Recommendation for HTPC case that looks like an A/V Receiver? - AVS Forum
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for an HTPC case that's black and will take full-height video cards and ideally one that resembles an A/V receiver in appearance. Silverstone seems to make some decent ones, as does Moneual. I could care less about an LCD screen on the front (seems gimmicky). I like the look of a big beefy amp better when it comes to an HTPC case.

SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum Crown Series CW02B-MXR ATX Media Center / HTPC Case


Moneual LAB Black Aluminum MonCaso 832B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case


Moneual LAB Black Aluminum MonCaso 932B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case


These are fairly pricey cases so I wonder if anyone knows other stuff I should consider that looks similar.

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:20 AM
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OrigenAE do some nice looking cases
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:08 AM
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I'm using the Zalman HD160XT with Windows Vista and it works pretty well, with some minor caveats (nothing too serious).
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:16 AM
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This is my 2 cents but I really like the Omaura TF series.

http://omaura.com/hardware.html

Good shopping!

Charles
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:33 AM
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I have the Zalman HD160 plus, and am very impressed with it. All aluminum, very well built. Around $300 at various resellers.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:16 AM
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Have a look at the Antec Fusion Black as well.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:22 AM
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I like the Origin line. I've got the X11. I bought it a couple of years ago, so I don't even know if that's a current model or not. Will you be controlling the volume directly on the HTPC or through a receiver/amp? I ask because if the latter, then having big volume knobs are useless. Personally, I think any sort of non-power button/knob (and LCD) on an HTPC case is a waste anyway (that's what a remote is for), but that's just me.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:54 AM
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Do you have a microcenter store close to you ? If so, visit one - they have a couple of very reasonably priced and decent looking htpc cases, @ ~ U$200 .

http://microcenter.com/single_produc...uct_id=0280946
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:57 AM
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Here's one I'm looking at. Great price and good reviews. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811190100

Tom

Best is what you perceive it to be, not what others tell you it is.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:18 AM
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I like this Lian Li PC-C37 which will be available by the end of July '08 (?)



The Omaura TF series were also very nice, but supplies from Dell were so limit (about 2-3 months waiting) and I think I'll wait for the reviews of this new Lian Li then make my decision.

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Old 07-01-2008, 08:27 AM
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I have the silverstone case that you first posted and its great. The VFD is readable and the software that it comes with is pretty good. The use of 120mm fans and good airflow allow for a silent HTPC easily. Great case.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:30 AM
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+1, I love my X11. I've modded it a little: removed the cage and built my own to make the HDDs quieter, volt-modded the fans, added resistors to the PWR button LED (make it dimmer), added mass-loading material to the lid (reduces resonance).

If I had to do it again, I would get something without a VFD/LCD. It's worthless and in this case only functions because it's part of the assembly with the IR receiver.

For your PC silencing needs...check out www.silentpcreview.com

For your WHS needs...check out www.wegotserved.co.uk
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:33 AM
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I use the M-station HT-3000. Its a little bit trick to mount, but its nice and beautyful.

http://www.3rsys.com/english/product...ase&idx_num=81

Sorry for bad english...
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:38 AM
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I go the silverstone lc-17 in black

Big enough to put my gaming computer and video card in it, and looks great. Has space for 2 dvd drives and more for hard disks.

What it needed was a HD fan, because it has no airflow up in the front.

It was cheap too.

Samsung LN46A650, Core 2 Duo E6400, HD4850, MSI 945P NEO3-F, 4GB PC2-6400, Harmony 659
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:16 AM
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Whatever case you choose, I imagine you are going to put it into an entertainment center of some sort.

I highly recommend that you MEASURE the depth of the shelf it will sit on. Most ATX-compatible case are over 17" deep and most entertainment centers only go that same distance in. That leaves no room for inflexible HDMI and power cables. Find out how much room you have and add 2 inches for the cables to attach and bend.

The Omaura 11 is not very deep, but Dell doesn't seem to know when it can ship. Everything they make is 3-5 weeks or later before shipment. I talked to some Dell people and one said it is not in stock and not on order and another checked a different computer system and found it available. And they wonder why their sales are slipping?
Also, consider some of the SFF (small form factor) cases. I am looking at the Aerocool M40 if I am willing to go the mATX route.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezrangel View Post

I use the M-station HT-3000. Its a little bit trick to mount, but its nice and beautyful.

http://www.3rsys.com/english/product...ase&idx_num=81

I think I would have found some other word to plaster my case with in my advertising than "LEMON"...
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:19 PM
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I just got the Antec Fusion 430 and it looks amazing. For an mATX build, it gets my vote.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbunnysoulja View Post

I just got the Antec Fusion 430 and it looks amazing. For an mATX build, it gets my vote.

+1

I have built a few around it and the cheaper NSK2480. Love the dual 120mm fan. Keeps everything cool and quiet.
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egarrard View Post

I think I would have found some other word to plaster my case with in my advertising than "LEMON"...

"Lemon Tree", actually...

Sorry for bad english...
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I think I've changed my opinion a bit. All the cases with the cheesy with the front panel littered with headphone/mic/line-in jacks + multiple USB and yada yada make the case look cheap.

What I'd really like is as minimal a case as possible, if I could design it myself it'd just be brushed black aluminum with a small blue led on the bottom left, a slot in the top center of the front panel for a slot-load BluRay drive (or worst case a door for a tray-load internal BluRay drive) and that's IT as far as front panel. So far the closest thing I've found is this guy: (Omaura TF5)

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Old 07-02-2008, 10:21 AM
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Quote:


...if I could design it myself it'd just be brushed black aluminum with a small blue led on the bottom left, a slot in the top center of the front panel for a slot-load BluRay drive (or worst case a door for a tray-load internal BluRay drive) and that's IT as far as front panel.

Actually you can! I used Front Panel Express to design a custom front panel for an Antec 2480 case. It has a 4x20 VFD display, a Powermate rotary controller, a USBUirt, and a variety of other things I wanted. Total cost of the front panel was around $130. I've attached a picture. I'd be glad to share my design (although its not perfect...) and answer any questions if you decide to go this route.

- Peter
LL
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:58 AM
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http://http://www.directron.com/sstlc16bmr.html


It's cheaper than the Zalman or similar competitors' cases and I was happy with the purchase from Directron.com. I've got the slightly older silver version (came with a USB input drive in the 3.5" bay instead of the current one's card reader) that I've just now finished assembling and will be plugging in to my plasma this week.

It is one of the nicest looking cases I've seen, definitely more high-end A/V component - looking than most other cases on the market. It will hold 6 hard drives and comes with a VFID display and IMON software and remote control to run it and the whole system.

Biggest caveat: it won't do for any sort of hard-core gaming, as the case is too short to hold more than an 8.5-9" long video card. My fairly standard sized Diamond HD 2600xt (DDR3) fits with only an inch to spare. I think you could fit an HD 3650 card in there with no problems, but the 3850 I've got in my HTPC/gaming rig won't fit in the Silverstone.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

Well I think I've changed my opinion a bit. All the cases with the cheesy with the front panel littered with headphone/mic/line-in jacks + multiple USB and yada yada make the case look cheap.

What I'd really like is as minimal a case as possible, if I could design it myself it'd just be brushed black aluminum with a small blue led on the bottom left, a slot in the top center of the front panel for a slot-load BluRay drive (or worst case a door for a tray-load internal BluRay drive) and that's IT as far as front panel. So far the closest thing I've found is this guy: (Omaura TF5)


That's a great looking case. Omaura lists Dell as their US distributor, but the TF5 is not shown as available on the Dell site. The TF HDD is listed at a steep price..
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phelmers View Post

Actually you can! I used Front Panel Express to design a custom front panel for an Antec 2480 case. It has a 4x20 VFD display, a Powermate rotary controller, a USBUirt, and a variety of other things I wanted. Total cost of the front panel was around $130. I've attached a picture. I'd be glad to share my design (although its not perfect...) and answer any questions if you decide to go this route.

- Peter

Wow, Peter - that's DAMN impressive you used that service and made your own front panel. I have to look into that.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

What I'd really like is as minimal a case as possible, if I could design it myself it'd just be brushed black aluminum with a small blue led on the bottom left, a slot in the top center of the front panel for a slot-load BluRay drive (or worst case a door for a tray-load internal BluRay drive) and that's IT as far as front panel.



Although it doesn't show in this pic there is a blue led on the bottom left, the VFD might not fit in with your requirements but it is a very minimal design. I have it in silver and love it

A pic of it in my rack but with older 'silver' kit...





There are some pics etc. of the interior on page 5 of this thread.

Adam
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:33 AM
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the origenae cases look the best by far
I went for the antec one as you can't beat that for the price
pic from google images http://www.planetx64.com/gallery/g2d...R/DSCN2004.jpg
brushed aluminium front panel
blue leds
hidden door
vfd
ir receiver
large volume knob
quiet antec atx psu
quiet 2x120mm fans
matx mobo factor
cool & quiet due to good ventilation holes/fans
fits two hard disks
lots of room
top comes off in one second (one thumscrew) no sliding/matching holes
2x usbs on front panel
nice front feet
clever design makes it look wider than taller
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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ADAM: That case looks sexy as hell and is the best-looking I've seen besides the Omaura ones. They had the decency not to clutter the front with headphone/microphone/usb/firewire ports. Now I better cancel my Omaura order and figure out where to find one in black! Thanks for the info, my man.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

ADAM: That case looks sexy as hell and is the best-looking I've seen besides the Omaura ones. They had the decency not to clutter the front with headphone/microphone/usb/firewire ports. Now I better cancel my Omaura order and figure out where to find one in black! Thanks for the info, my man.

I spent ages (about 18 months ago) trying to find a nice clean looking HTPC case and the H6 was the best I could find at the time. They aren't cheap and also don't have the best cooling but modern components won't generate much heat anyway. I love it personally, sort of a timeless design
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:21 PM
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I have the Silverstone LC14 and really like it. It does have the control buttons on the front, but they are handy when the mother-in-law can't figure out how to use a remote. It also has two DVD drive bays. I use one for a Zalman fan control. I just open the bay and turn up the fans when playing a game. I leave them at medium most of the time and turn them all the way down (but not off) for movies and music. The integrated VFD and IR receiver are also nice. It works great with the Harmony remotes.

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Old 07-03-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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I have the Zalman HD160 standard. I love it, looks great. The only real problem is the HDD cage.




Review here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article603-page1.html

User review here:
http://www.htpcnews.com/forums/index...howtopic=20611
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