (granted it's not the centered style you're referring to) . My only concern is I'm not sure if a full size PCI-x video card will fit (I'm currently using a Radeon HD 5770 from my current build).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 17, 2013 12:08:18 AM

The problem is a lot of these cases were designed a few years ago, when card with power connectors usually were in the back of the card, rather the side. So while I'm sure your card would fit in the case by itself, like my case, it probably wouldn't fit with one or two pci-e power connectors sticking from the side :-/ mine I had to trim the power connectors down so much that anymore and the metal tabs would be exposed, and it still barely fits with my case closed. It's a tight fit and I have to have the lid screws in place to keep it down, which probably isn't the safest option :-/
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May 22, 2013 6:58:42 PM

unvaluablespace said:
The problem is a lot of these cases were designed a few years ago, when card with power connectors usually were in the back of the card, rather the side. So while I'm sure your card would fit in the case by itself, like my case, it probably wouldn't fit with one or two pci-e power connectors sticking from the side :-/ mine I had to trim the power connectors down so much that anymore and the metal tabs would be exposed, and it still barely fits with my case closed. It's a tight fit and I have to have the lid screws in place to keep it down, which probably isn't the safest option :-/

I have been in a process of seeking for a good HTPC case for the last couple of years. Still waiting for a good new product to come. I think every case has it's own disadvantages. My opinion: - the designers do not take into account the modern hardware specifics.
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May 22, 2013 10:06:14 PM

Yeah, most DEFINETLY. I actually finally settled on the fractal node 605, as per sluggerz suggestion. So far its worked out great. It's an awesome case with plenty of room for fans & airflow. I actually been busy since this post, and I bought myself a 55 inch tv to go with it . I modded a USB wii sensor bar to have extra windows so I could fit wireless adapters via USB, and all my wireless stuff sits on top of the tv, hidden very well as it just looks like a wii sensor bar. :) 

Personally, I'm not a big fan of the plain solid look of the node 605, but as reviews have stated, it looks ALOT better in person. I managed to make it very quiet. It's almost silent if it werent for the slight whining of my graphics card fan. Boo! Lol. The quietness is all due to my choice of silent fans, plus the soundproofing with the case. All in all its an awesome case, though I wish I could find a nice case that fit everything I wanted, while still looking a little more modern/stylish. Nothing I've found fits my tastes though.

I also realize I have high expectations, considering the size of each hardware component. I originally visioned something the size of a console, but high end. I've come to realize you can't have a small form factor PC case with high end components. Beggars can't be choosers. Lol

All in all, thanks for the suggestion, Sluggerz. Awesome case ^_^
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June 9, 2014 2:04:42 PM

unvaluablespace said:
...I also realize I have high expectations, considering the size of each hardware component. I originally visioned something the size of a console, but high end. I've come to realize you can't have a small form factor PC case with high end components. Beggars can't be choosers. Lol

For the same reason finally I have bought a full-size ATX HTPC case (SilverStone LC16MB-M USB3.0).






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