Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Finding the perfect HTPC case

Last response: in Systems
Share
a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 7:23:56 PM

Hi guys,

I have been looking for a while and have a few candidates for the case for my HTPC but every choice has some kind of compromise. The case I'm looking for sounds feasible to me but doesn't seem to have been made yet. I'm looking for something:

- As small as possible while fitting the rest of the criteria
- At least one (low profile) expansion slot. A riser slot is fine since it's just for a TV tuner card.
- Adequate airflow design. It only needs to cope with a 65W CPU and a couple of laptop drives but must stay ultra quiet. Space for a <40mm high cooler and a 80x80x25mm fan should be OK.
- Space for at least 3 x 2.5'' hard drives and a slim optical drive
- Horizontally oriented case with a sleek, minimal design.

Those are all essential and shouldn't be too difficult since I'm happy to use a PicoPSU/SFF PSU, laptop optical drives/hard drives, low profile expansion slots and don't need crazy cooling.

Those things aren't TOO difficult but ideally I would like these as well:

- mATX
- Aluminium
- <£100 for case and PSU


The best I can find at the moment is the Streacom F7C Evo. It fits most of that criteria if I change that 3.5'' into dual 2.5'' slots but would work out at ~£150 once I have the PSU and I'm a bit dubious about the cooling once all the components are in there.

http://quietpc.co.uk/st-f7c-evo
http://quietpc.co.uk/rv-vanxie
http://quietpc.co.uk/twin-mounter-25
http://quietpc.co.uk/nf-r8-pwm

Any other ideas?
February 7, 2013 7:33:24 PM

I have seen lots of recommendations on Toms for this Silverstone, and it gets great reviews on Newegg. I *think* from the specs that it will accommodate 3x2.5" HDDs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Doesn't look as slick as the Streacom but it would be significantly cheaper and still looks pretty nice from the picture.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2013 9:55:33 PM

Yeah I've looked at that, looks a bit big and not all that keen on the general look. Thanks for the reply though.
Related resources
February 10, 2013 12:15:43 AM

How about this one? Still a bit cheaper than the Streacom.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

If you could do mITX you have more options:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This Lian-Li is pretty much comparable in looks to the Streacom that you like. It is close in price but it comes with PSU included:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Still, if you like the Streacom you are probably not going to find anything that looks as good for a lower price.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 10, 2013 10:25:28 AM

Thanks man, really appreciate the replies.

The PC-Q09 was my first choice but it has no expansion slots, that's pretty much a deal breaker.

The other 4 are the wrong shape for me really.

The LC19B-R looks pretty good, the TV card would have to go on a riser but that shouldn't be a problem. With that one I'm basically sacrificing a hard drive slot and some airflow to save £40-50.

EDIT: If I go with the LC19B-R, I'll probably go for a 55W CPU instead of 65W. Do you think it would cope with 55W if I get a good cooler like this?

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/noctua-nh-l9i-low-profil...
February 11, 2013 1:51:40 AM

The LC19BR is listed as 2.7" high. The cooler is listed at 25+37mm=2.44 inches. So I think it should work, but I would be a little nervous. Not having much experience, I would play it safe and lean toward something bigger.

I definitely get now that you are looking more at a classic HTPC type design as opposed to a cube (I was confused because you did not like the looks of the Silverstone MILO).

What do you think of any of these?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...


If you can make do with 1x3.5" slot:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

a b B Homebuilt system
February 11, 2013 6:17:42 PM

The LC-19R fits coolers up to 37mm, that cooler is exactly 37mm. Scan says the heatsink alone is 37mm but they're wrong, Noctua says the whole thing is 37mm high.

I really appreciate the suggestions but either the F7C Evo or LC19-R are looking most likely at the moment. I really do prefer a sleek aluminium look to steel/plastic stuff. Cooling is a concern in both those cases but I think that Noctua should manage with a 55W CPU even in tight cases like that. The Pentium G2020 should be fine for HTPC duty.

The Silverstone GD05 is another option, actually similar in size to the ML03 but looks a lot nicer and has more internal space. I would definitely prefer to get something a lot smaller but I don't know which TV cabinet I'm using yet so that could change. Also I have a few 3.5'' drives lying around and that kind of case has the room I would need to properly silence them.
February 11, 2013 7:00:38 PM

I looked at the GD05 for you but thought that it was probably too expensive - the cheapest seems to be about $120 and it would still need a separate PSU. If you don't like it's looks as much as the Streacom it would be hard to justify even if it is more functional.

Stumbled on this review of LC19R, says it is NOT compatible with SATA.
http://www.modthebox.com/review490_5.shtml

a b B Homebuilt system
February 11, 2013 7:20:25 PM

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa? That's crazy, thanks for pointing it out.

Also, I'm dealing in £. The GD05 would be about £30 cheaper than the Streacom after buying a decent PSU.
February 11, 2013 8:47:23 PM

rwpritchett said:
The SATA support that review is referring to is for the optical drive. This is easily rectified by separately purchasing a mini SATA adapter to use a SATA optical drive:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-Micro-Adapter-Cable-Po...


Aren't they the same? The statement in the review is pretty clear:

"Consumers looking for run high-end video cards or SATA based storage solutions will be disappointed that this PSU does not include any PCI-Express connectors or 15-pin SATA connectors. "

I know it can be fixed but this is going to be a tight fit by design. The last thing I would want is another cable to worry about.

Anyway, you have some options. I guess none of them is "perfect", it's just a matter of balancing size/looks with functionality.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 11, 2013 9:01:24 PM

Sorry, my mistake. I see the review really is THAT old. Regardless, 4-pin molex to 15-pin adapters are available on the cheap. Generally, the primary concern is getting a micro SATA opitical drive connected.

That being said, if the case is that old then I doubt you'd be able to find one for sale for a reasonable price.

Have you considered the Moneual 312 or 320 HTPC chassis? Very nice, full aluminum... that would be aluminium to you.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 11, 2013 9:05:16 PM

I'm looking for something in the UK and for around £100-120 for the case and a very quiet PSU. The GD04/GD05 are starting to look tempting now that I realise they're not as big as I thought. I compared the dimensions to my current case and they seem pretty reasonable. Something smaller would be nice though if anyone has any more ideas?

EDIT: Just noticed that review is for the LC19, not the LC-19R. The 'R' version is updated with a few things. I'll look into it more tomorrow, gotta get to bed now.
February 11, 2014 6:28:14 PM

Hello Man,


We are the professional HTPC Cases manufacturer in China, and we are designed many different kinds of HTPC Cases,

below you mentioned we also can deal with it, and our htpc case designer also are the same person of Streacom. maybe you can take a little time to review our website: www.maczon.com

if you need more information you can contact with me,

my email address: chris@maczon.com

thanks






jmsellars1 said:
Hi guys,

I have been looking for a while and have a few candidates for the case for my HTPC but every choice has some kind of compromise. The case I'm looking for sounds feasible to me but doesn't seem to have been made yet. I'm looking for something:

- As small as possible while fitting the rest of the criteria
- At least one (low profile) expansion slot. A riser slot is fine since it's just for a TV tuner card.
- Adequate airflow design. It only needs to cope with a 65W CPU and a couple of laptop drives but must stay ultra quiet. Space for a <40mm high cooler and a 80x80x25mm fan should be OK.
- Space for at least 3 x 2.5'' hard drives and a slim optical drive
- Horizontally oriented case with a sleek, minimal design.

Those are all essential and shouldn't be too difficult since I'm happy to use a PicoPSU/SFF PSU, laptop optical drives/hard drives, low profile expansion slots and don't need crazy cooling.

Those things aren't TOO difficult but ideally I would like these as well:

- mATX
- Aluminium
- <£100 for case and PSU


The best I can find at the moment is the Streacom F7C Evo. It fits most of that criteria if I change that 3.5'' into dual 2.5'' slots but would work out at ~£150 once I have the PSU and I'm a bit dubious about the cooling once all the components are in there.

http://quietpc.co.uk/st-f7c-evo
http://quietpc.co.uk/rv-vanxie
http://quietpc.co.uk/twin-mounter-25
http://quietpc.co.uk/nf-r8-pwm

Any other ideas?

!