I've been thinking a lot lately about putting together an HTPC. Mostly for just watching videos and playing music. I could care less about PVR. I've got a spare Celeron M 350 (1.3GHz) and thought the AOpen i915GMm-HFS would work well. But then came the matter of the case. I really like the Antec Fusion/NSK2400. But like most PC cases, it's rather deep at 16.3". In fact, it's hard to find a PC case less than 14".
So I decided to see if I could build an Antec Fusion/NSK2400 like case that was 12" deep (or less). Here's what I got.
I pretty much stole the style from the fusion. But I did flip the PSU/CD to the other side. Made more sense to me as the PSU power cable usually plugs in on that side. As I'm not particularly good at working with metal, I used 1/4" plywood. Not that I'm all that great with wood either. But it's easier.
The power button is just something I had laying around. The USB/audio ports were taken from an old cheap case. The motherboard tray and back panel were taken from a mATX case I got cheap.
Just like the Antex, the motherboard area and PSU/CD are separated. I've got a 120mm fan blowing through the front over the CPU area and out the opening in the back. This should work well with the AOpen motherboard as the CPU is right at the front by the fan. Almost BTX style. If you wanted a powerful GPU in there, I figured a pair of 92mm fans on the front could give more direct airflow over both the CPU and GPU. Wouldn't work in may case as the audio/USB ports are in the way.
In order to keep things shallow, I used a Seasonic SS-300SFD SFF PSU. Also the Sony CD drive is very short. This is definitely a limiting factor of the case. SFF PSUs only and you have to make sure you have a short CD/DVD drive. As I have the PSU at the top of the case, I put the CD drive in the bottom. This is so the cables coming out of the PSU aren't coming out directly behind the CD drive. Meaning I could probably get away with a slightly longer CD drive. Hard drive is suspended above the CD drive. I could put a display above the CD like the Fusion.
The PSU is also modded with a 92mm fan. For one, I had the room. And two, I figured it would give a little more airflow which may help keep HD temps in line. This fan I've got at the moment isn't great. It's old and the bearings sound like they're not doing so well.
The top and side are one removable piece. The top of the dividing wall is glued to the top. So when it's on, it closes most of the gap.
Last, here it is sitting next to a couple other PCs for a little size comparison. A Gateway tower, ASUS Pundit R350, and last my HTPC case. I couldn't quite break the 12" mark. It came out at 12.5". Still, better than even the 14" of the Pundit. The Pundit, by the way was just barely shallow enough to fit in my current living room furniture.
So there it is. I obviously didn't finish anything yet. I would like to clean up the edges better and then paint it. Probably black/silver like the Antec. My TV/DVD/Stereo are all silver. So a silver front would match well. I was planning on lining the inside with some metal mesh for EMF grounding purposes. Plus that will keep the hole in the back from letting "things" fall in. Also, I think it would be good to have something between the gap in the front. It would have to let air in obviously. But it would be nice if you couldn't see the side of the CD drive or the fan and such.
Oh, and I don't have most of the hardware I want yet. (dang money thing) The CPU is a K6-200, the CD drive is broken, and the hard drive is definitely not quiet. But the hardware will have to wait until I have some money to spend.