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hec 7K09 mini review

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Built up the base system for my HTPC this weekend. Main driver for the project was that it needed to be cheap on new parts and also be able to use parts that I already had in-hand. Size, the second driver. I wanted it to be small and unobtrusive so it wouldn't stick out when placed by my tv.

I stumbled on the hec 7K09 while cruising newegg.

It seemed to fit the bill and most who purchased it were happy with its functions. It is cheap enough that the reviewers were also fine to write off a couple of quirks. Most notably a non-atx form factor power supply.

The case arrived on Friday and I took a quick evaluation of it. At face value it is a simple and yet attractive case. Construction is sturdy. The front bezel is easy to remove. The included psu is a dual 12V rail design supporting a maximum draw of 270W. I don't think that is a problem because it would be hard to fit components in this case capable of pulling more power I tied the green to ground and checked that the psu fired up. I noted that the psu fan was fairly quiet.

On with the build. I dropped in the M-ATX motherboard for a test fit and to get an idea what I am up against. Glad I did. 2 things struck me immediately:
1) the front panel connectors are completely hidden by the hdd cage so they will need to be wired before the board is bolted down
2) RAM will need to be installed prior to the optical drive
(for the record the mobo is an ASUS P5E-VM HDMI)

Reviewers over at newegg had warned that the psu would need to be pulled for hdd install, so I was prepared for that. The 2 items listed above were news to me, but I was taking my time with the assembly so they didn't trip me up. Just be forewarned this case does require some planning to stuff.

With the initial checks the rest of the build went smooth and I had everything wrapped up in short order. The system fired right up with 1hdd, 1 dvd rom, 2 sticks of ram, and a dual core cpu. Yah, under 300W and we are off to the races :lol:

additional thoughts:
- great case for those on a budget or just setting up a spare parts htpc
- warning, this is low-profile only on the expansion cards so take note when ordering these
- I have no idea what availability is on a replacement psu, so that should be weighed when considering this case
- technically the case only takes 1hdd, since I don't plan to use a floppy I can install 2hdd, and for the more adventurous there is room for 1-2 hdd under the dvd and hdd cages (but I think that starts to really push it on the psu)
- Not a quiet case, but not terribly loud either (some low db fans would help)
post #2 of 7
not bad
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay, picked up a TV yesterday so I am fully functional. Next month after we move everything will be in an entertainment center.

Picture of it in action...
post #4 of 7
Nice, small compared to my Microfly. But i'm too cheap to buy anything better
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
small and cheap Time will tell on durability. The build cost just over $750 including the tv, so there is little room for complaint.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Broke down this morning and bought a 1TB WD green drive. Got it at circuit city for $215 out the door. Yes, could have saved $20-25 online but instant gratification is worth the added expense.

So at any rate, since I had the case open I snapped a few pictures of the guts and the lack of cable management. Surprisingly the HDD are both staying fairly cool at 35-40C despite their poor airflow location.

1: feet, very stable
2: Air duct for cpu
3: Front view with shroud removed
4: cables pinched between ram and dvd
5: I had to cut these little buggers out of the way to mount the 1TB in the floppy tray (don't worry, still 4 plastic tabs holding the cover in place)
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
pictures continued...

6: Yeah, cables are a bit messy but it is as good as it gets without modding the PSU
7: HDD wiring and spacing. Not terrible, but some more ventilation might be good.

p.s. it takes a while to format a 1TB drive
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