help me choose a case!

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Joined: 6 Jan 2009
help me choose a case!

I am trying to build a budget htpc and the case seems to be my most expensive item. i am pretty broad on the price range (under 200 WITH a PS or 150 without) but I am just looking for decent quality, and bang for my buck. i dont want to spend 200 if the 65 dollar in win will do the job great...

anyways please give me some guidance as there are about  5-10 solid options on newegg... i was also thinking about maybe doing a mini p180 case and call it a day. help a noob out!

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Joined: 3 Oct 2006

I love my Silverstone LC17 - It is quiet and has lots of room. If it is going into an entertainment center you'll want to measure for depth. I ended up having to cut a hole in the back to fit the rear end of the case out the back. I think that was better in the end for airflow and sound reasons.

But it does have space for 6 HDDs and two external 5.25 drives. The drives are covered by a door like some other Silverstone's and the face plates they give you work well.

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Joined: 21 Jan 2007

Meester brings up an important point for your question. There are two paths for HTPC building. One where you build a single HTPC computer that does everything as a single computer. The second, where you build a server that houses the hard drives, tuners and the like followed by a smaller sleeker client PC with the sole duty of playing back various material housed on the server. Depending on your plans, you'll be looking at different types of cases.

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Joined: 3 Oct 2006

If you're going the MicroATX route, you can get an Antec Fusion for $200 with a 430W PSU (Earthwatts) or the NSK24xx (2480 is most current) for ~100 with a 380W PSU.

The Fusion Max is also an option at $250 if you must go full ATX.

One piece of advice is don't buy a case because it has a VFD, they are useless in a standard HTPC setup unless you are 3ft from the case.  Get it because it gives you lots of cooling options, looks good, and will hold your hardware.

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Joined: 30 Nov 1999

I agree with Meester, the LC17 does a lot of things right.

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Joined: 12 Sep 2008

Anyone looked at the new Nmedia 6000? I think they look pretty good.

And... $99 with free shipping to boot!

Sit Vis Vobiscum!

Media PC:  AM2 , 1TB WD Green, HD4550 (passive), 2GB DDR2, LG BR/HDDVD, Avermedia M780, ATI Theater 650, 7MC and TMT, Logitech Dinovo Mini,  Samsung LN55C650

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Joined: 3 Oct 2006

I was really geeked about that 6000, the front ports would be handy but then l I saw the reviews. I'd have to research that one some more to see if it was just a pair of unlucky people on NewEgg.
I tried a different Silverstone from Fry's a year ago and it had a sticky power button and I didn't like the fact that I had to open a door to get to the drives either. I also like having 2 external drives so I can do a direct copy of a disc without having to create an iso or files in a temp directory.
Here is the LC-17
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163055
And as one reviewer pointed out I'd go with a modular power supply. One with lots of sata power cables. Mine came up short and I had to run a 4 pin to sata adapter. The only thing I would change is swapping the front usb and audio expansion bay with a card reader.

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Joined: 6 Jan 2009

bbig119 wrote:

Meester brings up an important point for your question. There are two paths for HTPC building. One where you build a single HTPC computer that does everything as a single computer. The second, where you build a server that houses the hard drives, tuners and the like followed by a smaller sleeker client PC with the sole duty of playing back various material housed on the server. Depending on your plans, you'll be looking at different types of cases.
this is for a single htpc that does everything.

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Joined: 20 Dec 2006

Just another vote for the LC-17.  I used that case as a single HTPC system at first, then moved to a server/client setup but kept the LC-17 running a client system in my entertainment center.

Of course, now I've moved to SageTV extenders for 2 of my 3 clients, and there isn't enough room in my armoir in the bedrrom to fit the LC-17, so now I'm in the process of trying to sell the whole client box :(  The entertainment center just doesn't look the same anymore....

Off topic, but if anyone's interested in a client box Wink

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Joined: 6 Jan 2009

http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0265324

most likely going to go with that just because I trust antec and it comes with an alright power supply for such a low price.

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Joined: 12 Sep 2008

I ordered a Nmedia 6000B and will post pics and a brief writeup when I get it.

Sit Vis Vobiscum!

Media PC:  AM2 , 1TB WD Green, HD4550 (passive), 2GB DDR2, LG BR/HDDVD, Avermedia M780, ATI Theater 650, 7MC and TMT, Logitech Dinovo Mini,  Samsung LN55C650

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Joined: 3 Oct 2006

most likely going to go with that just because I trust antec and it comes with an alright power supply for such a low price.

"Usually ships in 7-21 business days"?  I don't know if I'd buy from there.  Doesn't sound like they actually carry them in stock.

But I like the case, which is why I recommended it.  Though I wish it came in all black  ;D

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