Short case needed

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by spiggot, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. spiggot

    spiggot
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    I've been considering a PCH for a few weeks, but after doing some reading on here I think I can build a HTPC for not too much more than a PCH and 1TB drive. Main objective is 1080p playback, I also plan to use it for downloading content. It must be silent. I've quickly priced up the following on ebuyer.

    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G
    OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800Mhz/PC2-6400 GOLD XTC Memory Kit
    Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB Hard Drive SATAII *32MB Cache* - OEM
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e 2.5GHz Socket AM2 Energy Efficient 1MB L2 Cache

    I'm struggling with the Case and PSU. Antec NSK 2480 looks ok, although I have some concerns about the PSU noise. More importantly my flat has a shelf above the tv that is only 31cm deep. I could use a case that's a bit longer and have it hanging over the edge, but I'd prefer to use a shorter one that fits a bit better. Most cases seem to be over 40cm, and I'll need a few cm to get a power cable in. Excessive heat at the back is also a concern due to the lack of a decent gap away from the wall, although my 360 is quite happy there.

    Can anyone suggest a case and PSU combo that might work well in this situation?
     
  2. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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    The hardware isn't the problem, it's the software on a PC.
    I've been through this with MythTV (partly to learn more about Linux), XBMC etc.
    First, for SD these are fine but for HD it gets more complicated in part because of the wider range of audio codecs in use such as DTS so look at want you want in the end.
    Part of the price of PCH is the codec licences for audio.
     
  3. spiggot

    spiggot
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    I'm finding the physical size of the cases an issue. PCH is certainly a lot smaller but obviously has far less features than a HTPC. I'm confident I could get a HTPC to play just about anything I throw at it as I'm fairly IT literate and there's lots of advcie and guides out there regarding codecs. I'm not particularly clued up about HTPC hardware though, which is why I asked the question about the case.

    If I can't find a case to fit my limited space I may end up going with a PCH. Just a bit concerned about people having freezing problems when using extra software like NZBget or torrents, as it's a media tank first and foremost. I'd prefer a HTPC if I can get one that fits without spending the earth. I fully expect to spend time getting the software right, as I would have to with a PCH.
     
  4. anth.payne

    anth.payne

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    I would definately recommend building a HTPC

    For a case - I would reccomend a Silverstone LC04

    SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd - Designing Inspiration=

    One of few cases that is stylish, practical, reasonable dimensions and fits a 5.25" Optical drive, and takes full ATX mobo's.
     
  5. spiggot

    spiggot
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    Yes I'm definately leaning toward a HTPC. Been considering building a desktop for a while but I don't have the space in my flat and to be honest I usually use my Dell M1530 laptop for most tasks. Hooking up the HDMI to the laptop to play stuff is a real pain, so I'd like a dedicated box I can leave on for long periods.

    The LC04 looks good amd it would fit on my shelf. And it takes full ATX despite being shorter in depth than most mini ATX cases. A little bit expensive though. Reviews mention it can take 1 PCI card and 1 AGP card, which seems a bit dated. Is there not a PCIe riser for it now?

    I assume you have one, Is it quiet?
     
  6. anth.payne

    anth.payne

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    Personally - no. A colleague does. Very nice looking case. He had to buy a 'flexi' riser card - and using 2 would be very tight...

    PCI-e x1: After Hours Computers - mCubed HFX 554 Riser Card PCIE x1 Flexible

    Probably all sorts available - thats just off a quick google...

    Case is quiet - can but silent PSU's/Heat Sinks which i think is worth it for a HTPC.

    I have just bought a Denon 1909 AV Receiver which will give me superb surround sound - upto 7.1 channels

    Motherboard wise, I've opted for ASUS P5N7A-VM which has a better graphics processor and support LPCM over HDMI.
    Take a look at http://www.avforums.com/forums/home-cinema-pcs/925030-hdmi-out-multichannel-pcm.html for some usefull info on MOBO's and CPU options
     
  7. surfermc

    surfermc
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    If you want a range of risers fixed or flexible have a look at this page at LinITX.com.
     
  8. spiggot

    spiggot
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    I've done a bit more reading into the LC04, quite like the look of it. Found this dual PCI riser here for a low price
    Silverstone 2x PCI Riser card for LC02 & LC04 Cases - Scan.co.uk

    Which I'd use for a dual tuner for freeview+remote, possibly adding a freesat PCI card in the future.

    I can't find any PCIe riser cards, do they exist? Can you run 2x PCIe or 1 PCIe 1 PCI card in this case? AGP riser won't be much use to me.

    I was expecting to have to use mATX due to my space contraints. I'm going to have to look into full sized ATX boards as well now. Any recommendations?
     
  9. surfermc

    surfermc
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    Try LinITX PCI Express risers.
     
  10. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    If you are happy with a uATX case - but one that will give you 4 expansion slots (full-height) and is still quite a bit shorter/shallower than most - have a look at the SilverstoneTek Grandia GD02.

    I've built my second HTPC around it - and apart from wishing I'd bought a modular PSU - and a bit of faff getting the LG-GGCH20L drive mounted correctly (mount the drive one screw notch back in the cradle and use the sticky pads to make the "eject button-pusher" bigger...) - I'm happy with it.

    Not the cheapest - but not the most expensive - and it takes full height cards without the faff of risers.

    Main limitation is that the optical drive is mounted over the motherboard - so you have a limited choice of CPU cooler/fan - though there is a passive heatsink specifically designed for the case (NT01E) that mounts the cooling fins close to the 2x80mm case fans.
     
  11. spiggot

    spiggot
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    I was looking at that case, was quite impressed with the black one, except it's 36cm deep, 5 less than the antec's but an extra 5cm longer than the LC04. If only I didn't have the space limitation. The other thing that put me off was the fact you have to use slimline drives, or so I thought until I read your post. I thought the review I'd read earlier on the GD02 said laptop drives only due to the way the drive is mounted over the mobo.

    The only 2 cases I've found that could reasonably fit my 31cm deep shelf using non mobile chipsets is the LC04 or GD02. Doesn't look like there's much in it to me. I'm happy to use a mATX but really don't want to go down the mobile chipset route.
     
  12. anth.payne

    anth.payne

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    There are alot of good mATX mobo's available - comparable to the full ATX.

    Take a look at:

    ASUS M3N78-EM
    ASUS M3A78-VM
    ASUS P5N7A-VM

    There are a few good gigabyte mobo's but cant get on their website just now and cant remember them of the top of my head

    The GD02-m (the one with a 4" touch screen) takes a slimline drive, but the GD02 takes a full size drive.
     

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