Silverstone LC16M HTPC case

Written by Geoff Richards

February 24, 2006 | 17:58

Tags: #aluminium #dvd #fans #firewire #geoff #home-theatre #htpc #htpc-case #imedian #imon #media-center #richards #steel #usb

Companies: #silverstone

Exterior

Once you move away from the brushed aluminium front bezel, the rest of the chassis has been power-coated in metallic silver-grey. It is not unpleasant, but it isn't an exact match for the bezel. The reason for this is clear: the case is in fact steel.

This is even more evident the first time you pick it up - at 7.3KG, it is far heavier than an equivalent all-aluminium case. Considering that this case is designed for permanent residence in lounge rooms rather than being carried under one's arm to a LAN party, we can forgive Silverstone for this economy. They have at least got the all-important front aesthetics right. The case is also available in black, should that better match the rest of your home theatre components.

Silverstone LC16M HTPC case Under the hood Silverstone LC16M HTPC case Under the hood
Spin the case around 90 degrees and we fine a neat mesh grill, designed to vent warm air away from the CPU. There is a similar one on the opposing side panel for the power supply. Curiously, at the rear there is not one but two 80mm exhaust fans. We will have to wait and see just how noisy this proves.


Under the hood

Remove the four fixing screws and remove the hefty, steel lid and you are presented by what appears to be a spacious and capacious enclosure.

Silverstone LC16M HTPC case Under the hood Silverstone LC16M HTPC case Under the hood
The case can happily accommodate a standard ATX motherboard with ease, and there is no need to spend money buying low-profile add-in cards because you can retain your existing full-height AGP, PCI and PCI-Express cards; up to seven in total. The only concession is that you can't use "long" cards like the Geforce 7800 GTX and Radeon X1800 / X1900. Considering the noise these cards generate, it is likely that users will opt for something quieter (and cheaper) - anything 6600 / X1600 or lower will fit without any dramas.

The VFD is mounted below the DVD drive bay, which is double-height despite the fact that only one drive is external. The second bay will prove useful for cable management purposes, as you will see later.

Silverstone LC16M HTPC case Under the hood Silverstone LC16M HTPC case Under the hood
Flanking either side of the centre DVD bay are these 3.5-inch cages, each of which capable of holding three drives, bringing the total capacity to six drives. Fancy three terrabytes in your home media server? You could with this case, assuming you had £1200 you would need to buy the half dozen 500GB SATA drives required.

Of course, stuffing the LC16M with drives would result in a lot of heat. To combat that, Silverstone have thoughtfully provided a removeable 80mm plate for each cage. This draws air through vents under the front bezel, allowing good airflow without spoiling the aesthetics at the front with a traditional grill.
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