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SilverStone CW03: Specifications, Bundle, And Unique Features

HTPC Cases With LCD Screens: Bringing Bling
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Specifications

SilverStone’s CW03 is the most expensive touch-screen LCD case in this roundup, thanks largely to its sturdy, high-end workmanship. However, for the price, we would have expected I/O options–like what the Moneual 972 offers, such as front panel USB, FireWire, audio, and media card slots. The CW03 has no such options, and the lack of USB connectivity in the front of the case is particularly notable.

While the CW03 might not come with many options, it has the most impressive expandability in the roundup, with three external 5 ¼” drive bays and six internal 3 ½” drive bays. It is notable that one of the front 5 ¼" bays comes with an external 3 ½" adapter plate. A multimedia card reader could be mounted to add USB and FireWire connectivity to the unit. Two of the external drives are accessible behind a door to preserve the look and finish of the case, which is unique to the CW03.

The CW03 sports the most fans in the roundup, with four 80 mm fans, two of which are under the hard drive cage to intake air from the bottom of the case and two at the rear of the case to expel hot air. This airflow comes at a bit of a price, as the SilverStone CW03 is a tad louder than its competitors.

Bundle

The SilverStone CW03’s bundle includes pin-to-molex adapters for the fans, screws, a manual, software installation CDs, a touch pen, and the iMon remote and batteries. Unique to the SilverStone are vibration dampening pads and hardware to attach the CW03 to an A/V rack mount if the user desires. 

Unique Features

SilverStone has built a reputation on manufacturing very high-quality and well-finished cases and the CW03 is no exception. It is the heaviest case in this roundup by a full pound due to the very sturdy aluminum with steel-reinforced ribbing construction.

It is also the only case in our roundup that comes with hardware to rack-mount the case for an enthusiast’s home-theater setup and that allows for more than one 5 ¼” external drive (three to be precise).

The CW03 is also differentiated with the only touch screen in this roundup capable of displaying a 1080p (1920x1080) signal. Of course, the native resolution of the CW03’s screen is 800x480, exactly the same as its competitors. However, the Moneual 972 and Thermaltake DH03 can only display signals with a resolution up to 1024x768.

In our experience, there wasn't a good reason to run the screens at any resolution except 800x600. Anything higher would simply be interpolated down to 800x480 anyway, so while the Silverstone CW03 sports a nifty 1080p check-box, the feature is not really that noteworthy after all. Indeed, all of the cases' screens are bright and responded well to user inputs.

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