Antec Minuet HTPC Case

Aron Schatz
September 27, 2003
Antec provides quality cases for a decent price. Let's see how their new HTPC case fairs in this new market area.
Tags Cases

Page All: Viewing All Pages

Page 1

Like I said before, HTPCs are pretty new, and it is difficult to find something that fits your needs and looks good as well. I have already reviewed a case made for ATX size boards, but how about something smaller and more compact? Enter the <a href="">Antec</a> Minuet, fitting only uATX and ITX boards. Let's see how good it is shall we?

<B>A bit about the Minuet from Antec</B>:

<i>Part of Antec's LifeStyle Series, Minuet is designed for users who want to integrate PCs into their daily environment, including small spaces. The case is a mini desktop (16.8" D x 12.75" W x 3.8" H), which can also be configured as an ultra slim tower when used with a stand (included with the case).

Minuet comes with a glossy, piano black finish and chrome accents on the front panel. It features front audio jacks, front-mounted USB and FireWire ports and internal drive bays with rubber grommets to absorb hard drive vibrations for quiet computing. The all-in-one flip up drive cage allows easy installation and upgrades. Additionally, the case comes with a specially designed micro version of Antec's SmartPower power supply, which improves system reliability and stability, and is compliant for AMD and Intel-based systems. </i>

We shall see...



You live for this section of my reviews don't you? Yeah, this is the box...



Packaging a case is very important in transit, you don't want to open a box to find a dented case or worse... Luckily, this is packaged nice and tightly.

<B>The Case</B>:

<center>Case View 1</center>

The exterior of the case is black with a silver front. The black is VERY shiny as is the chromish looking sides of the front. It absolutely looks great, perfect for the center of the entertainment section (as an HTPC should be).

<center>Side View</center>

The case has slots on the top to release the heat that will be generated while the unit is on. If you are using a case this small, I suggest using a CPU that isn't very hot. ITX or a celeron is a good choice.

<center>Case View 3</center>

Another view of the case. It is very hard for me to take a good picture of the case given that it is black and shiny.

<center>Front View</center>

The front of the case has inputs for sound, firewire, and USB. Also you'll see the two external drive ports. You have a choice of a single optical drive and a single 3.5 inch external drive. They aren't hidden, so if you have an ugly drive (like me), you'll have to either paint it, or deal with it. A white color CD drive doesn't look that back actually.

<center>Back View</center>

The back of the unit. As you can tell, you won't be using full size PCI cards in this thing. Half size PCI cards are the thing to use here... The absolute best thing to use is an all in one board. ITX or uATX or otherwise. Regardless, your space is limited. You'll also notice the venting for the PSU.

On to the Interior

<center>PSU 1</center>

Here we see the inside of the case and the PSU. Notice how small the thing actually is. It is a proprietary size PSU and it is 220Watts. This is enough for most uATX and ITX boards, you don't want to try sucking all you can out of it though. We do want a stable system after all.

<center>PSU Specs</center>

Here is a close up shot of the specs on the PSU. Lots of Amps on the lines. This is pretty good for a 220W PSU. But then again, what did you expect from Antec?

<center>Drive Area</center>

This is the drive area where the hard drive and such will go. It provides enough room for a single drive each.

<center>Dive Flip up</center>

The drive cage flips up and out so you can actually install the drives, and to provide more room while your installing the board and such.

<center>Drive Area Out</center>

Now you can see the ample amount of space that this small case provides. Remember, uATX or smaller only.
Page 2
<B>Extra Stuff</B>:


Here are the extra parts that come with the case. You get some case stands, some rubber feet, screws, a power cord, and a manual.


Back to the front, and specifically the button area. The single power button and the two LEDs. Too bad the LEDs are red and green and not blue or white.

<center>Stuff In Stuff In Top View</center>

Here we go, you can see that even an ITX board is filling up the case. Remember, the max you can put in is a micro ATX board which will take up the entire thing. Please don't try to use a very hot Athlon in here, remember, space is limited as is heat dissipation. The sound of the CPU fan is also important, you want something quiet. I put the hard drive in the 3.5 floppy port because I was too lazy to put it in the proper place. Works this way anyway.


Here is the finished product, almost. I'm stuck using a plain old CD drive for now. I'm going to buy a DVD drive in a few days, I just haven't had the time to buy one. I installed XP on it and all is working great, no problems at all using the M10000 ITX board.


<a href="">Priced around $65 at this time of writing</a>, I have absolutely no problems giving this case a highly recommended award. You can't go wrong with this small HTPC case and power supply for $65. This is a pretty amazing piece of work, good job <a href="">Antec</a>. Then again, this is Antec we are talking about, we expect quality from them.

<center><img src=""></center>

I'd like to thank Liz from <a href="">Antec</a> for providing the case for review.


Medium Image View Large