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SilverStone's Lascala SST-LC01 enclosure

Perfect for the living room

ModelLascala SST-LC01
Price (street)$166

SMALL FORM FACTOR platforms are great for home theater PCs, but there are times when nothing less than a full ATX enclosure will do. Don't get me wrong. I love those little cubes as much as the next guy¬ómaybe even more. However, there's no getting around the limited expansion capabilities, proprietary power supplies, and premium prices associated with most small form factor systems. Smaller form factors can also struggle to maintain low noise levels under load, making them less than ideal for home theater systems that do a little Folding@Home and media encoding on the side.

Of course, not all ATX enclosures are really appropriate for home theater use. For starters, no one wants an ugly beige tower sticking out like a sore thumb in their living room (and even if you don't mind, your significant other does). Color aside, even mid-size towers have trouble squeezing into the average entertainment center.

Fortunately, manufacturers like SilverStone have started offering enclosures specifically designed for home theater systems. These desktop cases are slim enough to slide into an entertainment center, stylish enough to blend in with swanky stereo equipment, and roomy enough to house full ATX motherboards. But are they really all that for home theater applications? We snagged SilverStone's Lascala SST-LC01 to find out.

First impressions
The first thing you'll likely notice about the Lascala is its weight, or lack thereof. Tipping the scales at only 4.2kg, the SST-LC01 is the lightest enclosure I've ever had the pleasure of hefting into the Benchmarking Sweatshop.

The Lascala SST-LC01: Also available in silver

Credit for the SST-LC01's light weight goes to the case's aluminum alloy construction and thin walls. However, despite its thin outer skin and minimal weight, the Lascala is actually quite sturdy. More on that later.

Size definitely matters when you're trying to squeeze a case into an entertainment center, but the SST-LC01's proportions are quite reasonable for a full ATX case. Measuring 425mm wide, 450mm deep, and 159mm tall, the Lascala isn't all that much smaller than mid tower enclosures like Antec's Sonata. However, the SST-LC01's 159mm height makes it quite a bit more shelf-friendly than the Sonata, which is 205mm tall when lying on its side.