Three Mainstream Home Theater PC Cases Compared

SilverStone Lascala LC10-E

Our third HTPC case is SilverStone’s full-height Lascala LC10-E. While GMC provided a slim case and Moneual sent us a mid-size chassis, the LC10-E represents the maximum size for entry-level HTPC cases (entry-level defined as cases without a touch-sensitive display). The front panel is made of brushed aluminum, while the rest is 0.8 mm sheet metal. SilverStone includes a cover for the tray of your optical drive. The firm also sells a silver model, which is a little tougher to match. Unlike the two other cases in this story, this one looks and feels more like a PC case once you look behind the stylish front panel. After all, it doesn’t include a card reader, volume knob, or a hinged door.

The rear side reveals two 80 mm fans (2,050 RPM), providing substantial cooling without significantly increasing noise. With support for full ATX as well as microATX, the case can take up to seven expansion cards. This provides more platform flexibility. Users can create an HTPC not only able to take care of audio and video but also become a full-blown gaming machine with multiple graphics cards. Consequently, you'll want to install a good ATX power supply in this enclosure to handle its expansion capabilities.

Cooling does not end at the two rear-mounted fans. Silverstone adds openings to the left side, which improves airflow for the CPU, and on the right to support PSUs with 120 mm fans. Two more fan mounts at the front can be equipped with 92 mm or 80 mm fans. With room for up to seven internal 3.5” bays, the LC10-E offers lots of storage scalability. Using 1TB or 2TB hard drives, you could easily turn your HTPC into a powerful, high-capacity network media server. In any case, this product is certainly the most flexible option reviewed here if you intend to equip your HTPC with truly powerful components.