HTPC - Looks finally matter

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rbsteffes
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HTPC - Looks finally matter

Post by rbsteffes » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:11 am

My wife and I are finally moving out of our apartment into a beautiful house. Me, being the caring and sensitive man I am, instantly realized what this means: My old mythtv machine is far too ugly to go in our new house. It's currently housed in an old generic case that has been floating around with me since the mid-90's.

My old case:
Image

Corner of my new family room:
Image

What I'd like to do now is get a nice case that can be put on the shelf above the TV without my wife getting that horrified you-are-going-to-do-what-with-that face, at least till we can afford to get a nicer entertainment center and remove the built in shelving.

After reading what others had said about cases, I'm not entirely sure that all my concerns were answered. I don't need it to be silent like a tomb, but I don't want it noticable either.

It seems that ATX/mATX Desktop styles are dominated by 60mm fans. I'm having trouble believing that any case with TWO 60mm could be anything other than painful to listen to. I can't use a half height case anyway, due to the size of my PVR 150. The other thing I'm concerned about is being forced to mount my hard drives in the 3.5 bays. I have two hard drives in the machine (400GB of tv). They are currently mounted with stretch magic in 5.25 bays. I'm concerned both with the noise and the heat of having two big drives crammed into an HTPC case.

With those issues in mind, does anyone have a suggestion for a case I should look at, and a good heatsink to go with it?

Mobo: SL-75MIV2-L
AMD m-XP 2200 -- Probably going to under clock and under volt this once I replace my analog capture card with another PVR150
Hard drives: ST3200822A, ST3250823A


Thanks for any suggestions
[url=http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_summary.php?s=&u=102257][img]http://sfgames.clicksplat.com/userwrbsteffesZdfttextw000000ZbgbodywEFEFEFZbgheaderwDFE3E7ZborderwFFFFFFZoptiontextw000000Zbgw1/9/fold.gif[/img][/url]

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:39 am

Does your current PC fit in that space (turned sideways)? If so, perhaps you can just use your current PC, hidden behind a painting or photo with a nice picture frame.

It's hard to tell from your picture, but I'm guessing the available space is not very deep. This is a problem for typical HTPC cases.

My current HTPC is a classic Enlight desktop case, spray painted black. It looks nice, but the case is quite deep (about ~19 inches?). Before that, I had been using a scratchbuilt case which looks like a block of black marble. Although it was a very unconventional look, it had a good WAF. Not once was it ever recognized as a computer.
Isaac Kuo

rbsteffes
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Post by rbsteffes » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:49 am

Hmm that's a good point, I need to measure that space.
[url=http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_summary.php?s=&u=102257][img]http://sfgames.clicksplat.com/userwrbsteffesZdfttextw000000ZbgbodywEFEFEFZbgheaderwDFE3E7ZborderwFFFFFFZoptiontextw000000Zbgw1/9/fold.gif[/img][/url]

the_smell
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Post by the_smell » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:52 am

Since you've got a mATX motherboard, I might be tempted with the silverstone LC11
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Mr_Smartepants
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Post by Mr_Smartepants » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:25 am

the_smell wrote:Since you've got a mATX motherboard, I might be tempted with the silverstone LC11
That's just what I was going to recommend. Damn!

The black gloss with the wood inlay would go well on those shelves. 8)
[size=75][url=http://homepage.ntlworld.com/erik.hansen/files/pics/Sonata/index.htm]Sonata (foamed)Bezel mod[/url]
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rbsteffes
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Post by rbsteffes » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:03 am

The case looks very pretty, but I need to be able to use full size PCI cards in it.
[url=http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_summary.php?s=&u=102257][img]http://sfgames.clicksplat.com/userwrbsteffesZdfttextw000000ZbgbodywEFEFEFZbgheaderwDFE3E7ZborderwFFFFFFZoptiontextw000000Zbgw1/9/fold.gif[/img][/url]

qviri
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Post by qviri » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:14 am

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/ ... w/LC11.jpg looks like it's capable of full-size cards... They include the risers with the case.
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rbsteffes
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Post by rbsteffes » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:22 am

Ah interesting, that blew right by me. Hmmmm...
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nick705
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Post by nick705 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:22 am

The Silverstone LC18 accommodates full height PCI cards and has 2x80mm exhaust fans which you could swap for Nexuses or whatever if you chose.

I'm not sure it's widely available yet though, and you'll probably need to remortgage your new house which might not please your wife too much.

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sundevil_1997
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Post by sundevil_1997 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:27 am

IsaacKuo wrote:Does your current PC fit in that space (turned sideways)? If so, perhaps you can just use your current PC, hidden behind a painting or photo with a nice picture frame.
Heh...that's my current configuration...old, generic PC case, behind the entertainment center. The innards are still just waiting for an HTPC case to come out that I actually LIKE. And still waiting.....
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karmasalad
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Post by karmasalad » Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:16 pm

I just built my HTPC using the Silverstone LC11 case (silver). It is a really lovely case and pretty easy to work in.

One very important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you have enough depth wherever it is you plan on putting this PC. It's deeper than your normal A/V equipment. It just barely fits within the cabinet beneath my Sony Wega, with the glass doors making contact with the case whenever I open and close them.

sgtpokey
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Post by sgtpokey » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:44 pm

for your specific need, have you looked at the cases forum for HTPCnews.com? They discuss a gamut of sylish htpc cases in various price ranges.

I currently use a Coolermaster 620 (Black) Micro ATX case. It uses a full-size psu and 60mm exhaust. However, I run an Athlon XP-based HTPC and it runs fine with no 60mm fan and just a 120mm PSU fan for exhaust.

Other cases that may fit what you are looking for (80mm fans, can accomodate standard ATX PSU), are the Uneed HTPC cases, and Atech Fabrication's line (both discussed on HTPCNews extensively)

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