Need help finding a case (1 Viewer)

meierk

Portal Pro
February 28, 2008
72
2
Canada Canada
I have been researching building my first HTPC for several months now and believe I have enough knowledge to start the build. The first thing I want to purchase just happens to be the most daunting to me. This is the case. I think I have found all the HTPC case manufactures, but I can never seem to put everything together at once. I either find a case that I like (i.e. Silverstone LC17B-R) only to find it is no longer made, or I find a case that I like (i.e. Antec Fusion V2), but it is missing 1 must have feature. In most cases, the missing feature is a card reader which is important to me.

I have compiled a list of features that I am looking for in a case and am hoping that someone here will be able to help me out. It may be possible to purchase the card reader separately for some cases, but just not obvious to me.

Without futher delay, here is my must have features:

- must be black
- only 1 external drive bay. I don't like to look of cases with 2 external bays.
- a card reader that is hidden behind an access door
- a front I/O that is hidden behind an access door
- obviously, I need sufficient space for proper cooling, but I prefer smaller cases like the Origen S10V which is just too expensive.
- should not cost more than $250

I also want to point out features that I don't care about, which are:

- a VFD. Although a case with a VFD would be acceptable, I definitely do not want a large touch screen LCD as I think it would be distracting,
- I only require room for a single boot drive as I will be using an external NAS for all file access
- the case does not have to allow for full size video cards. I will be using one of the new 780g mother boards without a slave video card so I don't need a large case
- I prefer a clean look and therefore would rather not have a large volume knob or any other buttons other than the DVD eject button
- I don't really like the mini cases. I prefer the case to be approx. the same width as my Denon 3808 A/V receiver for esthetics.

Any insight that you can provide to help me and others out would be greatly appreciated. Who ever though a case would be so hard to choose.

Thanks,
Kevin
 

Bagal

MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • December 15, 2006
    229
    16
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    I've got a Zalman HD135, which I'm extremely pleased with. It's not the most perfect case in the world, but in terms of looks I think it's one of the best, everyone I've had round has not been aware that it's a pc, it sits next to my amp, is the same dimensions and just 'fits'!

    ::: Zalman, leading the world of Quiet Computing Solutions :::

    - must be black
    check - available in black and silver.
    - only 1 external drive bay. I don't like to look of cases with 2 external bays.
    check.
    - a card reader that is hidden behind an access door
    Doesn't come with a card reader but there's a 3.5" bay behind the front flap which I fitted a card reader in.
    - a front I/O that is hidden behind an access door
    check.
    - obviously, I need sufficient space for proper cooling, but I prefer smaller cases like the Origen S10V which is just too expensive.
    while the case is big, the cooling isn't the best, there's a few guides around with suggestions on how to improve the airflow through the case, main one being replace the stock fans.
    see Zalman's HD135 HTPC case: Gasping for air | silentpcreview.com
    - should not cost more than $250
    I managed to pick mine up for £150 (~$300) from quietpc.com, so a little more than you want but definetely worth it in my opinion.
     

    meierk

    Portal Pro
    February 28, 2008
    72
    2
    Canada Canada
    Thanks Bagal, I had considered the Zalman, but I found it too be very expensive. I am still considering this case, but would prefer to find a cheaper one if possible. Thanks for the link.

    Kevin
     

    Bagal

    MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • December 15, 2006
    229
    16
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    I can understand that, I did exactly the same when I was looking, found some cases I liked but they were all too expensive, looked round for something cheaper and couldn't find anything that had everything I wanted and most importantly fitted in with the rest of the A/V system.

    When quietpc.com had it on sale I decided it was fate and treated myself! :D
     

    finrudd341

    Portal Pro
    February 24, 2008
    208
    16
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Brazil Brazil
    I've got a Zalman, and they are more expensive than some makes, but i have to say the quality of the finish has been really good - it's wel built and well packaged. Even the remote that came with mine is not too dreadful! :p
     

    meierk

    Portal Pro
    February 28, 2008
    72
    2
    Canada Canada
    I just ran across Omaura and I think I'm in love. Just need to decide between the T5, 8 or 11. If anyone has any major complaints about these cases, please speak up. I will probably hold off a few weeks before making he purchase.

    Kevin
     

    Sh4nn0w

    MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • September 14, 2006
    321
    23
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    I'm thinking of getting the TF8, as TF11 is bigger than I need; whilst the TF5 is a bit too limiting. There's a few threads on people building with these cases on their website forum also more in the forum of the UK supplier i'll probably get it from
     

    meierk

    Portal Pro
    February 28, 2008
    72
    2
    Canada Canada
    The more I look at the Omaura that more I like them. I agree the T8 is an allround good size, however, I will be using a SkyStar 2 DVB-S card that will not fit in that case so I need the T11.

    Unfortunately, I am in Canada and cannot find a supplier for these cases. The closest supplier is Dell in the US, but they will not ship to Canada. I haven't checked out ebay yet, but will soon.

    Kevin
     

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