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Thread: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

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    Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    I am making an HTPC, and I think I can choose everything myself, but I could do with some help with the case.

    I have some unusual requirements though. I want to fit an 8800GTX in it (which I already own), so it needs to be quite big and quite spacious. I also want it to be well cooled, because I want it to be able to survive being left on 24/7. It needs to be quiet so I would really like two 120mm fans, because I know from my own PC, that two of those can provide nice air flow and yet be quiet. It also needs room for a DVD-RW and two SATA hard disks. Also, it wont be visible in my room. It will go behind a little wall, so it doesn't have to sit under my TV - so it doesn't have to look good.



    So my original plan was to just get a normal sized Midi Tower Case, and then it would all be easy to build, cheap, and compatible with everything. But I am just wondering if I can improve on that? Maybe get a desktop case? I will have some shelves for a DVD/SKY+/etc.., so if I could make this PC fit on a horizontal shelf, instead of having to stand up as a vertical tower, that would be much better.

    I did look at proper HTPC cases, but they are expensive because of all the fancy stuff on them that I don't need - like LCD read outs and big polished aluminium volume knob and stuff. And I also worry about fitting an 8800GTX in them. And I also worry about how good the air flow can be in a compact case like that. And I also don't see many of them with a pair of 120mm fans. They usually have smaller fans which I'm scared of because of the noise of them..



    So my questions:
    1) Can anyone suggest a great case for me?
    2) Are there any problems with having a Midi Tower Case and running it on it's side?
    3) How much more noisy are 92mm fans compared to 120mm? Perhaps I could broaden my search if they are ok, but currently I've been hung up on finding one with two 120mm fan slots and that's not easy to find.

    For my main PC, I have a nice big, functional, spacious, Akasa Eclipse 62. If only I could find a desktop equivalent of that. Big and bulky but functional.

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    SiM
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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side



    Silverstone do some quite big ones, will probably fit your card.
    Look here at scan for some

    Well you can get quite 92mm fans, but they won't push as much air.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Yeah I searched that list for cases with two 120mm fans, and there was only really 2

    Loads of towers, but for horizontal ones, there was just a couple of Antec cases that looked great, but didn't look quite big enough to me. One of them was way too small really (uATX too I think), and the other one was the Antec Fusion Silver MediaCentre which is Micro ATX. I don't think I'd get my 8800GTX in that

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Well I have the cut down version of the fusion (NSK 2480, is the same without the IR and mini screen thingy). I will let you know if my 9800gtx (about same size afaik) will fit in when I get back home (at uni at the moment)

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Wow that would be great if you could!!!

    That is the only case I liked really, because that one has two 120mm fans. There are some others I liked (plain desktop cases) but they had 92mm fans which I'm wary of. I think if your 9800gtx fits, I will buy one

    If not, I may have to risk getting a tower case and running it all on it's side. I can't think why it would be a problem actually now that I think about it... but it's not the ideal solution anyway.

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Well I am moving back home tomorrow but I might not get a chance to check until Sunday... but tbh it will be a big surprise if it does fit as it barely fits in my antec sonata so don't get your hopes up.

    I don't see why a tower on its side won't work, only possible problem I can think of is that DVDs might not spin properly... Also make sure the mobo is not upside down. If you are using a heavy cooler that will certainly break the mobo

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Yeah I can lay it so the cooler is upright. Not sure what I can do about the DVD though.. I think they might work on their site if they have a slot input instead of a tray. But I'm not sure..

    If anyone knows if it is ok, or knows of a way I could do it, maybe make a mod or something, please let me know.

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Do you really have to have the 8800gtx in your HTPC? What will it be used for? Will you have another gaming PC? If so ditch the 8800gtx, it will just make things too hot, noisy and pull a whole load of power if left on 24/7. If you need something to decode HD content most of the lastest series gfx cards can do that silently and with a much lower power consumption.
    Not around too often!

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    3) How much more noisy are 92mm fans compared to 120mm? Perhaps I could broaden my search if they are ok, but currently I've been hung up on finding one with two 120mm fan slots and that's not easy to find.
    As SiM said, the Antec Fusion. Been looking at one myself for a project at work. Doubt an 8800GTX would fit, but if you're attempting to use a 8800GTX in an HTPC you're going about things completely the wrong way. General gaming PC with some media playback, fine (though there are far better options to cover both bases), but for an HTPC you'd be much, much better off getting a HD3450, HD3650 or even building a PC around an energy efficient Athlon X2 and a Geforce 8200 or 780G motherboard. You'd save many times the cost of the components on the electric alone in a year, nevermind the long run.
    Last edited by this_is_gav; 07-06-2008 at 11:51 AM.

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    As SiM said, the Antec Fusion. Been looking at one myself for a project at work.
    Same as the NSK 2480 above, just a slightly higher output PSU and a twiddly thing on the front

    The NSK is what I would go with, and if you aren't gaming then I'd probably leave the GTX out. If you are then I'm sure that case will do a good job but at that point I'd be tempted by an mATX tower

    Thinking about it, with the 380W PSU the 8800GTX might push it to spin it's fan up quite a bit.. I guess the 9800GTX will go some way to show that or not. It certainly won't have the dedicated connectors so you would need a molex adapter or change the PSU.
    Last edited by staffsMike; 07-06-2008 at 11:52 AM.

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    Same as the NSK 2480 above, just a slightly higher output PSU and a twiddly thing on the front
    To be fair I was/am going to order from Scan (we've an account there at work) so hadn't looked elsewhere. If the NSK's cheaper essentially the same for less money, then that's the obvious choice. I've got a volume nob on the front of my HTPC (Elonex Artisan) which has never been used since I initially set it up to test it. May be of limited use if you lose the remote/mouse/keyboard/use of fingers though!

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    DVD drives work on their side fine . Built a PC for my (now ex ) girlfriend in a desktop / tower hybrid case (i.e. up to you which way you want it to lie). Works fine both ways, except the stealth door spring isn't strong enough to spring back up if it's lying horizontally, design oversight there...
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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Oh yeh, even the PS2/3 works on its side... so does the Wii... sorry for lying before

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Few nice Lian Li cases here:

    Lian Li Cases - XCASE No1 For pc computer cases, atx cases & rackmount cases

    A01 and V800 look good, free delivery from xcase.

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    Just read the rest of the OP and by the sounds of it, a mATX case, I assume you are looking to go mATX on the motherboard as the fusion/NSK2480 are mATX cases.

    This Antec NSK-3480: 80-Plus Case | silentpcreview.com

    or the silverstone TJ08 is what I would have.

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    Re: Please help me buy an HTPC case - maybe a midi tower on it's side

    was also going to suggest looking at the TJ08.

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