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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


This past week I have become very frustrated looking for an HTPC case. Initially I thought that I would get either a D.vine 3 or 5 by Ahanix. But those turn out to be too deep (about 2" too deep!). I went to look for other cases, however, the CoolerMaster and Lian-Li's were also too deep. I found one case (by www dot atechfabrication dot com) however, their price is WAY too much (I'll pay it if it comes to that, but I prefer to explore other options first).


So, my question to the forums is this:

Does anyone know of any case that would meet these criteria:

Depth = 15" (absolute MAX; preferably smaller since atech fabrication has shown it can be done!)

Width = 17" max

Height = 7" max


This would have to fit a full ATX style motherboard (say an Asus P4T533) and have either 2 5.25" bays or 1 5.25" bay and a spot for a VFD. Also, preferably I'd like the case to be black anodized aluminum.


Anyone know of such cases?


Also, does anyone have experience with atech fabrication?


Any help to relieve this frustration is welcomed!


Thanks!


Rob.
 

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Rob,


There is a thread on the A-Tech case, but it has gotten huge. :)


I have been waiting on an ATech case since February, but my wait finally ended on Monday. I believe the wait-times going forward will be much more reasonable, but still probably 1 month at a minimum. Mine is anodized black, has machined openings for a 20x4 VFD, IRMan, Griffin PowerMate, and a Pioneer slot-load DVD.


The dimensions of the case are a petite 17.5" wide by 11.5" deep by 5.25" high, and yet accomodates an ATX motherboard and full length PCI cards. It's as small as possible but no smaller. There isn't a lot of extra room inside, but the top and front can be removed for doing the first half of the build. It's like working with a removeable motherboard tray except you can also connect all the power to the motherboard and hard drives, and neatly route those cables. And speaking of cables, you have to be neat, but there IS room to neatly stow the cables along the front and sides. The removeable front panel then allows you to comfortably mount the VFD, IRMan, and PowerMate.


The case is brilliantly conceived and executed. So far the fit of everything has been perfect. The tolerances are VERY fine. I haven't seen a single example of sloppy workmanship.


I don't have mine up and running yet, but my expectation is that it will be a fairly quiet machine. Their are no openings on the front, and yet the case seems well designed for good airflow. There are slots in the sides for intake air, primarily the left side since the right side is mostly taken up with power supply and hard drive, two case fans in the back right behind the cpu for exhaust air, plus the fan in the psu. The 3 or 4 fans (depending on the psu) can generally be run at low voltages for quiet operation. At least according to Glenns testing. I will know first hand in a few days.


It is an expensive case, and that's an understatement, but it is truly a gorgeous piece of engineering.


If there is any other case like it, I haven't heard of it, and I searched high and low before committing to the ATech case. That was 7 months ago though. As you pointed out, the biggest problem with most otherwise promising cases is their extreme depth. Some I looked at were 18" or even 19" deep. I don't know why they have to be so deep though.


David
 

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Right this minute, I'd say you have two options.

1. The A-tech case.

2. Build one yourself... ( I tried and gave up. It's the small details that kill you.)


My hat's off to A-tech's attention to the details. Just wish I could justify the $ to my accountant (wife.)
 

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I'll second the ATech case recommendation. I've had it for a few months and I have been nothing but impressed. It was easy to put together, looks terrific in my equipment stack, and is extremely quiet.


It's fairly common to read product reviews where people buy something expensive, then complain it's overpriced. It's much more rare when people buy something expensive, then come to the conclusion that the product was worth every penny. That's exactly how I feel.


- Chris
 

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If I have had the budget (and the patience for the leadtime :D) I would have gone with an A-Tech case, too. So I ended up getting a DIGN4 which is pretty nice as well.

____

Axel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, Thanks for all your help!!! These posts have been quite helpful indeed! I think you've all convinced me to go the route of the A-Tech case. :) Now just need to save a little up for it. ;)


Thanks again!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Axel
If I have had the budget (and the patience for the leadtime :D) I would have gone with an A-Tech case, too. So I ended up getting a DIGN4 which is pretty nice as well.

____

Axel
Axel -- who carries the DIGN4 & DIGN5 cases in the US?
 

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The smallest full ATX case I have ever come across is 16.5" deep (and that is a beige mid-tower). I thought of the new Antec Overture, but that is 19" deep!!!


There are plenty of smaller micro-ATX cases, of course...
 
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