If you're looking for a small tower-style case, here's a good choice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-16-2011, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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If anyone is looking for a small tower case for an HTPC, I think this one would be a great choice. I just put together a system for my wife (a general use desktop, not an HTPC), but when I got done my conclusion was that if I wanted a small tower for an HTPC rather than a horizontal component style case, this Silverstone TJ08-E would be it. (BTW, the "E" apparently stands for "evolution" and this is changed quite a bit from the previous TJ08.)

In addition to the clean lines and the typical Silverstone build quality, what distinguishes this case is the cooling. The case is small (no full ATX), but it has a well designed front-to-back air flow. In the front is a huge 180mm intake fan that has an outside switch for 700 or 1200 rpm. Even at the low speed, it blows lots of air over the hard disks and then directly over the memory and CPU. There is a place for a 120 mm exhaust fan directly in line in the back. And if you use a tower cpu cooler, also blowing front to rear, there is a terrific one-direction air flow through the case from front to rear. When you get done, it's very quiet and runs very cool (with an i5-2500k in my example). (I used an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 CPU cooler, but, having used it, I wouldn't recommend it for this case. It's just a little too big front to rear, and renders 2 of the drive bays unusable. I was able to fit it in ok with some effort with a SSD and 2 hard disks, and it works fine and silently, but next time I'd look for something slightly smaller, or one where the fan could be reversed to mount on the back drawing air through the cooler rather than blowing on it, or a good tower cooler that could be used passively. Silverstone claims this passive cooler approach will work up to a non-OC'd i7).

It has a pre-drilled mounting spot for a 2.5" SSD or hard disk, four 3.5" drive bays, and two external 5.25" drive bays. (There's an external 3.5" drive bay at the bottom, but that spot is a choice of either the external 3.5 or the internal 2.5.) The PSU is top mounted and there is an intake vent in the top of the case for PSUs with 120 or 140mm fans.

The PSU intake has a magnetic air filter on the outside, and there is a big air filter behing the front grill for the 180mm fan that slides out to either side, so you can keep the dust cleaned off without opening the case.

There are two USB 3.0 ports on the front, but they come only with a plug for an internal header (no long wire or adapter for the "run the wire out the back and plug it into an external USB port" approach).

Both sides and the top come off, and the motherboard tray is easily removed and replaced (and has a huge opening for mounting cooler backplates if needed). There are quite a few openings, slots, tie downs and other things to ease installation.

Like most mATX cases, things are a bit crowded, but overall, it's well laid out and pretty easy to work in. The case is very quiet without any special effort. I think with just a little effort you could make it essentially silent. Things screw together (no "tool-less clips) and this is not the case to use if you want to stash a whole stack of hard drives.

When I got done, my impression was that (unlike too many others) someone actually gave some thought to the layout and design this case. Good job by Silverstone.

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post #2 of 7 Old 08-19-2011, 07:14 AM
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Thanks for posting this. I like it. I've been search for a decent microATX case for a server build. I think though for the same money, I might pick this one over the Silverstone given the room for more drives and the way the drives are mounted so the cabling won't interfere w/ the mobo.

Fractal Design Arc Mini Black High Performance PC Computer Case


 

 

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-19-2011, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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That was actually my other choice. But we set the telephone on top of my wife's PC, so the full mesh top and the switches on the top made that less attractive. Also, having an open top like that made me concerned about dust. The Silverstone has a filter on the top PSU vent, and that big filter on the front fan.

For a server, that might make a better choice because it will likely be easier to install more drives.

But for an HTPC, that really quiet 180mm fan is really a big plus. The cooling on that Silverstone is extraordinary. I think you could put a Coolermaster Hyper 212+ cpu cooler (putting the fan on the back), and a quiet Noctua 120mm fan in the back opening, and have a really silent system while using all 4 3.5" bays. (The manual actually recommends putting the fan on the back of the cooler if you are using all the drive bays. I just didn't pay attention and made a bad choice of CPU cooler and made my life more difficult. Although it worked out in the end.)

There is an Arc Midi model of that same Fractal Designs case for the same price, if you aren't space constrained by the way. Might even be better for a server.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-19-2011, 08:30 AM
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I like Siverstone mid tower cases......I used this case new for 2 HTPC builds
LL
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-19-2011, 11:14 AM
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Though, for the current asking price of $55 w/ free shipping I'll probably go with the Antec 300 Illusion even though I like the looks of the Fractal Design and Silverstone better. I am trying not to care since it sits in the basement .


 

 

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post #6 of 7 Old 08-19-2011, 11:54 AM
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I have been using this one for the past year or so

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post #7 of 7 Old 08-19-2011, 03:15 PM
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Are you using it as a tower or horizontally? How do you like it?
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