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Desktop HTPC Cases becoming rarities?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've had a media PC going on 10 years now. I've gone through many iterations as I changed where I watched movies and also whether or not the unit needed to be portable.

My most recent setup was a Lian Li case:





I needed the mobility because I was going through a divorce and didn't want to leave anything expensive around for the ex to "muck" with wink.gif

Now that I am settled in a new home, I figured it was time to go back to a more traditional media center desktop case that would match my Denon receiver nicely. I am in the process of building a custom home theatre stand (after the success of building my new computer desk)






My requirements were pretty simple. Has to be the size of a standard receiver (17-18" wide, 6-7" high, depth not really a factor), hold CPU, Motherboard, Power Supply, a Bluray Drive, a small video card (EVGA GTX 750), an SSD as the primary drive and 4 mechanical hard drives.

Why 4? My Mini ITX board had 6 SATA ports (also really rare btw) and the Micro ATX board I replaced it with also has 6. I have, Bluray, SSD and 4 slots left over. I currently have 3 storage drives, WD 4TB, 3TB and 2TB and will be picking up another 4TB in a couple of days. I'll migrate whats on the 2 TB and buy an external HDD cage for it and use it as a portable drive. I'll want a spare SATA port for when I eventually buy another storage drive.

So my search began for desktop cases. I wanted something with a nice aluminum fascia and it had to have a front, external 5.25" bay and front USB 3.0 ports. Turns out locally (as in Toronto), there was either the Fractal node cases which don't have external 5.25" bays or a few Silverstone cases.

Then came the issue of stock, the only case that "supposedly" fit my needs was the Silverstone GD06. The LC17 would also have worked but no stock anywhere.

I wasn't crazy about the GD06, it has two front hard drive bay caddies which are completely useless to me and there is a honking big key lock on the front of the folding down door. However, beggars can't be choosers...



$170 later I had it in hand. To summarize (as I spent almost an entire day on it), the case is junk. First despite advertising the ability to hold 4 mechanical drives plus an SSD, there is no way to get more than 3 mechanical drives into the case. The 4th, sits on screws under the dvd drive cage. It also bangs into RAM and the USB 3.0 cable that plugs into the motherboard. No amount of force or finangling allowed me to get it in there unless I wanted to sacrifice the USB 3.0 front ports (seriously???) and find ultra low profile RAM (and my RAM is low profile to begin with).



On top of that, two of the hard drives go into the external caddies. After about 10 minutes, the top caddy spring loaded door (which flips open if the look at the case funny) broke... Now the door would not close and it broke of it's spring loaded hinge.


What I find most ironic, is that I read literally every review I could find on the GD06 and watched a couple of youtube video's. Every single one talked about what you could fit in the case (although zero mention of it's crappy build quality) but no one tried to actually put in the maximum number of drives that it supposedly could take. There are plenty of desktop cases that can for example take 2 mechanical drives. Why advertise a case as being able to take 4 when it literally can't?

Anyhow returned it and hunted around online (which sucks because I had already sold the Lian Li so no media PC) and found the NMediaPC 6000B case through Newegg.

$60 cheaper than the Silverstone and it can take up to 6 hard drives. Should be in a couple of days from now ($90 for express shipping hurts). I threw my media PC stuff into a craptastic Coolermaster Elite 343 tower for the time being.

Here is hoping that the new case is at least moderately decent. I've had mixed luck with Silverstone cases in the past but they were always about quality first (similar to Lian Li). Apparently that is no longer the case.
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post #2 of 20
Sorry to hear about your issues with the GD06. I have 2 Silverstone cases (MLO3B, MLO5B) and I am happy with the build quality. At first I thought you were just being overly critical until I read some other users reviews. Keep us posted about the nMediaPC case.

I also have a Fractal Node 605 which is a beautifully crafted case but it doesn't meet your requirements for multiple drives.
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post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Actually the Node would have been perfect as it does hold 4 hard drives but it only takes a slim optical drive. Bluray optical slim drives are hideously expensive (plus I already have an LG bluray drive). Also not sure if there are SSD mounts in addition to the 4 drive mounts. Mind you SSD's are easy to mount but having to spend a couple of hundred dollars on another bluray drive is a no go.
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post #4 of 20
You can always get an external bluray drive.

Here's my Lian-li setup:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-eJ1WR7phKgLWVpeTJCdXVRQWM
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post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
That's very similar to the Lian Li I just sold. Smaller of course without the drive cage.

Not a fan of external drives, it would be sitting in my home theatre and the USB cable would be hanging off the front when I want to watch a bluray. Plus as I said I already have a bluray drive, why buy another?


Here is a shot of the Silverstone before I returned it. Another big issue is if you look on the upper left corner of the case, there is a seam where the entire drive cage comes out. For the life of me I could not get it back in flush after the first time I took it out. Again poorly designed crap.


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Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Corsair H100i V2 - w/ML120 Pro Fans Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Acer Z35P 1440P G-Sync 
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Steelseries Merc  EVGA Supernova G2 1000W Corsair 450D Mionix Naos 8200 
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Intel G3440 Asus B85M-E/CSM EVGA GTX 950 Patriot Viper 3 - 2x8GB 1600hz 
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Samsung EVO 850 - 500GB + 4TB/3TB x 2/2TB WD Green LG CH12LS28 Bluray Scythe Big Shuriken 2 w/Corsair SP120 Fan Windows 10 64 Bit 
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post #6 of 20
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EK-FB GA Z170X Monoblock EK-FC1080 GTX Waterblock/Backplate 2 * Dazmode Darkside LP360 MCP355 DDC @ 7V 
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Samsung 840 Pro 256GB WD Green 6TB I will end you Dazmode Darkside Maple Leaf Special Edition 
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EK GTX 1070 Seahawk Feser TFC Admiral 240 Black Ice GTX Xtreme M92 6 * Silverstone SST-FN121-P 
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post #7 of 20
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Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Corsair H100i V2 - w/ML120 Pro Fans Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Acer Z35P 1440P G-Sync 
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Steelseries Merc  EVGA Supernova G2 1000W Corsair 450D Mionix Naos 8200 
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Intel G3440 Asus B85M-E/CSM EVGA GTX 950 Patriot Viper 3 - 2x8GB 1600hz 
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Samsung EVO 850 - 500GB + 4TB/3TB x 2/2TB WD Green LG CH12LS28 Bluray Scythe Big Shuriken 2 w/Corsair SP120 Fan Windows 10 64 Bit 
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Samsung 75" TV.... GooBang Doo MX3 Corsair CX430 V2 NMEDIAPC HTPC 6000B w/ Pro LCD Module 
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GooBang Doo MX3 
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post #8 of 20
So you have 2 x 4TB + 2TB + 3TB. Thought about 6 or 8TB drives or is that too much money?

Have you thought about a NAS? Put it in a corner so you don't have to look at it and you can connect it to all the systems in the house. I've got a 20TB FreeNAS server that I can access through all my systems. Living room PC is a tiny dual core pocket PC that just gets used for accessing the server and playing video files.
Edited by Cyclops - 1/24/16 at 9:33pm
No Bottlenecks
(21 items)
 
 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700K @ 4.8 GHz 1.35V Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 GTX 1080 Reference @ 2.05 / 11 GHz 32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws 3350 MHz 15-14-14-34-2T 1.35V 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Intel 750 400GB PCIe WD Red 8TB NAS 10 * 6TB HGST Desktar NAS (RAID Z2) Go away 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-FB GA Z170X Monoblock EK-FC1080 GTX Waterblock/Backplate 2 * Dazmode Darkside LP360 MCP355 DDC @ 7V 
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9 * Corsair SP120 Quiet Edition @ 7V 8.1 Pro 12-bit Asus VG27HE 27" 1080p @ 145Hz Corsair Vengeance K60 
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SeaSonic SS-520FL2 - Fanless Fractal Design Define S Logitech G502 Proteus Core XTRAC PADS Ripper XXL 
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Asus Xonar DSX 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4770K @ 4.7 GHz 1.39V Maximus VI Gene MSI GTX 1070 Seahawk EK X @ 2.1/9.0 Ghz 16GB G.Skill Sniper 2600 MHz 11-14-14-14-2T 1.65V 
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Samsung 840 Pro 256GB WD Green 6TB I will end you Dazmode Darkside Maple Leaf Special Edition 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK GTX 1070 Seahawk Feser TFC Admiral 240 Black Ice GTX Xtreme M92 6 * Silverstone SST-FN121-P 
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2 * Noctua NF-B9 Redux 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung U28D590D 28" 4K Overlord Tempest X270OC 27" 1440P 
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Corsair Vengeance K60 EVGA SuperNova 750 G2 NZXT Vulcan (With Attached Handle) Logitech G500 
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XTRAC PADS Ripper XXL 
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E5-2670 Supermicro X9SRA 64GB Samsung ECC 1333 MHz Mushkin Ventura Pro 32GB (Boot) 
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10 * 6TB HGST Deskstar NAS (RAID Z2) I will harm you Corsair H60 FreeNAS 9.10 
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No Bottlenecks
(21 items)
 
 
File Server
(10 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700K @ 4.8 GHz 1.35V Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 GTX 1080 Reference @ 2.05 / 11 GHz 32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws 3350 MHz 15-14-14-34-2T 1.35V 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Intel 750 400GB PCIe WD Red 8TB NAS 10 * 6TB HGST Desktar NAS (RAID Z2) Go away 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-FB GA Z170X Monoblock EK-FC1080 GTX Waterblock/Backplate 2 * Dazmode Darkside LP360 MCP355 DDC @ 7V 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
9 * Corsair SP120 Quiet Edition @ 7V 8.1 Pro 12-bit Asus VG27HE 27" 1080p @ 145Hz Corsair Vengeance K60 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
SeaSonic SS-520FL2 - Fanless Fractal Design Define S Logitech G502 Proteus Core XTRAC PADS Ripper XXL 
Audio
Asus Xonar DSX 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4770K @ 4.7 GHz 1.39V Maximus VI Gene MSI GTX 1070 Seahawk EK X @ 2.1/9.0 Ghz 16GB G.Skill Sniper 2600 MHz 11-14-14-14-2T 1.65V 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB WD Green 6TB I will end you Dazmode Darkside Maple Leaf Special Edition 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK GTX 1070 Seahawk Feser TFC Admiral 240 Black Ice GTX Xtreme M92 6 * Silverstone SST-FN121-P 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
2 * Noctua NF-B9 Redux 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung U28D590D 28" 4K Overlord Tempest X270OC 27" 1440P 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair Vengeance K60 EVGA SuperNova 750 G2 NZXT Vulcan (With Attached Handle) Logitech G500 
Mouse Pad
XTRAC PADS Ripper XXL 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
E5-2670 Supermicro X9SRA 64GB Samsung ECC 1333 MHz Mushkin Ventura Pro 32GB (Boot) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
10 * 6TB HGST Deskstar NAS (RAID Z2) I will harm you Corsair H60 FreeNAS 9.10 
PowerCase
Corsair RM650 (Passive) Fractal Design Define R5 
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post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
It's not really about the money. I could buy new drives, it's more about the hassle of transferring content from all the drives into new drives (which I will eventually do one at a time once I hit capacity).

Plus I use this system for ripping blurays I own into my system for digital playback. Therefore I need a bluray drive and at least a moderate cpu/RAM to do the ripping. Plus I use handbrake frequently to convert files to smaller formats to transfer to my tablet when I travel.

I have one of the mini PC's in my bedroom which I use primarily for netflix and shomi with the odd video played off a USB stick.

I don't mind looking at the system as long as it looks like it belongs in my home theatre cabinet.

Murder Box II
(18 items)
 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6800K Asus X99-A II Zotac 1080Ti AMP Extreme Edition G. Skill Trident Z - 32GB/ 3200Hz/CL14/Quad  
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Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Corsair H100i V2 - w/ML120 Pro Fans Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Acer Z35P 1440P G-Sync 
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Steelseries Merc  EVGA Supernova G2 1000W Corsair 450D Mionix Naos 8200 
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Inwin Batmat Aluminum Sound Blaster Z Logitech Z906 - 5.1 Maxnomic Commander S-III Gaming Chair 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel G3440 Asus B85M-E/CSM EVGA GTX 950 Patriot Viper 3 - 2x8GB 1600hz 
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Samsung EVO 850 - 500GB + 4TB/3TB x 2/2TB WD Green LG CH12LS28 Bluray Scythe Big Shuriken 2 w/Corsair SP120 Fan Windows 10 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 75" TV.... GooBang Doo MX3 Corsair CX430 V2 NMEDIAPC HTPC 6000B w/ Pro LCD Module 
Mouse
GooBang Doo MX3 
  hide details  
Reply
Murder Box II
(18 items)
 
Home PC
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6800K Asus X99-A II Zotac 1080Ti AMP Extreme Edition G. Skill Trident Z - 32GB/ 3200Hz/CL14/Quad  
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Corsair H100i V2 - w/ML120 Pro Fans Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Acer Z35P 1440P G-Sync 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Steelseries Merc  EVGA Supernova G2 1000W Corsair 450D Mionix Naos 8200 
Mouse PadAudioAudioOther
Inwin Batmat Aluminum Sound Blaster Z Logitech Z906 - 5.1 Maxnomic Commander S-III Gaming Chair 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel G3440 Asus B85M-E/CSM EVGA GTX 950 Patriot Viper 3 - 2x8GB 1600hz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung EVO 850 - 500GB + 4TB/3TB x 2/2TB WD Green LG CH12LS28 Bluray Scythe Big Shuriken 2 w/Corsair SP120 Fan Windows 10 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 75" TV.... GooBang Doo MX3 Corsair CX430 V2 NMEDIAPC HTPC 6000B w/ Pro LCD Module 
Mouse
GooBang Doo MX3 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 20
I bought a GD06 for my dad, I don't feel the material quality is that bad but I'd agree with the OP, the fit of the pieces is not very good. I also have quite a few issues when putting it together. I've owned or built in quite a few Silverstone (TJ08, PS07, SG04, GD04, ML05, ML07, FT03, FT03 Mini), cases and it's probably the worst for fit and finish.
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