Silverstone Grandia GD05: A Versatile HTPC Case

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The design of the Silverstone Grandia GD05 allows the use one of the many quiet ATX power supplies on the market. Lower profile cases are usually limited to smaller SFX, FlexATX, and proprietary power supplies, which almost always run a bit noisier due the use of a smaller fan which must spin at higher speed. The components also get good cooling with three 120 mm fans and plenty of ventilation; cooling the typically low-power HTPC configuration is trivial. Only two fans undervolted to 7V were required to keep our modest test system reasonably cool, and the noise level was superbly low. The supplied stock fans are remarkably quiet compared to most.

The effective cooling also allows the option to house a more formidable system. Though an optical drive limits the size of the CPU cooler, a more power hungry processor isn't out of the question as there are a pair of 120 mm fans merely millimeters away. Not only can the GD05 take full-sized graphics cards, with 11" of clearance, there is enough room for any of ATI and Nvidia's current single GPU cards. One could even attempt a high-end SLI or CrossFire configuration as the case can accommodate extra large power supplies.

It is hard to find fault in the GD05 design. Hard drive mounting could be improved, but really only by a floating suspension system. Cabling is a bit of a mess if a non-modular power supply is used, but beyond the provided holes for slipping in cable-ties, there's little Silverstone could have done. Our only real complaint is the optical drive that overhangs the CPU socket and interferes with larger CPU coolers, but possible solutions are less than ideal. The obvious fixes include making the case deeper, using a slim optical drive, or putting a slim optical drive on its side, which would displace one of the 120 mm fans.

Like most Silverstones, the Grandia GD04/05 cases are rather muted looking and have good build quality. It is not a slim HTPC case that can be mistaken for a DVD/Blu-ray player — the dimensions are closer to that of an AV receiver. However the Grandia GD04/05 design gives it inherent advantages in component selection and cooling, giving it more potential to be both powerful yet quieter than most cases of this type. Its low $90 sticker price is the icing on the cake.

Silverstone Grandia GD05/04

* Excellent cooling
* Solid construction
* Quiet stock fans
* Short 13" depth
* Plenty of video card and power supply clearance
* Uses ATX power supply
* Well priced

* Taller than some HTPC cases
* Optical drive interferes with larger CPU heatsinks
* No fan control

Silverstone GD05/04 HTPC Case

SPCR Editor's Choice Award

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