Silverstone GD01 and LC17 HTPC Cases

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Silverstone GD01 and LC17 HTPC Cases

Post by MikeC » Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:32 am


mexell
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Post by mexell » Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:08 am

Great review. I think that these cases will run great with an undervolted C2D. Toss in an 8800GT, and you'll have a great, quiet living room gaming-HDTV-machine. Maybe I should ask my boss (=wife) for some money for another computer...

I like the fact that after the long dry road in September/early October reviews come pouring out every week... sometimes even twice a week or more. Keep up that great work!

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Post by kittle » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:07 pm

very nice looking cases -- too bad the LC17 doesnt come in silver, id set one up for my brother (I really dont want the extra expense and hassle of the VFD)

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Post by MikeC » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:46 pm

kittle wrote:very nice looking cases -- too bad the LC17 doesnt come in silver, id set one up for my brother (I really dont want the extra expense and hassle of the VFD)
from the review: The LC17 comes in black or silver.

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Post by djkest » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:02 am

Nice review. One thing that always strikes me about HTPC cases is that there really is no "perfect" case, they all have flaws. It appears to me that the flaws with these silverstone cases are not bad enough that you couldn't make it work, and work well, for a properly set-up system.

These cases are very nice in that you get a full ATX motherboard in the space of a normal HTPC. Unfortunately they are a little large; but the smaller cases come with more compromises.

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Post by Luminair » Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:26 am

djkest wrote:One thing that always strikes me about HTPC cases is that there really is no "perfect" case, they all have flaws.
The best htpc case(s) I've seen online = the omaura case(s): http://www.omaura.com/tf5.html

Full ATX board size is overkill for an HTPC no matter how you slice it. Smaller-than-ATX form factor boards can provide every feature you need in an HTPC machine. High quality onboard video, sound, networking, SATA... all present on modern smaller-than-atx boards.

I find the prospect of a thin omaura case paired with a fast+cool penryn processor to be an as-good-as-it-gets-in-computing scenario. A 2.5ghz Core 2 Duo at 25W TDP will make dreams come true.

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Post by MikeC » Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:37 am

Luminair wrote:The best htpc case(s) I've seen online = the omaura case(s): http://www.omaura.com/tf5.html

Full ATX board size is overkill for an HTPC no matter how you slice it. Smaller-than-ATX form factor boards can provide every feature you need in an HTPC machine. High quality onboard video, sound, networking, SATA... all present on modern smaller-than-atx boards.

I find the prospect of a thin omaura case paired with a fast+cool penryn processor to be an as-good-as-it-gets-in-computing scenario. A 2.5ghz Core 2 Duo at 25W TDP will make dreams come true.
Those are nice looking cases, tho not widely available. I followed your link to omaura, and looked for online retailers, found only one -- in the UK. They're selling the TF5 for £125 and the TF8 for £131, which is not bad for limited production all-aluminum cases. The TF8 design is a bit like the Antec Fusion in mobo/PSU layout. As usual, vents look a bit restrictive, and especially with the smaller case, you'd probably have to work hard to get it quiet enough, but I do love the minimalist clean look. I've requested samples.

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Post by Luminair » Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:09 am

MikeC wrote:I've requested samples.
Nice, I'm glad :)

For the silent low end I think I can see the TF5 running passively with their external power supply brick.

Someone on their forum mentioned a blower fan by default in there somewhere. I don't see it in the picture though. I think their products are still under development, so maybe the TF5 has changed since those pictures were taken.

For the high end I don't think much changes because "high end" now means "25W CPU" and "video card that exhausts outside of the case on its own" :)

Ideally the case would have side vents that you could work with, but if not, maybe something fancy could be rigged with the top vents. You might be able to stick a dual slot video card with blower in there on the riser board, or maybe a thermalright HR03 on the back of the card. The riser is a fun thing to play with because it gives you expansion options (two-ish full size slots) that you don't even see in the larger cases.

The prospect of a quiet high end PC in a little case like that is exciting. I think with more system standardization we could see some of the game console space mutate into being actual PCs (like the "Games for Windows" initiative) before becoming so inexpensive that they mutate back into proprietary hardware ("Tiger handheld" style).

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Post by Number12 » Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:21 pm

Hi Mike
great review. I built my htpc around the LC17 nearly 2 years ago, badly described in this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=28795&start=0&postdays= ... light=lc17

If you notice, I placed the seasonic so that it sucks air from inside the case, as I was concerned about the heat from the passive video card building up inside the case.

The system is still serving my AV needs, with the only change being removing the dual digital PCI card and replacing it with a USB solution, which has more stable drivers.

If I had to build one today, I would go down the micro-atx pathway for the size and nowadays no compromise with feature set.

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Post by sikbok » Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:16 pm

Thnx for the review Mike.
I've been working on a LC16mr build and your article on the LC17 & GD01 has been a great help.
Seems like a number of Silverstone cases differ only in bezel and drive arrangement.

I also found the picture with the Minja mounted on a M2N32 Sli Deluxe very interesting.
After some research, I had concluded there would be clearance issues with the Minja and the motherboard heatsinks.
Did you have any trouble with those heatsinks when installing the Minja?

I'd currently have the Thermalright SI-128 on my wish list, but I'd rather have the Minja if it'll fit.

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Post by MikeC » Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:40 pm

sikbok wrote:I also found the picture with the Minja mounted on a M2N32 Sli Deluxe very interesting.
After some research, I had concluded there would be clearance issues with the Minja and the motherboard heatsinks.
Did you have any trouble with those heatsinks when installing the Minja?
No problem at all.

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Post by sikbok » Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:49 pm

MikeC wrote:
sikbok wrote:I also found the picture with the Minja mounted on a M2N32 Sli Deluxe very interesting.
After some research, I had concluded there would be clearance issues with the Minja and the motherboard heatsinks.
Did you have any trouble with those heatsinks when installing the Minja?
No problem at all.
Sweet :D

One worry though, after having another look at the photo, I noticed the DVD player had been removed.
Do the optical drive and 3.5" hdd drive extend far over the motherboard?
It does look rather tight.

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Post by MikeC » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:35 pm

sikbok wrote:Sweet :D

One worry though, after having another look at the photo, I noticed the DVD player had been removed.
Do the optical drive and 3.5" hdd drive extend far over the motherboard?
It does look rather tight.
The optical drive makes it impossible to put the fan on that side. But a modern short one fits fine if you're not trying to get a fan on that side. Which is why the fan was positioned to suck through the fins.

The 3.5" HDDs do end up right at the edge of the board, but not really over, which is mentioned; it's a little tricky to get all the connectors in, which is why I mentioned doing this serially -- install component, plug connector, install next component.... and so on.

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Post by PsychoStreak » Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:16 pm

Interesting read.

I rebuilt my HTPC a couple of months ago using the other sibling of those two cases, the LC20B. Same base chassis, different bezel.

The heatsinks you used are not the best choices for use in the case.
I went with the Thermalright Ultra-90 (soon swapping for an Ultima-90), as that unit allows the fan to be mounted in the push configuration so it works with the rear fans better than the Scythe.
System is running a C2D E6600 on a P5K-VM and an X1650Pro. Idles in the low to mid 20c range, haven't gotten it to go past 46c yet, and that was with no AC on a 100F day.

The main thing I don't like about the LC20 is the drive cage, which is the same used in the LC17. I wish I'd gotten the older version, which used the same dual cages as the GD01. Drive mounting is more cumbersome, IMO.

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Post by sikbok » Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:40 am

PsychoStreak wrote:I rebuilt my HTPC a couple of months ago using the other sibling of those two cases, the LC20B. Same base chassis, different bezel.

The heatsinks you used are not the best choices for use in the case.
I went with the Thermalright Ultra-90 (soon swapping for an Ultima-90), as that unit allows the fan to be mounted in the push configuration so it works with the rear fans better than the Scythe.
That does sound like a nice set-up :)

However, the original article states that there's 20mm clearance over the 115mm Minja, limiting this setup to 135mm Heatsinks.
Had a look at the Theralright sinks you mentioned.

- Ultra-90 = 147mm
- Ultima-90 = 139mm

Did you have to mod the parts?
Or does an Intel build leave more clearance?

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Post by MikeC » Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:45 am

PsychoStreak wrote:The heatsinks you used are not the best choices for use in the case.
This was known. It isn't important that the best HS for the case be used; mostly, we're trying to keep the system the same as in previous htpc case reviews for comparison purposes.

I rechecked the height clearance -- it's ~23mm above the minja or about 7/8". A little more than I had written in the article, but still, the U90 must be a very tight fit in there.

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Post by NyteOwl » Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:47 am

Nice article. Of interest as I rather like the basic lyout of the Silverstone HTPC cases. Any chance they might send you a CW01 to test? It has the same layout as the LC17 but is a bit larger, and has the option for intake fans under the drive cage. I'd be curious to see how it made out, especially using the newer "quiet" 80mm accesory fans from Silverstone.

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Post by MikeC » Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:05 pm

NyteOwl wrote:Nice article. Of interest as I rather like the basic lyout of the Silverstone HTPC cases. Any chance they might send you a CW01 to test? It has the same layout as the LC17 but is a bit larger, and has the option for intake fans under the drive cage. I'd be curious to see how it made out, especially using the newer "quiet" 80mm accesory fans from Silverstone.
CW01 is basically about 1.5~2cm deeper, all aluminum, has an extra bottom vent near the PSU, and the side vents are more open. I think the conclusions you can reach are obvious:

1) It should have slightly better cooling than the LC17/GD01
2) aluminum hum could be more of a problem with hard-mounted HDDs or fans (at higher speed).

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Post by PsychoStreak » Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:39 am

MikeC wrote:
PsychoStreak wrote:The heatsinks you used are not the best choices for use in the case.
This was known. It isn't important that the best HS for the case be used; mostly, we're trying to keep the system the same as in previous htpc case reviews for comparison purposes.

I rechecked the height clearance -- it's ~23mm above the minja or about 7/8". A little more than I had written in the article, but still, the U90 must be a very tight fit in there.
Ah. I see. that makes sense.
Haven't done a precise measurement yet (I'll try to do so when I try fitting the Ultima-90 in there), but it just
fits under the top panel without touching.

I suppose it is possible the 775 boards offer a hair or two more clearance, but I know that nothing taller than the Ultra-90 would fit and let you close the case. The width of the Ultima-90 is a question mark I hope to remove today. If the Ultima-90's good for 5 degrees more than the Ultra-90, that would put full load temps in the mid-high 30s'. :)

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Post by zds » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:34 pm

Very nice and useful review, thanks folks!

On a topic of restrictive vents: while restrictions naturally increase turbulence, good filters or other fine mesh on intakes is very useful to have, especially in HTPC. The reason for this is simple: dust.

Most of the real-world houses and apartments are not clean rooms, so carefully place filters on all intakes and positive pressure inside the case are very much needed to keep the machine working properly (and quietly) in the long run.

Any dust inside the case attacks just the parts that are needed to be in excellent condition for the machine to run quietly: fan bearings and heat sinks. I have seen too many machines that have had their fans die an early death and/or ramp up due to fins being jammed with layer of dust..

So restrictive of not, some air filtration is good thing to have.

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LC17 for HTPC

Post by miahallen » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:00 am

I've been using the LC17 for my HTPC for over a year now. At first I was not happy at all with it's low noise performance. About 4mo ago I did extensive moddifications to it, and I'm quite pleased with it now.

I moddified the front intake vents, opting instead for 2 120mm Yates Loon fans @5V running as exhaust fans (yes out the front). I had to remove the HDD cages, and since I'm only runing a single 3.5" HDD, I suspended it:
Image

I'm using a cheap 350W fanless PSU that I bought on ebay (stable for over a year now). So the only other fan is anoth 120mm Yate Loon drawing air directly over the Termaltake Big Typhoon CPU cooler @7V. Since there was not enough room above for proper intake, I cut a hole in the top of the case for direct intake air. This works very well and my Operton 165 has been stable with a 33-50% OC since I did it. The rear exhaust fans were removed, and the opening was covered. All other air vents were left stock.

Anyhow, the biggest problem I still have is mostly due to cabinet resonance, which I attempted to solve by glueing carpet to the interior of the lid. However the glue did not last, and therefore...neither did the carpet :roll: Anyhow, I'd like to use some adhesive floor tiles, but they've been difficult to locate here (in Japan). I'd like to get a quieter HDD but since all my media is stored on the office PC in the other room, it doesn't make a whole lot of noise anyway. Also, I just replaced the aging Radeon 9700Pro with a more modern (and passive 8) ) Radeon HD 2400Pro.

Anyhow, jut thought I'd add my $.02 worth of experience.

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Advice on under-volting the two 80mm case fans

Post by tim360 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:36 pm

I've just purchased this case for my HTPC, but need some advice on under-volting the case fans. This is my first HTPC build so I'm bit of a novice. Specs as follows:

GIGABYTE GA-MA69G-S3H
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000 + standard fan
Seasonic 430w S12
Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB
A-Data DDR2 1GB
ASUS DRW 1814L1T DVD

The motherboard only has one case fan plug, so I've got one fan running at full speed. I've identified the case fan as the main contributor to the system noise (which isn't too bad). I can't get any software to reduce the case fan speed, eg speedfan or Gigabyte utilities.

My thoughts are to under-volt both fans so I have two quiet fans running, better than one noisy one. How can I achiev this with the current setup and what wiring mods do I need to make?

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Post by hybrid2d4x4 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:03 pm

Thanks for the review, Mike.

One a side note, the display on the silver HTPC is actually an LCD, not a VFD (you had "VFD" sprinkied in there a few times in the review as though it was interchangeable with LCD). VFDs tend to have better contrast (pure black backdrop) and do not suffer from limited viewing angles compared to LCDs. The one they use in the reviewed case is the same as used in the Antec Fusion Black, although the variation of this display Antec uses has a worse reputation.

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Post by psiu » Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:18 pm

Does anyone know if the front port setup can be swapped out to any 3.5" drive setup (like my current floppy/card reader one)?

These cases on Newegg are only available without the card reader setups...and I like having a floppy available.

tim360
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Post by tim360 » Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:25 pm

From looking inside my case I believe the standard 3.5" bay can be swapped out for any other 3.5" device.

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Post by psiu » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:38 am

tim360 wrote:From looking inside my case I believe the standard 3.5" bay can be swapped out for any other 3.5" device.
Cool...I might look into this case...another question:

anyone think it's sturdy enough to hold a 19" lcd on top?

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Post by JoeWPgh » Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:57 am

psiu wrote:anyone think it's sturdy enough to hold a 19" lcd on top?
It should be more than sturdy enough, especially if you keep the crossbar in.
At 6.75" high, it might raise the monitor too much for some people.

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Post by oberbimbo » Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:54 am

Is the Silverstone Logo removeable without damaging the case?

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Post by Zoiks » Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:36 pm

Im thinking about getting a SC17 for my file/media server.

It will initially have 4 hard drives in it, but I may expand it up to 6. It has 6 internal drive bays, assuming that I use a power efficient cpu, no video card, mitx motherboard and put fans in all possible locations, I should be fine for cooling shouldnt I?

Im thinking about getting noctua 80 and 90mm fans to deck it out.

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Post by jhhoffma » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:24 am

With no video card, a mITX board and a low power CPU, you won't need that many fans. Maybe an intake or two for the HDDs, and an exhaust fan in addition to the PSU fan, you'll be fine.

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