Hard time finding the right case, I could really use some advice. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-19-2012, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I am wanting to build a HTPC that will be used heavily for gaming, now that steam has "big picture mode" I just cant resist. I am having a very hard time fining just the right case. I am dead set on finding the smallest possible case, I'm not worried about cooling, I can figure that out after I find a case. The space I have to work with in my entertainment center is only W 18" x H 6.125". The case needs to be able to have a regular ATX PSU, and at least a single slot full height PCIe slot, preferably dual slot, and cases that use a riser card or ribbon cables for the PCIe are actually preferred. I don't care what form factor the motherboard uses so long as the case fits in the space I have available. Last but not least it has to look sharp and preferably black, I found 1 case already but it was absolutely hideous, The case is grey with cheap clear plastic over the cheap grey plastic on the front, it looked like a cheap toy.

I am looking for something just like the Silverstone ML03B, but with dual horizontal full height slots instead of 4 vertical half height slots. <<Perfect size
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163174

and anything like this is to big for what I'm aiming for.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163204

The Wesena E5 is almost what I'm looking for except it doesn't use an ATX PSU, I cant find one anywhere, and they are probably extremely expensive.
http://wesena.com/projects/e-series/

I would like to be able to fit a GeForce 660Ti or similar in the case. Can anyone help point me in the right direction, and preferably for under $200? Also modding the case isn't an option for me, I'm actually quite skilled at it, but I have absolutely no tools aside from screwdrivers, and living in a apartment I don't think my neighbors would appreciate all the cutting a grinding noise biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-20-2012, 03:30 AM
 
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I run the Silverstone GD05 variant of the GD04 that you linked to saying it was too big. How? It's 5.9" tall, and you have 6.125" to work with. I picked it because I was constrained to 6.3" tall and a 14" depth. If you desperately need to pick up another 0.1", you can even remove the feet on it and stick some replacement rubber feet on instead to drop the overall height to roughly 5.8".

Give that GD04 another look, or the GD05 variant. What do you need a DVD drive for on a Steam box? wink.gif Amazon still has them for $95, and it fits every bit of your criteria.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-20-2012, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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The GD05/04 aren’t to big to fit, there just to big for me personally, I just don’t want a case that size. I know there was actually a pretty large selection of cases just like what im looking for a few years back, back when AGP was the standard, but I cant find any of them any more. I was researching low profile graphics and found the HD7750, I may go with that card and use the ML03B. The ML03B, has the look and size im going for, and the HD7750 should be able to handle anything I throw at it.

I still have some time before I order anything, and I really would like to be able to use full size graphics if possible. If anyone has any suggestions it would be great, and if I find anything I'll post it here as well.

Also I found that the Alienware X51 Is a tiny pc with full graphics, but I will not ever buy another manufactured system again, especially not Alienware/Dell.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-20-2012, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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http://fjxmdy.en.ec21.com/HTPC_Case--3123952_3123968.html

This case looks like what im after, I know it uses an SFX PSU, but I found a 450W SFX PSU on newegg with great reviews. The only problem is I cant find this case anywhere except this site, and I just simply don't trust the website I found the case on. I am going to keep looking, if anyone knows where I can find this case please let me know.

Also, I'm ok with SFX PSUs now, 450w is a very resonable wattage and @ 36A on the 12V rail!!! so any cases that use SFX are good with me after finding that.

Lastly, if you look at the pci slots on that case there appears to be two of them if im not mistaken, but they are configured in such a way that the actual pcie connector would be facing away from the mother board, which is good because then the video card fan would be facing up instead of down, but because of the extra distance how do you guys think a riser cable like the one blow would work? im concerned about a performance decrease at that length.

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/High-Density-PCI-E-PCI-Express-16X-Riser-Card-Adapter-Extender-Flex-Flexible-Extension-Cable-Ribbon/104282_504895520.html
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-24-2012, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, its been over a week and my search has been far from fruitful. I think I'm just going to go with the case linked to below. It's affordable, not half bad looking, and has a reset button(ill explain in a minute)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204042

After sorting through all my computer components over the last week I came to realize I have allot of components that would be great for such a project, instead of buying all new hardware. I have an HD4870 that's currently just sitting on my book shelf, and a Phenom X3 that is doing nothing right now. So I figure Ill get an AM2/AM2+/AM3 mobo, start with the Phenom X3 and eventually upgrade to a Phenom II X4, the 955 BE is dirt cheap on new egg now. A Phenom II X4 and an HD4870 will be more than enough power for a steam box/htpc. Infact that exact setup is what my girlfirend was running before I gave her my HD7870, and that setup took everything we could possibly throw at it, even BF3 at ultra settings, although high settings gave a smoother frame rate.

As far as why its important that the case have a reset button. I currently use a Xbox360 controller that I modified the cord on to make it longer, I'm sick of having that LONG cord going across my living room floor, and the controller has been through hell and back and is starting to develop a small short in the cable (I've had this controller since the 360 was first released.) So what I'm going to do is purchase a wireless 360 controller receiver, and connect it internally to one of the unused USB headers on the motherboard, I will then mount the receiver on the inside of the case and solder a small pin header in place of the pairing button on the receiver, I can then connect the reset button on the case to the receiver and use the reset button on the case to pair my wireless 360 controllers. smile.gif who needs a reset button on a PC these days anyway!

Further more, one last reason I chose this case. This case has an optional LCD module that can be installed, I'm not the slightest bit interested in having an LCD screen on the front my my case, I cant read it from my couch anyway. However, I am interested in the fact that there will be a tinted portion of plastic on the front of the case that you cannot see through, but infrared would have no problem passing through...catch my drift. I can remove the IR receiver from the board on my MCE remote receiver and mount the board inside the case and then just using some short lengths of lead wire I can then place the IR receiver just inside that window.

So in the long run, this case will allow me allot of flexibility as far as hardware upgrades are concerned, it will save me money now, because I can use parts I already have to start with. Not to mention it will allow me to make both the 360 receiver and the IR receiver internal, after all is said and done I'll have two USB ports left on the hub I plan on butting inside so I may as well add Bluetooth while I'm at it.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-24-2012, 06:06 PM
 
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It's a solid pick for your purposes. Order it, yo.
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