struggeling to find the perfect HTPC case - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I am starting to research a new HTPC for myself, this will also replace my main rig too so I kinda need it to be able to game too. I just cannot decide on a case. It is hard to find a case that is small but big enough to accomodate my system.

With this in mind I am wanting a Geforce 9800GX2(which is one very very big card)

I am fine with Micro ATX boards.(probably gonna wait for the G45)

the CPU will probably be a 2.66gz 12mb cache yorkfield(45nm) will hopefully be able to get some nice non stock cooler with this, but this isnt paramount if the case wont accomodate it.

memory wont affect the case much

I only need room for 1or 2 HDs and 1 optical drive.

I also quite like the idea of the VFDs(not the big touch screen ones just small ones that can display things like track info and an equalizer). - am willing to loose this if the right case appears though.

to give you an idea of what I like, the favorite I have found so far is the Antec fusion:
(can't link to it due to the fact I am a new user)
I love this case I just dont think it is big enough to fit a geforce 9800GX2

my budget is anything less than ~£200.

Basically I am just looking for the smallest HTPC case that can accomodate a Geforce 9800GX2

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Many thanks

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post #2 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 11:59 AM
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One possibility would be to buy an older Ahanix D4 (if you can find it) and do some minor mods to it. The HDD cage in that case is removeable, and I'd basically throw it out. The case has space for two 5.25" drives, and I'd just mount the HDD in the lower bay using adapters. The hard drive does tend to get a little warm, but nothing scary.

That gives you the FULL depth of the case for a graphics card. Almost 16". No graphics card made yet is that long. And the case is almost 7" high. It can fit ANY card yet known. (It even fits the 7950GT fanless heatpipe version that had that way oversized heatsink on it).

Take the case, and dremel and make a fan opening on the left side, and you'll get all the inflow you need.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 12:32 PM
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silverstone lc17? big enough for an 8800gtx, no reason why a 9800gx2 wouldnt fit





about £75 or so. bargain of a case.
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post #4 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 01:41 PM
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Your PSU is sucking in no air unless there's a built in vent to the case

That's what's scary
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post #5 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 02:55 PM
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Here's a beauty - OrigenAE S14V (available in Black also):



The smaller S10V is also gorgeous:

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post #6 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the tips guys

Kapone: seems like a nice idea, 1st glance google didnt seem to find me anyone selling one though and also I like to stay away from case modding if I can

james: nice case got me looking at silverstone and I found the LC10M seems a very nice case, I personally prefer this case as it gives me my VFD and I personally prefer the looks (all preferance)

rdjam: seems nice dont have chance right now to carry on looking, will check out origen tommorrow.

Thanks for the help guys, any more ideas are always appreciated

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post #7 of 19 Old 04-12-2008, 04:12 PM
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Origen is very nice looking.. I bought the Omaura TF11 and awaiting to arrive, but this is also very very nice looking case... But, the price is what put me away from it. Maybe, next timea round.. :-)

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post #8 of 19 Old 04-13-2008, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentondb View Post

Your PSU is sucking in no air unless there's a built in vent to the case

That's what's scary

it does have a vent. it sucks cold air through the side vent and straight out the back of the psu. keeps it cooler

RBentley the lc10m wont fit that card because the hard drive caddy sits in the middle of the front end of the case. its an older chassis and isnt anywhere near as efficiant with its cooling design. you need a case based on the same chassis as the lc17. the lc20 is a very similar design that included a vfd. i used to own an lc-03 which is basically the chassis as the lc10. no support for full length cards with a hard drive installed, little 60mm fans at the back, the lc10 has space for only one fan at the front, 80mm i think. compare that to the lc17 - 2x92mm fans at the front, 2x80mm at the back, 3 hard drives possible with a full length card. it makes for a cooler case with a lot more airflow but a lot quieter too.

in short, avoid the older chassis!
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-13-2008, 05:43 AM
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I recently bought this one. Its full ATX, not very expensive and also comes in black.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowIm...+%2f+HTPC+Case
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-13-2008, 07:12 AM
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The length of 9800 GX2 is 10.5 in and it won't fit in many HTPC cases.

- LC17: OK if one of the drive cage is removed.
- LC10M: ? The drive cage may or may not block the card. See the picture below.

- S10V: ?
- S14V: It seems that the drive cage blocks the card.
- GD02/GD02M: OK. However GD02 lacks VFD/LCD, while GD02M accepts only a slim DVD drive.
LL
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-13-2008, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.miller View Post

about £75 or so. bargain of a case.

amazing is that people spend well over $100 for a tin box and call it a bargain!
just a quick look at dealnews reveals that you could have a box AND 5.1 amplifier in it for the same amount. HTPC world is WAY overpriced!
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-13-2008, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks formore input
toshee the omaura seem nice but lack a VFD which is tempting me very much

james/Rene: see rene's diagram, the advantage of this case is that it acceptsfull size ATX boards which means2x PCI-E 16x so can place the card in thebottom slot, hence give it the extra space. and anyways I could remove that HD tray and just use 1drive and then fill the slot underneath the 5.25" bays.

since you seem to be able to get the dimensions right for cases rene can you let me know how bad the antec fusion is for the 9800GX2? Because to be frank I love the design of this case, I believe it is tall enough but the 3 chambersystem wall for the HDDs willblock the end of the 9800GX2 slightly(I think its 10", the card being10.5"long) but then I am thinking to maybe cut into this wall to make a gap for the card. Does this sound feasible?
(still cantpost a link to an image )

avr: its all choice, for more money you get slightly more and slightly better quality. Iv found anything less than £50 is very flimsy and just feels like a value product(of course excpetions do exist)

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post #13 of 19 Old 04-13-2008, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rbentley100 View Post

since you seem to be able to get the dimensions right for cases rene can you let me know how bad the antec fusion is for the 9800GX2? Because to be frank I love the design of this case, I believe it is tall enough but the 3 chambersystem wall for the HDDs willblock the end of the 9800GX2 slightly(I think its 10", the card being10.5"long) but then I am thinking to maybe cut into this wall to make a gap for the card. Does this sound feasible?

The max card length supported by Fusion is 25 cm = 9.85 inch. If you cut out the wall, you can install 9800 GX2. The wall is fixed to the case with rivets and not easy to remove from the case. But you may be able to cut out the wall without removing it.
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 02:57 PM
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I've got a 9600GT in an NSK-2480 and it fits with room to spare. I can't imagine the 9800GX2 being too much longer if any.

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post #15 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 07:03 PM
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- 9600 GT/8800 GT: 9 inches
- 9800 GTX/9800 GX2: 10.5 inches
- mATX/ATX mb: 9.6 inch width

9600 GT/8800 GT should fit most HTPC cases, while 9800 GTX/9800 GX2 won't fit most HTPC cases.
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post #16 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 07:16 PM
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Well, if the power connector is closer to where the 8800GT is, it should overhang and you may fit the 9800... If not, a quick modification will fit about any card you could ever want.


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post #17 of 19 Old 04-14-2008, 07:21 PM
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The distance from the PCI bracket to the wall is 9.85 inches while 9800 GX2 is 10.5 inches (9600 GT/8800 GT is only 9.0 inches) as I wrote early ... Yes, just cut out the wall with a saw.


LL
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post #18 of 19 Old 04-15-2008, 05:14 PM
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Personally...I have an xps420 with dual cablecard tuners sitting next to my TV (ugh). It's quite though which is nice and the cablecards rock.

I started thinking though about putting the xps in a closet somewhere and going the media extender route for the main and sattellite TVs and it dawned on me, the cost of HTPC enclosures is high and you can pick up a good media extender for about $300. Obviously, there are some benefits and drawbacks:

Good:
Less Cable Clutter
More power on the circuit for amps, tvs etc
Less Noise
Less equipment clutter

Bad:
Costs more
depending on useage, less functionality
nets additional power usage
more equipment (though...this could be a good thing).

I would imagaine that if you get a media extender that can be hardwired, or a draftN extender (and router) you can have this set-up very nicely. If you already have an xbox360, you already have one.

I am seriously considering this as my server and NAS are already in my closet.

That reminds me...server could use some cleaing.

Thoughts?
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-15-2008, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

The length of 9800 GX2 is 10.5 in and it won't fit in many HTPC cases.

- LC17: OK if one of the drive cage is removed.
- LC10M: ? The drive cage may or may not block the card. See the picture below.

- S10V: ?
- S14V: It seems that the drive cage blocks the card.
- GD02/GD02M: OK. However GD02 lacks VFD/LCD, while GD02M accepts only a slim DVD drive.

I have that case and was able to get the sapphire ati 3850 fanless job into it eventually. I had to do a little drilling to move a HD up but the case is a bit flexable, more than one would think. There is a drive bay bellow the CD cage and you can get a 5.25 to 3.5in bay adapter to put a HD into the 5.25 bay.
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