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:
- <£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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.