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SilverStone SilverStone LC17 HTPC Case Review
Date Posted: Feb 6 2006
Author: Joe
Posting Type: Review
Category: Home Theater / HTPC Reviews
Page: 1 of 3
Article Rank:5 from 2 Readers
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SilverStone LC17 HTPC Case Review By: Joe
The SilverStone LC17S HTPC Case

HTPC Cases are nothing new; in fact in many ways they are a throw back to case design from years ago. Remember those old BIG desktop cases in the 286 - Pentium days? When tower cases were considered edgy and for the extreme? Opening up the LC17 in a way was a throw back to an old Zenith Data Systems 286 (IBM XT Clone) I had back when I was a kid, seeing the big drive bays able to handle 1 full height 30MB ESDI hard disk each (if you were rich that is) or if you were cool, 2 5.25" drives!.

But this case is also distinctly different... gone are the cheesy tobacco yellow discolored beige plastic front plate, gone is the "turbo" button and the manually set "speed number" you could display, and gone is the 1mm and 1/8th" thick steel that was used on the old machines. (the Zenith was at least 1/8th inch steel that was anodized and had sanded edges - American big iron right there.) The new desktop style cases look on the outside NOTHING like the old ones. They are also not called desktop PC case either, now we have a new name, a renewed role, and a renewed reason for using them.

Now I know that those of you who are reading this probably aren't new to the whole HTPC thing, you know what the cases designs are based on, you know what they are used for, so I wont reminisce any more on how I think these are nothing but a glorified case that I sold to customers back in 1996

SilverStone themselves are also not all that new to the scene. They have been a player that has been either pushing the HTPC design limits, or pushing out new models more rapidly than others for the last few years (since 2003). From looking at their case designs, you can tell that different lines of cases have obviously different benefits. Some are all about looks, and design over cooling and space. Others in their line like the LC17 are a more vanilla take on the HTPC case from the outside (which is beautiful in its own right), but on the inside have made a cavernous case that has so much space you can have a place to hide a dead hooker or two. (Whew... I can use the trunk of my car again!)

BTW: any review I can work in a dead hooker reference is going to be a good one

Lets look at what HTPC case I am using currently:

Pretty hot looking eh? The case is a El'Cheapo brand $20.00 tin foil case (I can dent it by sneezing I think). I did the "mod" to put the MCE logo in the lil window on the front of the case to increase the hotness to a level above "none". It was originally used as a LAN server case for the MWL LAN events I ran, but has since been commissioned to record all my TV for me. Note the Crystalfontz 633 being used just for the LCD portion so I can see at a glance how much disk space is left/CPU use/Mem free/Etc... The case isn't bad, just looks like a computer.

The specs for the HTPC are:

  • Motherboard: Epox 8RDA+ w/ SoundStorm (outputting in optical to my home theater via Dolby Digital Live). Another feature it currently has is BADLY leaking caps - I am going to be replacing them in the next week or so.

  • CPU: AMD 2500+ Barton core - before the caps started leaking it ran a stable 3200+.

  • Memory: Corsair Value Select DDR400 512MB

  • Video Card: Chaintech nV 6600 AGP 128MB (with a noisy fan)

  • PVR Card: Hauppauge 150MCE

  • Hard Disk: WD 320GB JB (PVR), WD 80GB JB (System)

  • PSU: Enermax 651Watt (the only good PSU I had laying around)

  • HTPC Software: Windows Media Center 2005 Update 2

Whats bad about the curent HTPC?

  • It's Loud

  • It's not cool

  • It's cooling sucks

  • The PSU is too noisy

Ok now... that cant stand. Time to show how the SilverStone baddie makes this all better!

Next Page: The SilverStone LC17 >>
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