Silverstone GD01 and LC17 HTPC Cases

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The greatest differences between these cases is in their front facia. As detailed in the bottom row of the specs table on the previous page, each model comes in several cosmetic variants, which includes back or silver color for both, and a VFD option for the GD01. Both models have holes on the sides near the front to accept screws for optional rack mount handles.

The GD01 incorporates a curve in its front bezel, easily seen in the photos. It also features two drop down doors. The lower one, which extends across the width of the case, opens to reveal the I/O jacks, the card reader, and the reset button. The upper door provides access to the two optical drive bays. When both doors are closed, a smooth and clean facia is presented. Our sample was fitted with a Vacuum Fluorescent Display, which occupies the left side of the front panel.

The GD01 has two drop-down doors with a smooth press-to-open mechanism.

The LC17 has no curves, and no LCD option, but those don't affect overall look that much. It looks as elegant and perhaps a touch cleaner than the GD01. The color strikes us as being the biggest difference between our two samples.

The LC17 has just one small drop down door to cover its I/O panel.

The LC17 I/O panel packs a lot into a small area.

From the back, the two cases are indistinguishable. If not for the color, you could not tell that the LC17 is the case on top. Note the two 80mm exhaust fans on both cases, and the positioning of the PSU on the right, which does not follow conventional ATX case design. Normally, the PSU would be positioned to the left, close to the back I/O panel of the motherboard. This PSU positioning is a key design feature.

Like peas in a pod from behind.

Notice the big side vents on the right visible through the PSU back panel opening. Those vents are meant to be intakes for the PSU. The PSU, ideally, should be a 120mm fan design — an easy requirement to fulfill, as almost all retail ATX12V power supplies sport 120mm fans. There is only one way to install the power supply, as you can see from the four mounting holes around the PSU back panel opening. The 120mm fan ends up facing the side vent, and this means the PSU's cooling is completely independent and separate from the rest of the system. For quiet computing, this is a very good thing: It ensures that the PSU fan, invariably thermally controlled, will not speed up due to the heat of the other components in the system. The arrangement is similar to that employed in the Antec P180/182/190 and Antec Fusion/NSK2400 systems, which have separate chambers to keep the PSU thermally separate from the rest of the components. In these Silverstone cases, the separate chamber is bypassed altogether by giving the PSU fan direct access to the outside air. The only downside is that when and if the PSU fan should speed up, there's a more direct path for the increased noise to reach the users.

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