Case for HTPC

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Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Case for HTPC

What do you think of this case for HTPC use in your family/living room? 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129061&Tpk=ante...

I'm getting pretty tired of messing with my Zalman HTPC case every time I want to make an upgrade.  Sometimes I refuse to upgrade because of the troubles.  I'm thinking of getting this Antec case at some point.

skirge01's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006

Personally, I go for the "receiver" look in my HTPC cases, like the Antec Fusion I currently have.  However, I love both my P180 cases which I use for everyday PCs and they are a pleasure to work with.  The things they improved in the P182 (and carried over to the P183) are the few things I miss, such as better cable management features.

Mike Garcen's picture
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Joined: 1 Oct 2006

i still have the original P180. great case, solidly built. Wasn't as sound proofed as i had hoped but it is very solid and hides well in the dark. But warning, it is HEAVY!!! That being said, great case, super airflow and lots of room for expansion

Mike Garcen (shadymg) MissingRemote Editor-in-Chief Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP (formerly Media Center MVP) Twitter @mikegarcen MissingRemote on Facebook

LowTech's picture
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I was going to suggest a mini ATX tower but since cramped confines seem to be an issue maybe the mini tower wouldn't offer any significant advantage over your Zalman HTPC case.

Here it is anyways...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112218

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Joined: 19 Mar 2007

The P183 is a great case along w/ most of the Antec Performance One series.  At home I have 2x Mini P180, a P182 and a P183 though none of those are used as HTPCs.  The Mini P180 is actually my favorite out of the cases but if you are looking for a full ATX then the P183 is a great case.  I prefer the larger side fan on the P193 but I can't stand the look of it.

If you are just looking for a full ATX case as a HTPC take a look at the Antec Fusion Max.  I use it as my primary HTPC and other than the crappy remote\LCD I really like it.

Mikinho | Missing Remote | Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP

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Skirge01 wrote:

Personally, I go for the "receiver" look in my HTPC cases, like the Antec Fusion I currently have.  However, I love both my P180 cases which I use for everyday PCs and they are a pleasure to work with.  The things they improved in the P182 (and carried over to the P183) are the few things I miss, such as better cable management features.

Same here Skirge I love my Antec Fusion Black case.  In fact I am using it for a build for a friend.  However I did find out that the case is discontinued.  I'm almost considering purchasing another one for myself.  They are selling them on amazon still.

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robinhoody wrote:

Same here Skirge I love my Antec Fusion Black case.  In fact I am using it for a build for a friend.  However I did find out that the case is discontinued.  I'm almost considering purchasing another one for myself.  They are selling them on amazon still.

Don't do it!  Each iteration of the Antec Fusion has been an improvement.  I highly doubt they would discontinue without a new case.  I'd bet they demo a new case at CES new month.

Mikinho | Missing Remote | Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP

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hopefully that is the case because I searched around for awhile and seriously could not find a case that would come close to meeting all my needs for a case.

mikinho's picture
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Just curious, the Antec Fusion Max doesn't seem too popular.  Did you take a look at it?  Is it the size that deters people?  I've had the NSK400, Fusion v1, Fusion v2 and now the Fusion Max and it is by far my favorite (affordable) HTPC case.

Mikinho | Missing Remote | Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP

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Joined: 2 Dec 2008

I looked at the NSK's and liked some of them but I did not like the fact that it did not have an IR/LCD screen built in.  the antec fusion max looks nice but you are right that thing is much larger than the fusion black.

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Joined: 12 Aug 2007

I like the "receiver look", too.  Mine fits right in on my audio rack (although it's not quite as black as my Yamaha).  I have a Zalman HD160 which can hold a full size ATX board.  It seems that most people don't want to go any bigger than a micro-atx case.  My Zalman has room inside it, but I don't really like the engineering in the design. 

The optical drive sits to the side of the case.  The "cage", if you can call it that, is in 2 pieces.  Imagine trying to screw each side in individually and keeping the alignment of the optical drive correct.  If you don't tighten the drive down before screwing in each side of the cage, you can't tighten the right side of the drive because it's too close to the side of the case.  But if you do tighten it down then the alignment may not be right and the DVD tray may coninuously eject (done that before).  The power supply is on the same side as the optical drive so you end up fighting cables between the power supply's and the optical drive's.

The hard drive cage sits right behind the VFD.  The hard drives sit on their sides in the cage.  They cannot be slid in because the cage uses pins that the hard drive's screw holes must sit down on.  Then the cage is set over top of the drive(Drunk and then you can screw the drive down.  But the 2 screws on one side of the cage that holds it down is so close to the back of the VFD, you can't fit a normal size screw driver (that's long enough to reach the screws) down in there to tighten the screws.  Even if the pins weren't there for the hard drive, you still couldn't slide it in because the cage is also too close to the optical drive's cage to angle the hard drive to slide in.

The optical drive slot requires that the bezel be taken off and the case has its own aluminum bezel.  This bezel is held on by double-sided tape.

All of this adds up to one big headache when trying to upgrade anything.  I'd like to change out my motherboard and put in a new one and a new cpu.  Then I think, "Well maybe I can live with what I've got."  LOL.

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The Antec p180/182/183 is a great case.  Mike Chin at SPCR helped design it, and there are several reviews on the SPCR site (as well as one review on Missing Remote):

Antec P180: A Visual Tour
Antec P180 Review, Part 1: A Silent System
Antec P180 Review, Part 2: The Whole Nine Yards

Antec P182 Advanced Super Midtower Case: P180 v.2
Antec P183: The P182 Gets More Air

Also, check out the Antec Fusion Remote Max, which is loosely based off of the P182:
Antec Fusion Remote Max HTPC case

I have the P182 and Fusion Remote Max.  I think the P182 is the best case I have ever used.

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I wonder if there's any chance I can find a P182 any where?  I like the looks of that better than the P183; I like the plainer, "flatter" look of the P182.

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Joined: 27 Dec 2006

I just can't do the vertical tower case in the family room. I've always wanted something I could bury in the tv stand and not have to remove...but that goes back to your original concern - ease of upgrade/modification. This is what's pushing me towards a server somewhere easily accessible, and isn't constrained by cables for IR receivers, gamepads, and audio/video. I think a good server case would probably provide better access inside, and only have to disconnect ethernet and power when opening it up.

I did look closely at the P180s a while back. Very well regarded tower case that is fairly easy to silence and has great air flow, and good access to hard drives, etc...

My Home Theater, XLobbyMC
To Do: Finish Re-ripping my music collection - While Playing FF XIV

skirge01's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006

The Antec Fusion is actually quite easy to work with.  I still have zero complaints about working in that case, routing cables, etc.  The design is fantastic.

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Joined: 15 Mar 2007

If you are constantly fiddling with the hardware in your HTPC then you are asking for trouble.

I used an antec fusion and found it really easy to work on.  It's an awesome case and there are several versions depending on your needs.

I also used an Antec NSK3480 in my bedroom because it fit better in the space.  It wasn't the easiest to work in, but it made me see the benefits for some people in using a tower for HTPC.

One thing you may want to look at closely, is the use of a door covering the buttons on the P180.  If you have young kids, you can close off the buttons, but if you don't have kids that play with buttons, the door gets in the way too much for me.

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htpc_user wrote:

I wonder if there's any chance I can find a P182 any where?  I like the looks of that better than the P183; I like the plainer, "flatter" look of the P182.

If you are in the Houston area I would consider selling mine.  I have it P182 Gun Metal Black.  I'd have to remove the power supply (Corsair HX1000W) and install the original fans (I have Nexus fans in there) but otherwise it hasn't been used in about a year.

Mikinho | Missing Remote | Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP

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autoboy wrote:

If you are constantly fiddling with the hardware in your HTPC then you are asking for trouble.

I used an antec fusion and found it really easy to work on.  It's an awesome case and there are several versions depending on your needs.

I also used an Antec NSK3480 in my bedroom because it fit better in the space.  It wasn't the easiest to work in, but it made me see the benefits for some people in using a tower for HTPC.

One thing you may want to look at closely, is the use of a door covering the buttons on the P180.  If you have young kids, you can close off the buttons, but if you don't have kids that play with buttons, the door gets in the way too much for me.

It's not that I fiddle with it all the time; it's just that it discourages me from doing anything to it, really.  Maybe now that I've installed my new 1.5TB hard drive I can let my fears subside for a while and stay with the Zalman.

My main PC case also has a door that covers the power and reset button.  But I always leave my HTPC on any way, so it really wouldn't be a big deal.  If I could get a motherboard with standby working correctly then I should be able to use the button on the remote.

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+1 for the Antec Fusion here

Great looks, great design, great air flow and low noise

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Joined: 27 Dec 2006

Damn...that's a really big signature...

My Home Theater, XLobbyMC
To Do: Finish Re-ripping my music collection - While Playing FF XIV

skirge01's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006

Big signature?  Where?   Oups

jennyfur's picture
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Yeah sheesh, I had my xfire signature on here for years (up until a few days ago), but I always used the short and wide one, not that huge one.

7MC - Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 - Avermedia M780 - Dvico Fusion HDTV7 - Terk HDTVa - Xbox 360 S - Logitech Harmony 650 - Panasonic V10 - Onkyo HT-RC160

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Skirge01 wrote:

The Antec Fusion is actually quite easy to work with.  I still have zero complaints about working in that case, routing cables, etc.  The design is fantastic.

Will the IR reciever built into the Fusion Max work with a Harmony remote and SageTV? Smile

Standing on the Starboard side of the Red Line.

MSI K9N Platinum | AMD A64 X2 4850e 2.5GHz | ATI HD 4670 | 3GB DDR2 800 | Uneed X11 rev. 1 case w/ VFD&IR & rev. 2 HD cage | Cosair 520W PS | Mitsumi floppy w/ USB 2.0 card reader built in | Seagate 160GB (OS/docs); WD GP 750GB (videos), WD GP 1TB (videos) | LG GGC-H20L BD/HD player/DVD Burner | PVR-500 MCE | DVICO FusionHDTV Lite | Vbox Cat's Eye 150 | M780 | XP Pro w/ SP2 | SageTV 6.6.2 | SageMC 6.3.8a | Catalyst 10.6 driver | purevideo decoder 1.02-223 | Samsung LN46C630 46" LCD | Pioneer Elite VSK-21TXH receiver (HDMI to receiver to TV)

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Joined: 21 Dec 2006

From what I've read, the Fusion Max uses the Soundgraph iMon IR receiver.  I believe the iMon software will allow you to control Sage.  You might want to verify that, however.

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Joined: 19 Mar 2007

It does work.  The remote is crap but it works in both Sage, Media Center and XBMC if you have the iMon drivers installed.

Mikinho | Missing Remote | Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP

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Joined: 2 Dec 2008

Yea the remote that comes with the fusion black is crap.  I wanted to get an actual media center remote since I use my logitech Di Nova Mini all the time.  I wish logitech made a cheaper universal remote with bluetooth built into it.

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I also like my case to look like a piece of audio equipment.  One of my favorites is the DVine MCE303, which I believe is a rebadged case from Ahanix.  Below is a link:

http://www.dvinehtpc.com/home-theatre-pc-cases/mce303-silver-case-w/-usb...

Instead of looking like a receiver, I think the case looks more like a CD/DVD/Blu-ray player.  I've used the case to build one machine for myself and two for friends with no problems. 

One nice feature is the builtin IR sensor that allows the remote turn on a fully powered down machine, which I think is a pretty rare feature.  There only room for two internal hard drives, but I use a media server.

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