Silverstone intros two full-sized HTPC cases

Full-sized home-theater PCs seem to have fallen out of favor in recent years thanks to the popularity of smaller form factors like microATX and Mini-ITX. If you want to built a living-room box loaded with multiple tuners, gobs of storage, a discrete sound card, and enough horsepower to handle future games, there’s still merit to an ATX build. Silverstone has a couple of new cases geared specifically toward that market, and we spent some time checking them out at the Consumer Electronics Show last week.

Silverstone says it hasn’t done a major redesign for its HTPC line since 2005, so the Grandia GD07 and GD08 are a long time coming. The two cases are actually quite similar, differing only in the configuration of their drive bays and front panels. The GD07’s front face is hidden behind a locking aluminum door, while the GD08 offers a clean front face with spring-loaded doors for just the optical bays. Both cases feature front-panel USB 3.0 connectivity and little sliders that adjust the brightness of the LEDs.

Internally, these cases are all about a move to bigger fans. Although the rear fan mounts can only accommodate a pair of 80-mm units, there’s room for one side-mounted 120-mm fan in addition to two 120-mm air movers in the bottom panel. Those bottom and side fans are covered by removable dust filters, as is the expansive venting on the right side panel.

The bottom-mounted fans are designed to blow directly onto the removable drive cage, which can accommodate five 3.5-inchers in the GD07 and up to eight HDDs in the GD08. In exchange for fewer internal bays, the GD07 has two more external 5.25" bays then the GD08. Both cases sport dual mounting points for 2.5" drives.

The new Grandias are large enough to accept Extended ATX motherboards, so you should have no problem squeezing in longer graphics cards. They looked quite attractive at Silverstone’s CES suite, but I couldn’t help but notice the absence of tool-free amenities. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the recent surge of enthusiast mid-towers, which are admittedly more likely to be the subjects of regular tinkering than a home-theater PC. The fact that we scoped Corsair’s latest cases right before meeting with Silverstone probably didn’t help, either.

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Isn’t this just a desktop case (as opposed to a tower)? There are tons of them already…

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      Nope. Desktop cases usually don’t follow the dimensions of standard audio equipment. Plus very few desktop cases focus on items like cooling, low noise and expansion.

      And desktop cases are not as common as they were 10+ years ago either.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        I guess I answered my own question. They simply rebranded desktop cases, HTPC cases…

        [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=690&name=HTPC-Media-Center-Cases[/url<]

    • glynor
    • 8 years ago

    I was really looking for something just like this a few months back, but none of the Silverstone cases really fit the bill. The small ones were too small (even the medium sized cases) for even a 6870, which is what I’m running in the HTPC currently, and many of them also didn’t have sufficient clearance for even a mid-performing aftermarket cooler.

    The big ones were truly enormous, and had price tags to match.

    I ended up going with a Lian Li PC-C34F. I love it.

      • alwayssts
      • 8 years ago

      I had the exact same problem, and went with the lian-li pc-C50b. It is hard for someone to argue that thing cant pretty much do everything while having tons of fan mounts for the small-space heat paranoid (two 120mm on each side, one on top, 80mm on back)

      Like others, wish it had an internal ir receiver and had to buy, cut, and install dust filters, but a small nit-pick.

      Seriously…who needs full ATX? Cases with the same length and width as an AVR/cable box/etc are key imo for fitting many shelves and that requires matx afaik. I would argue all you need is the height for at least 120mm fans to keep noise under control and to fit a decent hsf.

      As for the argument of what you can and can’t do with mATX, I have a blu-ray burner, 2 3tb drives, a boot ssd, 2600k, a 6870, and a noctua c-14 with with both fans (perfect for height under the mesh vent) in mine with a gene-z IV gen3. It could fit another 6870, or if I wanted 560ti cards of 384 or 448sp persuasion…of course there is always 7870 and other ~10in or less cards coming that should keep up with 1080p just fine. It could fit a pci-e tuner and sound card…I opted for the hdhomerun prime usb and optical out to avr. Mouse and keyboard got replaced by a lenovo n5902 and 360/ps3 controllers…and there are tons of other options. The small size is not a deterrent for enthusiast setup.

      I freaking love it beyond belief…got rid of my desktop/cable box and can now watch tv from my laptop if need-be. Who says you cant do everything from the couch/bed, pc, with or without a tv while using a small box at that? I for one, welcome our compact convergence overlords because I haven’t had to sacrifice a thing and gained an excellent experience…and its only going to get better.

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    I have one of their lower end low profile units. Love it, actually.

    • fredsnotdead
    • 8 years ago

    Looks like a nice option for my planned htpc/server build, if the filters (a) work and (b) are easy to remove and clean.

    • thermistor
    • 8 years ago

    Holy cow are those monsters.

    The spousal unit wanted HTPC/WMC for a new TV we bought over xmas.

    Never splurged on Silverstone, but I purchased their Milo. Very nice. I can see why folks rave about them – and I only got a basic one. The only annoyances are blue USB plastics (fortunately mine are covered by USB receivers for remote and keyboard). The blue LED’s on the case can as easily not be hooked up (pwr and hdd) to avoid distraction during actual TV watching.

    But back to the two new cases. Different strokes for different folks. As demani commented, there are things in some people’s usage profile that would dictate certain features be present, that couldn’t be squeezed into a low-profile, mATX case. Metal bezels and chrome buttons look nice, hopefully an easily-sliding case cover (mine is a little sticky)…but they are really, really big.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    Yes, yes, OMG, YES!

    Finally a HTPC case willing to accept high performance parts in a case design where you can get silent operation and keep heat under control.

    • CB5000
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t get it… what’s the point of having a horizontal form factor massively large case for HTPC usage? That monster won’t fit in the entertainment center setup I have. Isn’t the whole point of an HTPC to be quiet, low power, and usage for watching TV, movies, and the occasional games while being discreet? I mean, I love silverstone cases… but I think this one is going to flop… since if you want to have a full system setup, getting a decent midtower case with tool free amenities would be cheaper, and take up less floor space as it can be setup vertically, and would have better airflow and probably less noise. This case doesn’t appear to be able to set up for vertical usage out of the box…

      • demani
      • 8 years ago

      Um- as long as they are less than 19″ wide they will fit. And judging by the proportion of the optical bays to the rest of the case I think they are. So there isn’t much reason to expect them to not fit, unless the height is an issue. I think the depth looks to be about the same 340mm depth of the other cases- so that would pretty much make it fit in most Ikea media consoles. And yes, it is not configured for vertical setup-its clearly meant for horizontal setups. If that wouldn’t work in [i<]your[/i<] entertainment center it doesn't mean it wouldn't work in most other people's. for me, the floorspace was the part that was freed by moving from a mid-tower case to a horizontial one. Plus all the cables are now cleanly hidden. I have one of the smaller ones (not terribly small though- the 05 I think-enough height for a full video card) and I've enjoyed it-only feature I wished they had was an integrated IR receiver. At some point I'll drill a hole and put mine inside the case. I do like the extra set of optical bays in the 07- you could put in a drive carrier set up in there and get easy media swapping, backups etc.

      • mcnabney
      • 8 years ago

      My HTPC sits at the bottom of the pile in an AV rack. Full sized ATX mobo, a 560ti, and some quiet fans make sure that the computer can ONLY be heard if the room is completely silent.

      It had a lot of drives at one point (it is 4 years old now, video card is the only upgrade), but they moved into the WHS located in the basement. Gaming is outstanding. I use a Logitech Anywhere mouse on the sofa and outside of the lousy battery life and occasional scrolling-related driver glitch (occurs occasionally after PC wakes up) I am really happy.

      Oh yeah, and it feeds a 102″ screen, which never fails to impress guests.

      /waiting to upgrade when 4K arrives

      • glynor
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Isn't the whole point of an HTPC to be quiet, low power, and usage for watching TV, movies, and the occasional games while being discreet?[/quote<] Maybe for you, but not for me. My HTPC is a Core i5 750 @ 4.0GHz with 8GB of RAM and an AMD 6870 GPU. I do use it for gaming, but I also need a fair bit of power for video transcoding, and even just high-quality video playback. Just try running madVR and LAV with a 20mbps H264 MKV on your little box. You'll be dropping frames left and right and your audio will probably be all out of sync. Of course, if you're just going to play your video back using whatever junky decoder VLC throws at it, then fine, I suppose... Enjoy your black levels and blockies.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      For me, yes. I had a couple of HTPC with large cases that would not fit easily into an entertainment center. Then this year I build an HTPC around AMDs Fusion setup and was able to squeeze it all into a shoebox-sized Antec case. It works wonderfully and looks great sitting next to the newest version of the Xbox 360.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      Speak for yourself. 120mm fans? Perfect for some quiet, reliable, long-lived Enermax UC-12EB magnetic fans. Oh, and dust filters too. Plenty of room for copious amounts of hard drive space, and high-end components for real gaming. Throw in some front panel USB 3.0 ports and… well, I think Silverstone has made themselves a sale.

      This’ll be a great replacement for my NZXT Duet.

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