Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

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Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 5:32 am

Hey chaps.

I'm using an Antec NSK 2480 as an HTPC at the moment. It's MicroATX but it gives me room for a decent Full-ATX power supply, full height+double width graphics card, and I have 5 drives in it too (4TB Raid5, SSD, Optical)

I'm struggling to find media furniture for my new flat that's deeper than 38cm, so the 42cm long Antec is causing me real troubles. Everything else (Xbox360, Amp, Dolby receiver) is less than 30cm deep, so if I could find a case that's suitable, it'd be easier to rebuild the HTPC and give me a choice of sensible furniture.

Any suggestions for a 'shallow' case. My requirements don't exactly fit well with typical HTPC enclosures:
  • Full ATX PSU
  • MicroATX
  • Full-height expansion cards
  • At least 4 3.5" drive bays (could be 2x 3.5" and 2x5.25")
  • Decent ventilation (I am pulling about 350W from the wall with this unit)
  • Not a US exclusive - (I have to be able to get this delivered to Europe)

Mission Impossible?
I thought us Gerbils liked a challenge though ;)
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 8:40 am

I was somewhat disappointed with the NSK2480. It's big on the outside but small on the inside (except for the ability to house a large number of drives).

I believe that the available drive mounting points would be a strike against the Silverstone Grandia GD05. It's $88 at Amazon in the U.S.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 10:04 am

I had this as an HTPC case a few years ago. It meets the size requirements but it uses a custom power supply to make everything fit. The other issue is the power supply placement pretty much requires the use of a low profile heat sink.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 6:03 pm

Well the Silverstone Grandia wasn't too much of a compromise.

I'm limited for time and whilst I always wanted to actually build one myself (we have a CNC laser cutter at work here that can handle 1.2mm thick metals) I just dumped £80 on a Grandia GD04. I'll lose the RAID5 but I might just stick with RAID1; I deleted a whole bucketload of TV shows I've watched and seemed to be saving for no good reason and I reckon I can get away with 2TB of storage on this machine for now.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 6:33 pm

Crispy Does the motherboard have Esata or USB3? If it does you can get a single or dual HD Hot Swap HD dock i am sure you could hide it somewhere,but Motherboard's SATA port MUST support Port Multiplier in order for your computer to recognize multiple hard drive if the unit is connectd via eSATA.
This Startech 3.5" and 2.5"dual bay dock has dual esata ports on it one for each drive plus USB2 yuk:) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817707170 ...if you MB has 2 Esata connectors on the IO plate your in for a easy hookup and most likely can raid them if you want to.Or you can buy a sata to esata backplate that lets you use the internal sata ports on the MB.
They are self powered, I have been using a thermaltake BlackX single dock for 4 years and it works great with 3.5or 2.5 inch drives.I get HD speeds as fast as if they were internally mounted inside the case on the regular sata connections,No performance loss whatsoever:) Unless you go mounting SSD drive in them over the 3gbps standard.

No reason to limit you count of HDs since you can use these docks and hide them behind the entertainment system and run the cables through a hole in the back.That = problem solved.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 12:03 pm

Neither eSATA nor USB3 - it has an old Core2 Q9550, 4GB RAM and a GTX460 in it :(

I ended up buying the Grandia and whilst I haven't done it yet, there's loads of space underneath the optical drive bay that I will fit a couple of 3.5" bays into.
I'm going to rip apart an old beige box from the office junkpile and salvage a bit of 3.5" drive bay metal. I reckon I can use a rivet gun to expand the Grandia to a 6-bay machine easily enough :)

My guess is that the Grandia's ancestors used to have more external bays, but it was reduced to one bay for aesthetics reasons. I'm just using that wasted space for an internal bay.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 3:20 pm

How about the Silverstone Fortress? It's only got three 3.5" bays and one 2.5" bay but I'm sure you could jimmy one more 3.5" drive in there some place. The fortress is a bit expensive, so if you can get the Grandia to work I'd go with that. When I ran into your same problem (except I had an ATX mobo) I built my own. I only had one hdd, but I managed to fit the whole thing into about 5.5"x9.5"x12.5" (width, depth, height). I put the full ATX PSU over top of a few expansion slots I wasn't using.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 7:39 pm

Velcro tape may be easier to manage than breaking out the rivet gun.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 9:19 am

I'm using blu-tack at the moment, and the HTPC hasn't exploded, caught fire, or deleted all my dataz yet.

I might leave it like that, since blu-tack bonds strengthen over time, and the rubbery nature appears to be doing a fine job of isolating the disk seeks from the chassis :D
The alternative which seemed like such a good plan yesterday has already degenerated into half-hearted apathy!
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:13 am

Hi all !
Looking for a short (14") HTPC full-size ATX desktop case.
There used to be one available in the U.K., - made in China - JONSBO G2 HTPC. Not available anymore.
It's 351 mm (13.81") Depth. It has 7 expansion slots. It would perfectly fit to my A/V system on a regular-sized furniture:

http://www.jonsbo.com/en/products_2_2.html
http://forum.lowyat.net/topic/662901/all
http://www.mistertao.com/taobao-product ... 89960.html

Still don't know how to get it to Canada. Contacted the retailer, - the shipping of just one unit is too expensive.

Did my own search, - looks like no manufacturers are interested in supplying North American customers with HTPC ATX short-depth cases.
Some ridiculously have 17 - 19" depth. Only can see the microATX HTPC desktops of 13-14" depth.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:51 am

Wow, that's asking a lot: Full-height, short depth, HTPC-style, Full-ATX.

You might find one lying around as old stock - one of the old style "ATX Desktop case" tarted up a bit with an HTPC front panel. It'll be crap though.
How desperate are you for Full ATX? When you can run a GTX690, a TV-tuner and dedicated soundcard from a MicroATX, why are you so interested in fitting a full-ATX board in an HTPC?

You probably have your reasons but bear in mind that changing the motherboard and buying a decent off-the-shelf HTCP case may be easier than scouring the globe for some discontinued and expensive-to-ship one.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:54 pm

I have a hand-me-down ATX AMD Socket 939 humming along as my HTPC. I built myself a case out of 1/4" plywood to fit the shallow dimensions I needed to get it inside my entertainment center while still leaving room behind for cables. The PSU is mounted over the lower half of the board because all I have in there is an AGP graphics card. 3.5" hard drive is mounted vertically behind the front face and there's no optical drive. The entire thing is something like [Edit] 14.5"t x 5.75"w x 9.75"d

Check out a Cooler Master Elite 360. While this is a bit deeper than what you're looking for, its definetly thin and one of the smallest ATX cases I've come across that's decently cheap.

Chrispy has a good point, IMO if you're going to spend much over $60 and headaches on a specialty small ATX case, you might be better off just getting a new mATX mobo. Obviously my HTPC is too old to justify this approach.
Last edited by DPete27 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:35 pm

DPete27 wrote:I built myself a case out of 1/4" plywood to fit the shallow dimensions I needed to get it inside my entertainment center while still leaving room behind for cables.

Heh, as a student I rented a room for a year which had a big old oak desk in it, with big old drawers. I built a PC out of one of the draws in that desk using only the removable motherboard tray from an old case and copious amouts of blu-tack.

It could almost have been considered compact if I didn't also have a 19" CRT sitting on the desk like a baby elephant!
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:55 pm

A little late, and pretty expensive ($140 at NCIX), but the new Fractal Design Node 605 might fit the bill.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:19 pm

DPete27 wrote:Check out a Cooler Master Elite 360. While this is a bit deeper than what you're looking for, its definetly thin and one of the smallest ATX cases I've come across that's decently cheap.

Thank you!
Now I know about existence of this good inexpensive ATX case that has several 5.25” external bays, low footprint, - it's perfect for accommodating additional I/O ports and devices for future upgrades. The depth is right. The look is OK.

Chrispy has a good point, IMO if you're going to spend much over $60 and headaches on a specialty small ATX case, you might be better off just getting a new mATX mobo. Obviously my HTPC is too old to justify this approach.

The motherboards I like and prefer, - usually either an ATX, or mATX that have one of the PCI-Ex16(x8) slots positioned as the last one close to the edge of the mobo. That's why at least 5 slots in my case are needed for a wide PCI-E card. Some mATX cases cube-shaped come with 5 slots, - inwin. - but I need an ATX desktop case (ATX pretending to be a microATX case.) ))

UltimateImperative wrote:A little late, and pretty expensive ($140 at NCIX), but the new Fractal Design Node 605 might fit the bill.

Thank you for the introducing me a new HTPC case I didn't know about.
Now I also consider buying the Fractal Design Node 605 case. despite its design is not as attractive
as the chinese JONSBO G2 HTPC. }})
(For its price the Node 605 case does NOT have a display, no remote control, no Master Sound Volume knob, no built-in IR receiver, no external SATA signal+power connectors, no additional 5.25" or 3.5" external drive bays for possible connector upgrades.)

But the main advantage of the Fractal Design case, - the depth (13.74”) is in match with the rest of my A/V boxes and my shelves:

Image

And the Fractal Design case is available in Canada.

Thank you very much all of you for helping me.

P.S.: Funny enough, - we can find on the Internet that some guy cut off a new nMediaPC 2000B ATX HTPC case in order to make it shorter:
http://www.maximumpc.com/forums/viewtop ... 7&t=109474
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:06 am

I gave up in my attempt to find a 'shallow' full-size ATX HTPC case with a standard 5.25" external bay, and with some kind of flexibility.

So, I got a normal full-size ATX Silverstone LC16MB-M USB3, - at BestDirect.ca for $ 220 CND, free shipping.
It has 5.25" and 3.5” external bays, digital display, and has good enough ventilation, (Made in China, as labeled).
Now I need to adjust my furniture accordingly. )))


Image
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:46 am

Sorry I am late but the Bitfenix Prodigy probably would have fit the bill plus it's MINI ITX. Comes in like 6 colors including flat black, white, red, orange....I forget the rest.
Also it has room for a 120mm AIO liquid cooling unit as exhaust and a front 120 mm intake "they could both be reversed"
I would recommend a graphics card that is a blower style that exhausts all the heat from the case and helps pull in cool air like a TITAN, GTX780, or GTX770.
It is a great mini ITX case that can pack some killer hardware :)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811345016 $82 for black $76 for white
Expansion
External 5.25" Drive Bays
1
External 3.5" Drive Bays
No
Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
3 + 2 modular
Internal 2.5" Drive Bays
9 (5 + 2 + 1 + 1)
Expansion Slots
2
Plus it takes a full sized PSU, a Titan video card would probably fit...not sure about with 5 3.5" HDDs installed though
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:04 am

The BitFenix Prodigy is a poor choice for this application. It provides only one PCIe slot in a mini-ITX case that takes up a lot of room. It also lacks the HTPC features that the OP wanted.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:40 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:The BitFenix Prodigy is a poor choice for this application. It provides only one PCIe slot in a mini-ITX case that takes up a lot of room. It also lacks the HTPC features that the OP wanted.


If the OP Likes the case with a little creative thinking It could be used. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The inexpensive but well thought out $80 Prodigy has the space and good ventilation potential to make a monster HTPC/gaming Rig that is very powerful but very quiet at the same time.
If you used say a Mini ITX motherboard that has 2 MINI PCI-E slots like the ASRock Z87E-ITX LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard. With a say I5-4670k Haswell quad core or god forbid a i7-4770k you have the makings of a Mini-ITX monster.

Then he could of had his Big Video card in the 16x slot.

For HTPC TV input/recordinmg this mini-PCIe Habey HB-MAT5070 ATI Theater HD PCI express Mini Card ATSC/DVB-T/Clear-QAM Digital TV tuner card would fill the tuner position. It will record one HD channel and one regular channel at the same time.
If he needs a cable card a HDhomerun External TV Tuner Box would be a good choice.

I do not know what other stuff he might have needed ? But I am sure you could find it in Mini PCI-e if the other mini PCI-e sata slot can be used for any mini PCI-e card other then a SSD ?
USB devices could fill any other needs as a HTPC I would think ?
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:05 pm

@vargis14,
Thank you for the useful prompt reply.

By the way, I am thinking about a new HTPC build my daughter. And it will be definitely in a miniITX form.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:33 pm

The mini-ITX Bitfenix prodigy takes up more space than an actual useful microATX HTPC case like the Silverstone Grandia GD04 or GD05, but the prodigy has only 1/4 as many PCIe slots.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/silverstone-gd05
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:19 pm

Virtufan wrote:By the way, I am thinking about a new HTPC build my daughter. And it will be definitely in a miniITX form

This In Win case is definetly on my short list for compact mITX cases with internal PSUs. Even has a 5.25" optical bay and two 3.5" hdd bays. I'd personally only use it for IGP machines, but I suppose you could stuff a GTX 650 or 7750 in there.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:26 pm

DPete27 wrote: . . . I suppose you could stuff a GTX 650 or 7750 in there.

The InWin BP655.300TB3L has a single low-profile expansion card slot, - it's a limitation for the most of HD 7750, and can't be used for a GTX 650.

So, the SAPPHIRE 100357LP HD 7750 fits into the single slot. But the ZOTAC ZT-61008-10M GTX 650 won't fit into the InWin BP655.300TB3L case despite it is a single-slot card. That's because the card is 4.37" wide, so it actually occupies 2 slots.

In comparison, the above mentioned BitFenix Prodigy miniITX case has two standard height expansion card slots. That is pretty rear to have two slots on the miniITX. This advantage makes the case more flexible.
Last edited by Virtufan on Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:41 pm

The Prodigy is just a ridiculous choice for this thread. It doesn't fit the 'HTPC component' look whatsoever, and with the feet is as big as smaller mATX cases too.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:02 am

I quite like the Antec as a ISK 300/310 as a low-profile option. They're both small without compromising on build quality, PSU quality, or cooling.

  • There are plenty of low-profile graphics cards good for HTPC options if you don't want to use an IGP build,
  • optical drive (for the occasional Blu-Ray or DVD)
  • 2 x 2.5" drive bays meaning you can have both an SSD for the OS and a 2TB notebook drive for media storage without any noise.

If you want something with more space than that you're looking at mATX again, of which I cannot recommend the Silverstone GD05/GD05 enough - specifically for their full-height cards, stardard ATX PSU, 3.5" drive, 5.25" optical, great cooling (3x120mm, 2x80mm) AND all of that in a short-depth cabinet that is better suited to the slimmer TV stands and TV units common to today's LCD screens.

And yeah, I have to agree with others, the Prodigy is really wasteful with space. If you want the expansion slots and full-height cards, there are wealth of better-suited mATX options that actually fit into most media-centre furniture, rather than next to it like the prodigy would have to. mATX gives you four expansion slots instead of one, and the Prodigy's two expansion slots are only valid for double-width graphics cards, since mITX boards only come with a single slot.
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Re: Short depth, Full-height HTPC case

Postposted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:37 am

Virtufan wrote:The InWin BP655.300TB3L has a single low-profile expansion card slot, - it's a limitation for the most of HD 7750, and can't be used for a GTX 650.

So, the SAPPHIRE 100357LP HD 7750 fits into the single slot. But the ZOTAC ZT-61008-10M GTX 650 won't fit into the InWin BP655.300TB3L case despite it is a single-slot card

Good catch. I thought about that after I submitted my post, but was too lazy to go back and check. I guess you'd be using the Sapphire 7750 then. Like I said, in this case, you're probably best off with an AMD APU.

If you want an HTPC with a little more "gaming potency" I'd recommend the Silverstone GD05 as others have. If you don't NEED a HTPC case, then the mITX Silverstone SG05 and the mATX SG10 (SG10 = 23 Liter mATX, eat that Prodigy = 26 Liters) are also great choices.
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