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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.

0 responses to “Home-theater PCs targeted by new Silverstone cases

  1. This company makes and sells these 150w and 160w Fanless power supplys that just plug into the 24 pin power socket on the motherboard. I think they are based in Silicon Valley in Calif.

    [url<]http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-160-XT[/url<] I have seen them for sale in different places. They cut down on the amount of wires in the case. They are not very cheap because you need the power brick to power them and also the fanless power supply. There are power supplies that sell for less.

  2. A modern HTPC doesn’t need to have HDDs. You throw the HDDs onto a separate NAS box,. You just grab a small SSD and throw a backbones OS, encoding A/V software suite. The integrated GPUs from current crop of AMD and Intel desktop chips are sufficient enough to handle your decoding needs and some light encoding. You may need a separate system if you want to do heavy-duty encoding though and throw the finished product onto the NAS box.

  3. thats a hot PT13 case. i’d jump on it if it came with a remote to power it on/off. its so small, i cant even see the psu!

  4. so is anyone downgrading to a decade old console here? rofl! my xbox360 [email protected] out years ago with the red ring of death, so my investment in ms consoles (and any other console) pretty much ended circa 2005 AD.

  5. Yeah, I never have problems with WMC. I also have two HTPCs – one that is also used for gaming. Did I mention the 120″ screen yet? Or the 9.2 Klipsch/Yamaha setup?

  6. Really? I have 2 of what I consider HTPC, and that’s all we watch Netflix through – WMC. Buggy, exactly how? Sometimes the voice and picture don’t sync for a bit, but that happens even when watching through a PC browser.

    Love my Silverstone MILO case, don’t love the price of all their nicer stuff. But maybe I’ll splurge again on silverstone some day soon.

    But the Flex ATX HTPC cases gotta go, don’t like the quasi-proprietary nature of that PSU option. So many good ATX options that they just don’t have in Flex-ATX.

  7. “one 5.25″ drive, dual 3.5″ drives, and four 3.5″ ones.” So, a total of six 3.5″ drives? There’s a rumor that they serve intoxicating beverages in Las Vegas. Perhaps someone slipped Geoff a glass by mistake or malice? 😉

  8. Come on Silverstone, thin ITX only? Add an inch to the height so we can have some options.

  9. These are always neat, but when they get so small you can’t put in a addon card, I’d normally just go with something like a rPI (although in a lot of cases it’s not as user friendly). Makes you wonder why they just don’t make a pop out slot on it where a full sized graphics card could be inserted, but it jutts out of the case or something classy like that. XD

  10. I wouldn’t say most tuners are USB. There is a pretty even split and usually the internal cards offer a lot more connectivity and advance features. Just look at the selection one of the most common tuner manufacturers has:

    [url<]http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/prods.html[/url<] Personally, I hate USB tuner/video devices. They are by far the most pickiest device as to what USB chipset you have.

  11. Uhh, if you’re going to go the console route then you need to get a PS3. At least then you’ll get a decent Blu-ray player and free PSN access.

  12. There are a lot of streaming options out there. I have an HTPC but I would say 90 percent of the time I am using my PS3 for the streaming and blu-ray. Netflix is buggy in WMC, blu-ray is an absolute pain to use in Windows.

  13. Yeah, even most tuners now are USB, and the lack of an ability to have a decent graphics card pretty much kills its utility for anybody who wants to do some gaming on their HTPC too.

    I like continuum’s idea. Those kind of riser cards used to be quite common, and I don’t recall ever having problems with them.

  14. Being a media center oriented case the slot would be more for capture cards / tuners which are often in half height.

  15. And how good is that recording quality that you have there? It plays those mkv’s well right? I heard the DTS support is awesome….

  16. Really? ‘Cuz I kind of need to record HDTV broadcasts over the air and store them until my wife gets around to watching them. At 8 GB/hour, we’re pushing about 70 GB of backlog right now.

    So… where’s the app for that? And will I be able to record that much on my 120GB hard drive plus have room for my games and Rock Band downloads?

  17. AFAIK the Xbox can’t play ripped DVDs*, so for those of us with server-based media collections, in HTPC is still the best bet.

    * – This is via Media Center Extender…maybe someone’s come up with a native Xbox app that can get around the DRM hurdles the Xbox has, but I’m not aware of one.

  18. I’d love a low-ish profile mini-ITX or micro-ATX HTPC chassis with a 90 degree angled PCI-e riser that would let me get in a standard-height PCI-e card.

    Double slot width would be nice but in a pinch I coul d live without it…

  19. Nope. I’ll stay far away from Xbox as an HTPC device. Firstly, I’m not going to pay for Xbox Live just so I can pay for Netflix / Hulu / Etc. That’s complete bollocks. Secondly, the DVD player on my Xbox flakes out a lot when playing movies – so much that we had to resurrect the old DVD/VCR player that has several downsides to speak for, but at least it works. The Xbox seems to play games just fine, but not DVDs.

    I’m sure I can think of more reasons, but those are really the two that count. While I don’t have an HTPC, I would never say that an Xbox provides the same functionality and *free* access to so many things.

  20. Just not seeing the need anymore. I retired my console last year and have no regrets. Get an HTPC and it has all the apps, games you need and a browser 🙂

    [url<]http://wtfomfg.org/files/trf/IMG_20121217_125622.jpg[/url<] [url<]http://wtfomfg.org/files/trf/IMG_20121216_164116.jpg[/url<] [url<]http://wtfomfg.org/files/trf/IMG_20121216_163417.jpg[/url<] [url<]http://wtfomfg.org/files/trf/IMG_20121216_163343.jpg[/url<] [spoiler<]Really though - wireless keyboard, touchpad, gamepad, a GTX 560 and 2500k...this thing is probably more powerful than any incoming console system. I'm in love, absolutely IN LOVE with [url<]https://www.youtube.com/tv[/url<] too.[/spoiler<]

  21. [quote<]Inside the case, there's room for one half-height expansion card[/quote<] Oh, good, because there's so many top-shelf/decent gaming graphics cards available in that form-factor

  22. How about an ML05t with a TFX power supply. I really don’t think we need full sized ATX or SFX PSUs in ITX enclusures like that.

  23. Just not seeing the need anymore. I retired my last HTPC over a year ago and I have no regrets. Get an XBOX 360 it has all the apps, games you need and a browser 🙂

  24. The PT13 config is pretty much what I’m using currently, except it’s thin-ITX only (mine is still regular mini-ITX). Looking to downsize in another processor generation or two.

  25. Damnit! I just got done buying one of Silverstone’s Sugo cases. Which are great cases mind you, but this PT13 looks to be exactly what I’ve been in search for over this past year as I build SFF systems. Sweet and simple looking little case. If they can keep this in the sub $100 range, consider me sold on it already.