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 Post subject: Silverstone LaScala LC-04 HTPC Case
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:38 pm 
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Silverstone LaScala LC-04 Case -- finally, a nice design that's good enough for a pretty quiet HTPC!

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Last edited by MikeC on Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 4:52 am 
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You know, I wish that somehow SilverStone could incorporate more 80mm fan mounts. While having one next to the graphics card is nice, it seems you could fit one in the front on the right side. One interesting possibility, though, perhaps could be to use one of those heatpipe CPU cooling solutions found on Shuttle SFF systems/ThermalTake and use the PSU's intake fan to suck the heat out, with the 80mm bringing in the air.

Nonetheless, still looks like a great case :P

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:30 am 
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Excellent review, Ralf.

Do you think that the case would be a lot quieter with the hard drive decoupled? In other words, was the hard drive noise the ONLY thing that was obtrusive at 1-2m?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:48 am 
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sthayashi wrote:
Excellent review, Ralf.

Do you think that the case would be a lot quieter with the hard drive decoupled? In other words, was the hard drive noise the ONLY thing that was obtrusive at 1-2m?


Yes. and yes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:50 pm 
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Having just bought (but not yet used) an SST-LC02, the smaller version that takes a laptop optical drive, I'm glad to hear these Silverstone cases have some "silence potential". I was worried about the power supply and aluminum body, but if your SST-LC04 is any indication, neither should be much of a problem for me.

Thanks for the great (and timely) review!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:25 pm 
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Great review Ralf. While the LC04 has the advantage of a nice compact size, I prefer the Silverstone LC03 case:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-lc03.htm

It's big, but if you've got room for it in your home theater rack, it looks good and can be set up cool and quiet. Looks like the back could be modded to accomodate an additional 60mm fan, or possibly 2x80mm fans. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:53 pm 
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jeffa2 - The LC03 looks VERY nice. The dimensions are perfect for HTPC and matching with a very good stereo (not mini) system.

For most HTPC setups, the shorter depth of the smaller cases doesn't mean much when the front of the system will be pushed out to match the rest of the stereo.

I wouldn't go with the smaller systems unless I really, really needed the space and had small A/V equipment contained in furniture that has very little depth.

I still haven't seen a case that is worthy of replacing my older steel black Antec desktop. I love that case. (sheds a tear)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:42 pm 
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The LC03 is really just a worse variant of the LC01 I reviewed a few weeks back: it has a 60mm back panel case fan instead of the 80mm one in the LC01 -- which to me makes the LC01 quite a bit better. Neither the LC01 nor the LC03 are without other compromises; they are generally not as well ventilated as a good similar size tower case. The height and depth of the 01 and 03 make them not nearly as friendly as the 04 in an audio stand.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:20 pm 
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Sorry I missed that review, thanks for the info! Yep the LC01 has a better back panel, but I prefer the clean look of the LC03. It's a closer match to my AV components (receiver, DVD player, etc). Do you think the back panels of LC01/LC03 could be modded to accept 2 80mm fans? Hard to tell if there is enough room by the pictures.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:47 pm 
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jeffa2 wrote:
Sorry I missed that review, thanks for the info! Yep the LC01 has a better back panel, but I prefer the clean look of the LC03. It's a closer match to my AV components (receiver, DVD player, etc). Do you think the back panels of LC01/LC03 could be modded to accept 2 80mm fans? Hard to tell if there is enough room by the pictures.

I noted in that LC01 review that the hole for the 80mm fan is slightly smaller than it really should be, but they may have done that deliberately -- for structural integrity. Given that smaller than 80mm hole, I don't see any problem adding another one next to it -- you might end up with a single oval hole, which might actually work better, and as long as you are not one to worry about structural integrity...

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 Post subject: Comments on Firewire and temperatures
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:46 pm 
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Regarding your problem with the firewire port...I purchased the LC-04 recently, and to utilize the front firewire port I just unscrewed the external firewire connector from the mounting bracket, which then allowed me to plug the internal cable into the external connector, and then that connector to the motherboard firewire pins. I don't have a firewire device to try it out, but I assume that it works ok.

A note also on temperatures: I installed a Silenx 80 mm thermistor fan, which runs at a super quiet 14 db while still pumping out 28 scfm. I have this fan set up to pull air out of the case (there are enough openings in the case to allow air to be pulled in passively), and with my ASUS K8NE motherboard and AMD Athlon 64 3000+ processor (with stock fan), along with a Seagate Barracuda 160 GB SATA drive and 1 GB (2 x 512) of Kingston DDR400 RAM, the ASUS utility says that my motherboard temps are running around 35C and my CPU temps are running around 32C (at idle). So I'm pretty happy thus far, although in an effort to improve noise further, I've ordered another Silenx thermistor fan to replace the CPU fan (I purchased an Amuzuma universal fan adapter so that I could mount the 80 mm fan on the 70 mm heatsink holes). I'll let you know how it comes out when I get a chance to install it this weekend.

Bryan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:30 am 
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Bfox wrote:
...to utilize the front firewire port I just unscrewed the external firewire connector from the mounting bracket, which then allowed me to plug the internal cable into the external connector, and then that connector to the motherboard firewire pins.


This was clear as mud to me the first time I read it. I think he means he unscrewed the external firewire port from the PCI slot bracket that came with his motherboard and plugged the case's firewire connector into that. As he says, that should work fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:31 am 
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Ralf Hutter wrote:
sthayashi wrote:
Excellent review, Ralf.

Do you think that the case would be a lot quieter with the hard drive decoupled? In other words, was the hard drive noise the ONLY thing that was obtrusive at 1-2m?


Yes. and yes.


From the photos, it looks like there's very little vertical space to insert some isolating grommets, though in the review you do say it would be possible.

Sorry for querying your definitive statement from the review, but is there definitely enough vertical space above and below the drive to isolate it, or would you have to find another position for the hard drive (looks difficult).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:10 am 
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jimmyfergus wrote:
Ralf Hutter wrote:
sthayashi wrote:
Excellent review, Ralf.

Do you think that the case would be a lot quieter with the hard drive decoupled? In other words, was the hard drive noise the ONLY thing that was obtrusive at 1-2m?


Yes. and yes.


From the photos, it looks like there's very little vertical space to insert some isolating grommets, though in the review you do say it would be possible.

Sorry for querying your definitive statement from the review, but is there definitely enough vertical space above and below the drive to isolate it, or would you have to find another position for the hard drive (looks difficult).


You could remove the bracket, redrill it's mounting holes a bit lower, and open up the holes in the floor of the case and the bracket itself. Moving the bracket up would give you the extra room needed for the grommets, dilling the holes larger would let you install those EAR type of grommets.

A slightly different tack would be to use those silicon washers that are in the Vantec and Antec fan isolation/PSU isolation kits. They might not be quite as effective as the EAR grommets, but they're about half the thickness, so you may be able to use them w/o modifying the location of the bracket.

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 Post subject: mods...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:53 am 
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This looks like an interesting case for a quiet htpc, if I can justify the expense. In the interest of quiet and reliability (hdd coolness) I'm wondering if a few mods might be worth considering. I'm not worried about hacking at the case... Comments welcome:
    Use an upward blowing cooler with a duct directly to the vent above, to ensure all the warmed air blows straight out. If necessary cutting a hole and using a free-flowing fan grill if airflow seemed too restricted
    Having the side 80mm fan blowing out - this seems to make more sense to me, so encouraging fresh air to come in around the HDD, which I wouldn't have thought it would do with an inward blow. If the incoming vents prove to be too restrictive with all three fans blowing out, then they might have to be opened up a bit, or an additional vent cut in the bottom of the case.
    To silence the hard drive - either mod the bracket for soft mountings, or if that proved insufficient, given a small mobo (you can only use 2 slots anyway), perhaps a dangling horizontal mount for a HDD partially under the optical drive could be achieved. Possibly putting cooling fins down the side of the drive
    Finally, if necessary, a little bit of creative ducting to persuade the incoming air to do more of a tour of the components before exiting through the fans. I can imagine some of it might just go straight back out


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 Post subject: Re: mods...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 pm 
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jimmyfergus wrote:
This looks like an interesting case for a quiet htpc, if I can justify the expense. In the interest of quiet and reliability (hdd coolness) I'm wondering if a few mods might be worth considering. I'm not worried about hacking at the case... Comments welcome:
[list]Use an upward blowing cooler with a duct directly to the vent above, to ensure all the warmed air blows straight out. If necessary cutting a hole and using a free-flowing fan grill if airflow seemed too restricted


I did. The Alpha 8952, with it's fan sucking off the mobo and blowing out the top vent of the case. Also tried a conventional Zalman 7000. Quoted from my review:

Ralf Hutter wrote:
With the Zalman 7000, idle temps were a few degrees warmer but load temps were about the same as with the Alpha 8952. Another effect of the Zalman was that the HDD ran noticeably warmer than with the Alpha in the system. Apparently the additional intake airflow of the Zalman disturbed the case pressure enough to reduce the airflow around the HDD. My theory is partly correct in that even though the CPU temp remained unchanged, the overall case temps were higher with the Zalman blowing down, versus the Alpha blowing up.



jimmyfergus wrote:
Having the side 80mm fan blowing out - this seems to make more sense to me, so encouraging fresh air to come in around the HDD, which I wouldn't have thought it would do with an inward blow. If the incoming vents prove to be too restrictive with all three fans blowing out, then they might have to be opened up a bit, or an additional vent cut in the bottom of the case.


I had it blowing in as both the CPU and PSU fans were blowing out.

jimmyfergus wrote:
To silence the hard drive - either mod the bracket for soft mountings, or if that proved insufficient, given a small mobo (you can only use 2 slots anyway), perhaps a dangling horizontal mount for a HDD partially under the optical drive could be achieved. Possibly putting cooling fins down the side of the drive


Decoupling the drive would be highly desirable, but there's definitely not enough room to shoehorn it even partially beneath the optical drive. Vertically mounting in somewhere near it's original location is the only way to do this, I think.


jimmyfergus wrote:
Finally, if necessary, a little bit of creative ducting to persuade the incoming air to do more of a tour of the components before exiting through the fans. I can imagine some of it might just go straight back out


Yep.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:21 pm 
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I've been working with my LC02, which is laid out about the same but a bit smaller, for a little while now. See Back-of-LCD variable power consumption PC. Airflow in these kinds of cases is challenging, to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: mods...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:21 pm 
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Ralf Hutter wrote:
jimmyfergus wrote:
[list]Use an upward blowing cooler with a duct directly to the vent above, to ensure all the warmed air blows straight out. If necessary cutting a hole and using a free-flowing fan grill if airflow seemed too restricted


I did. The Alpha 8952, with it's fan sucking off the mobo and blowing out the top vent of the case. Also tried a conventional Zalman 7000. Quoted from my review:


Ah, I should have stressed, it was the addition of a duct, to make sure no warm air recirculates, that I was thinking of. That grill looks like it might deflect quite a bit otherwise. I suppose experiments would be the only way to be sure.

After all that, I suspect that a single-disk option isn't for me. It's to be my sole 24/7 server - upgrading my web/mail server and adding PVR/audio server abilities. Extra disks may well be in its future...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 2:07 am 
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How much space are there between the AGP card and the CDROM??
And how about the clearence between the AGP card and the PCI card??

I'm affraid that a Zalman heatpipe cooling system doesn't fit.


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 Post subject: Hard disk decoupling
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:48 am 
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Hi all,

I have sucessfully decoupled my harddisk using about £2 worth of general hardware.

I went to local DIY shop and bought a pack of misc rubber washers (contained 3 x 2 pairs at 3 different sizes)

I also bought some 3mm bolts, nuts and quite wide washers.

I un-screwed the top HDD metal plate and screwed this to the bottom side of the drive. The plate faces out from the HDD with the holes originally used to screw the plate to the case facing the (mATX) motherboard.

I drilled two 3.5mm+ holes where the holes on the plate line up.

I bolted the plate to the case with a rubber washer each side and a large metal washer on the underside to spread the force across the rubber.

All in all very successful way to quieten down the fairly noisy barracuda 7 I use.

Now I need to find a way of diverting some of the air from the Noiseblocker S2 case fan to the HDD and get some heatsinks on the hdd itself (possibly use a number of ramsinks??) to keep that HDD cooler.

James


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 Post subject: 3 to 2-pin motherboard adapter ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:41 am 
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Hi,

I cannot connect the power led to my LC04 case due to the 3-pin connection problem mentioned in the article. Does anyone know where I could possibly get a 3-pin-to-2-pin adapter from??

Thanks
Mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 7:00 am 
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia
I recently purchased the Australian release of the LC-04 with the 300 watt power supply option. The version I recieved came with a quiet power supply that has a 24pin atx connector as well as 2 sata power connectors. This PS also does not have any 115/230 volt selector switch cause I checked and the sticker on the PS says it supports both. SO the PS must auto sense the incomming frequncy/voltage or be preset for the locale.

And for those people above with the Power Led 2/3 pin incompatibility, I solved it by simply cutting the 3-pin connector into two pieces as the middle pin is vacant. Then connect each one to the appropriate pin on the motherboard panel connector.

Overall I like this case, light weight, small and relatively silent with above average build quality. Plus, it has the advatage over the LC-11 by being of full aluminium construct.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: 3 to 2-pin motherboard adapter ?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:34 am 
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mw3382 wrote:
Hi,

I cannot connect the power led to my LC04 case due to the 3-pin connection problem mentioned in the article. Does anyone know where I could possibly get a 3-pin-to-2-pin adapter from??

Thanks
Mike


Use a razor knife and cut it down the center. Then you can face the cut edges that previously made up the center outward due to their size, or you can gently use a dremel to smooth up and remove the extra material from the center. No need to waste money.


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