Got the hardware, need an HTPC case! Suggestions plz?!

Discussion in 'Cases & Cooling' started by xamoel, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. xamoel

    xamoel Junior Member

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    Hi,

    I've got all the components for my new ("gaming") HTPC sorted out, but I'm still looking for the right case.

    Components:
    1 x Crucial m4 SSD 64GB, 2.5", SATA 6Gb/s (CT064M4SSD2)
    1 x Intel Core i3-2120, 2x 3.30GHz, boxed (BX80623I32120)
    2 x Kingston ValueRAM DIMM 4GB PC3-10667U CL9 (DDR3-1333) (KVR1333D3N9/4G)
    1 x ASUS EAH6870 DC/2DI2S/1GD5, Radeon HD 6870, 1GB GDDR5, 2x DVI, 2x DisplayPort (90-C1CPZ0-L0UAY0BZ)
    1 x ASRock H77 Pro4-M, H77 (dual PC3-12800U DDR3)
    1 x LiteOn iHOS104 schwarz, SATA, retail (-32)
    1 x be quiet! Shadow Rock TopFlow SR1 (Sockel 775/1155/1156/1366/754/939/940/AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1) (BK012)
    1 x Digital Devices cine CT V6 retail
    1 x TP-Link TL-WDN4800, 450Mbps (MIMO) Dual Band, PCIe x1
    3 x be quiet! Straight Power E9 400W ATX 2.3 (E9-400W/BN190)

    Budget: anything between 2 and 200 bucks.
    Size & looks: just a typical HTPC, flat, don't need a touchscreen, not too gimmicky

    Problem: the graphics card in my build is rather big, 11" by 5,7"

    At the moment I'm looking at the Lian Li C50 and C60, or Silverstone GD07/08, but maybe someone here's got some other suggestions I haven't found yet?

    Thanks for you help!
     
  2. Slugbait

    Slugbait Elite Member

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    I have the Silverstone LC17, and still love it. No huge front panel door like the GD07, and the front panel ports aren't visible like with the GD08. Nice and clean.
     
  3. xamoel

    xamoel Junior Member

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    Good idea, but unfortunately the case isn't long enough for my graphics card :(
    9.5" vs 11"
     
  4. TheAdvocate

    TheAdvocate Platinum Member

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    I have a GD05 I am probably going to sell for cheap (see my other thread), but yeah, that vid card is pushing it.

    I thought the 6870's were all smaller cards? Like the GTX 460/560's?
     
  5. xamoel

    xamoel Junior Member

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    I think the usually are an inch shorter, but the Asus 6870 DirectCU, which is supposed to be the most quiet 6870, is 11"....

    €: But if you've got a suggestion for an extremely quiet 6870, I'm all ears!
     
  6. TheAdvocate

    TheAdvocate Platinum Member

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    I have no experience with the dual fan XFX cards but they are popular and I would guess fairly quiet. Also, MSI's TFII/TFIII versions are probably quiet and smaller.

    Let me warn you though about those GD0X cases - these cards are all tall and have the 6 pin power connectors on top which is bad news for those cases. You have to do a 90 degree bend on the power cables and you're still cramming the lid on. Much much better idea to get a short card with the power connectors on the edge of the card rather than the top.

    Many reference coolers would work. I thought the MSI TFII would work, but I just checked and it is like my Asus DCII card. Top side connectors.

    Here's a screenshot in my GDO5 - look at the red GPU powerplugs to see what I mean. It's a PITA.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. xamoel

    xamoel Junior Member

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    I see what you mean, that's really quite densely packed.

    How impressed are you with the overall build quality of Silverstone? Does it stack up/surpass that of Lian Li? I really like the looks of the DG05, but it isn't very tall...

    Probably the GD08 would be a viable choice, being two centimeters taller.
     
    #7 xamoel, Apr 11, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  8. TheAdvocate

    TheAdvocate Platinum Member

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    I didnt realize the new models were that big. It's basically just a mid tower turned on its side now. I am certain that's why they did it. It was so tight before that my GPU power cables were in danger of getting frayed from trying to close the lid.

    It's a good case. I think the design of mine is much better suited to true HTPC usage, with a single large storage drive, and prefrably no GPU or a low profile/power one.

    I ran mine with no GPU for a couple of weeks and with a 9800GT for a couple of weeks too. It really excelled with no GPU. A lot less clutter and the lack of a GPU card blocking the middle and creating a heat pool really improved airflow. All the fans spun at low rpm and the entire case was pretty quiet.

    It is well made on the whole, but quirky. To change anything you pretty much had to disassemble a good chunk of the case. I can see some people being impatient with it.
     
  9. birthdaymonkey

    birthdaymonkey Golden Member

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    I am also a GD05 owner. As I have a 7750 (small, cool, quiet, no PCI-E connector), I feel like it's the perfect case for an HTPC. It's a little cramped if you fill the HDD/SSD cage, but once you've got it all in and the cables managed, it's not cramped at all. If you're set on that video card, I imagine their slightly fatter models would be a good choice.

    Cooling for the CPU is excellent for such a small case. I've got a passive Noctua C12P heatsink and my G620 idles at ~35 and goes into the low 50s under Intel Burn Test.

    I previously used a Lian Li PC-V351 for my HTPC. While it was a unique and attractive case, I found the aluminum construction created hard drive reverberation, even with 5400 rpm drives. The weird shape was also not ideal for cooling the CPU, which idled 6-8 degrees warmer than with the GD05.

    The Silverstone is significantly quieter than the Lian Li I had. I did replace the fans with Nexus 120mm, but honestly I'm not sure if I could hear the difference between them and the stock fans in a blinded test.