Sleek Designs, Little Innovation: 4 Barebone Cases Compared

Test Setup

Motherboard mounted components

To determine how each of these cases would fare under real-world conditions, we equipped them with standard hardware.

Our test platform for all four HTPC cases

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CPUIntelP4/2.6 GHz
CPU FanCooler MasterCM12V
MemoryExceleRAMEX2-2800Ps, 2x 1 GB, DDR2
Hard DriveMaxtorDiamond MAX 10, SATA-II, 300 GB
Optical DriveGigabyteGO-D1600D (DVD)
PSUHiperHigh Power 560 Watt

The motherboard can be mounted on the tray with all the other hardware installed.

560-Watt PSU from Hiper

Unneeded cables can be disconnected, freeing up space inside the case.

Siggy Moersch