Silverstonetek HTPC Case SST-LC01

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
August 27, 2003
Views
61625
The first HTPC case to hit ASE Labs. Is it worth your hard earned money? You'll have to read more to get the whole story. There is a silent PSU included... at an extra.
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<BIG>Intro</BIG>:

<center>Silverstone</center>

When I put up part 1 of my HTPC guide (part 2 is on the way sooner or later), Joy from <a href="http://www.silverstonetek.com">Silverstone</a> contacted me and asked me if I was interested in reviewing a new HTPC case. Not have any knowledge of existing HTPC cases at the time, of course I said yes. A couple of months later, and the prototype was made and then the first of many off the line graced my presence. Let's see if this case is worth your money.

<BIG>Background</BIG>:

HTPC cases are pretty new in the field. It wasn't too long ago that a PC was a PC and nothing more. This notion of digital convergence is something that Microsoft, Apple and others try to push on to people to get them to buy more computers. With the advent of Windows XP, specifically Media Center Edition, the PC is on the way to replace every set top box you own. Say goodbye to standalone DVD, CD, PVRs and more. The all in one HTPC is here.

<BIG>The Packaging</BIG>:

<center>Packing</center>

Before I got the case, I thought it was going to be a small one, suitable for the ITX from VIA. It was funny when I got the case. It was quite larger than I originally anticipated. No biggie, I ripped open the packaging and right there is this nice black case sitting in front of me.

<BIG>The Case</BIG>:

<center>Front 1</center>

The case was well packaged in the box, and the case itself is nice. The case is aluminum and has a black exterior with some chromish trim in the front. The chrome makes the cash really shine, and it is perfect for the center of attention. Above the single button on the left are two LED (Blue), one for the HDD and the other for power. I'm glad to say that the LEDs are NOT very bright. After all, who wants to be blinded by a bright light while watching TV?

<center>Grating</center>

The sides of the case are vented with holes, heat is a major concern in a HTPC due to the fact that the system should not put out any audible sounds from fans.

<center>Back</center>

The back of the system looks like any other system, except turned sideways. The case I received came with a silent power supply in the back. The IO shield is nice and colorful (but sometimes the colors don't always match up with the devices). A single quiet 80mm fan is installed in the back to give extra airflow to the case.

<center>Bottom</center>

The bottom of the case has four feet to hold the unit in place. The rubber has metal surrounding it for the extra touch of style.

<center>Section One</center>

Back to the front of case. The front is split into two sections, each is hidden. The top section holds two optical drive bays.

<center>Section 2</center>

The bottom section houses two floppy type drives, as well as front sound, usb, and firewire ports.

<center>Gears</center>

Each of the sections flip down, the gears are shown above. The panels are held by a magnet and they also click into place.

<center>Power Button</center>

The single button is the power button on the left side of the unit. The button is responsive and large. No reset button here, but then again, a unit like this shouldn't need to be reset.

<center>Parts</center>

The interior of the unit is pretty impressive. The above pic shows the box for the silent PSU as well. The entire top and sides of the case slide off to reveal the interior.

<center>PSU Box PSU Fan</center>

This shot details the extra large 120mm fan on the PSU, this is how the PSU is able to remain quiet. More fan surface area means more airflow.
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<B>Continued</B>:<br/>
<br/>
<center>PSU Specs</center>

The specs of the power supply are 360 Watts and quiet. All the rails have pretty standard voltages and amps. I did test the voltages coming out of the power supply and are normal.

<center>Back again</center>

Here is a closer shot of the back of the PSU in the case. You'll notice it is just a vent back there. There is no fan. Quiet...

<center>Inside</center>

Back to the interior of unit, the case is pretty roomy. Like I said, it is a standard ATX case, just sideways.

<center>Drive Area Removable Drive Cage</center>

The drive bay area is clear and the drive bays are removable for easy access. Actually, if you couldn't remove it, you wouldn't be able to get to the interior side of the drive bay screws.

<center>Mobo Area</center>

Like I said, this case is very roomy. All cases should be this roomy.

<center>Cables</center>

You get many cables with this thing. The combination of PSU cables and headers are pretty intense. The only thing I don't like about the header cables is that the pins are separate, you'll need to put all the pins in the correct one.

<B>The finished product</B>:

<center>All in</center>

The interior of the case with everything attached. Notice how organized my cable routing is.......

Specs of the unit:
Duron 750 Mhz
Iwill KK266
20GB WD 5400 RPM drive
Silent Silverstone PSU
8x DVD Drive
Radeon 64MB Vivo
256MB PC133 Ram
Intel NIC
Onboard Sound
Windows XP

These specs are good enough for a fully functional HTPC. In fact, it is much more than what is needed.

<center>Hidden Drives</center>

The finished product. It is good thing that the drive area is hidden, it is good if you have an ugly white drive (like me). Yes, I could very well paint it or get a black drive. I'm just too lazy.

<center>Totally Finished</center>

Here is the case on my 13" TV upstairs. Don't worry, it was just for testing. It is going in the TV room.

<B>Conclusion</B>:

Price around $200 and the power supply at around $65, this setup is not exactly cheap. If you're in the market for HTPC cases, shop around. <a href="http://www.silverstonetek.com">Silverstone</a> did make an extraordinary case, and for it, you must pay a premium price. Is it worth it? You'll have to decide that for yourself, but I know that if you did own it, you'd be very pleased. The power supply is also excellent, and is what a SILENT power supply should be... silent.

I'd like to thank Joy from Silverstone for the chance to review this great case.

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