Home-theater PCs targeted by new Silverstone cases

Home-theater PCs seem to be gaining in popularity, and Silverstone has a collection of interesting new designs for folks who you want to build their own. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, our own Scott Wasson took a closer look at several enclosures that wouldn't look out of place in the living room. One of them, the PT13, is so small you might not even see it at all.

This tiny enclosure measures a scant 7.3" x 7.1" x 1.7" but can still accommodate Thin Mini-ITX motherboards. The fanless chassis has plenty of venting in the side and top panels, although cooler clearance is obviously limited. So are your storage options, since the case has only one 2.5" drive mount. Silverstone says the PT13 will come with a vertical stand and be out "very soon." Unfortunately, there's no word on pricing.

If you'd prefer a Mini-ITX enclosure with fewer restrictions, the ML05 might catch your eye. This puppy is much larger than the PT13, at 13.8" x 8.0" x 3.9", but its internals are much more accommodating. The ML05 has a slot-loading optical bay and can accept four 2.5" drives. Surprisingly, though, there's no support for 3.5" hard drives.

A polished acrylic front panel defines the ML05's face, and it's not the sort of surface that seems likely to accumulate fingerprints and smudges. Inside the case, there's room for one half-height expansion card, dual 80-mm fans, and one 120-mm unit. You'll need a smaller SFX power supply, and Silverstone has multiple options on that front, including a 450W unit with 80 Plus Gold certification.

The ML05 will start shipping in a couple months, but Silverstone hasn't yet decided on the price. The case will be followed by the ML04, which is due to arrive in April for $99.

With a microATX motherboard support, the ML04 is obviously larger than the ML05. The 17.3" x 13.8" x 4.1" chassis has enough internal volume for one 5.25" drive, dual 3.5" drives, and four 3.5" ones. The optical bay is hidden behind a brushed aluminum front panel, and the case is compatible with standard ATX PSUs. It also sports mounting points for four 80-mm fans, although it looks like you'll have to add your own.

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