Silverstone LaScala LC-04 HTPC Case

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DESIGN

The La Scala LC-04 has an aluminum alloy body, which makes the case very lightweight. It measures 16.5" wide, 5" tall, and 12.25" deep, right in line with the size of most home Audio/Video components such as receivers and VCRs. It's size and beautiful black finish make it a perfect addition to most Home Theater setups.

The front bezel features a fold down aluminum door that covers the one external 5.25" drive bay as well as the front I/O ports. There is a "push-click to open, push-click to close" latching system and the door opens with a smooth, damped motion. Below this single door is a decorative black acrylic panel that extends the width of the case. This panel holds the On/Off switch and a translucent section of it covers the Power and HDD activity LEDs. The LEDs show up as a muted purple color which looks quite nice.


The elegant looking front panel of the LC-04.


Front panel with door opened up. Note the 5.25" drive bay and I/O ports.

The LC-04 includes more ventilation holes than the typical desktop or HTPC case. There are vents on both sides and the rear of the case, with the provision to mount an 80mm fan on the left side of the case. There is also a roughly 80mm-size vent grill on the lid of the case, positioned near the CPU socket. This can provide a nice source of cool intake air to the CPU, or perhaps an exhaust vent if used with the a "blow-up" type of heatsink like the recently reviewed Alpha 8952 or Scythe Samurai.

The LC-04 stands on four elegant aluminum / rubber feet. These feet will blend in nicely with most of today's A/V cabinets.


Right side of the case showing the ventilation holes.


Left side of the case showing the mounting position for the optional 80mm case fan.


Rear of case. Note the small PSU, grills and AGP/PCI slots for riser cards.

The interior is accessed by removing the screwed-on top panel. The first things that capture your attention are the large tray sitting over the motherboard area and the small power supply at the right rear. The tray is removable and it holds the 5.25" optical drive of your choice. The PSU is called a "TFX" by Silverstone, is rated at 240W and has PFC. 240W may not seem like a lot but it should easily handle the load of the hardware that this case is limited to: One optical drive, one HDD, and a maximum of one AGP card and one PCI card. The PSU has no rear fan but does have an 80mm x 15mm intake fan next to where the CPU would be positioned on the motherboard.


Inside of case. Optical drive tray removed for clarity.

As noted above, the LC-04 takes a full sized ATX mother board, although an m-ATX board will also fit. A case this small that fits a full-size ATX board is a rarity. This gives the customer many more hardware options than a typical small desktop/HTPC case that is limited to just an m-ATX board. There is a large selection of full-featured ATX motherboards available and by comparison, not a particularly good selection of m-ATX boards.

Threaded steel inserts are pressed into the floor of the case for the supplied motherboard standoffs to be screwed into. These same steel inserts are used throughout the case wherever a threaded fastener is meant to be screwed into any case panel.



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