Who'd want a wheezing monstrosity in their living room? It's no wonder that most PCs never make it that far, but here's the case that could finally fit the digital home dream. Based on a Micro ATX board, this compact, stylish-looking case ticks all the boxes when it comes to home theatre-designed PCs.
The internal design uses the triple compartment design seen in certain high-end tower design that splits the PSU, motherboard and drives into their own sections. On top of this, two 120mm fans mounted in the side by the CPU will help suck out the hot air.
These are Molex powered, but come with a built-in three-step speed-controller to help maintain a quiet system. It's a clever design and comes with a couple of blanking plates for removing one of the internal fans, as well as optimising the flow through to the processor.
The hard drive bays are vertically aligned along the front of the case. These two fixing points are attached via rubber grommets, but feature padded clamps to minimise any vibrations. The 5.25-inch drive bays are mounted in a pull-out tray; only one is an external bay. Rounding off the quiet design feature-set is the 430W PSU.
It are the little touches that make the difference. In this instance it's the front display. The supplied software integrates with Windows XP Media Center, Power Cinema and Winamp, displaying various pieces of information on the system. These include the media that's currently playing, equaliser settings, email, news and weather feed. It installs via either an external USB cable or spare internal USB header.
Alongside this home theatre extra is a huge knob - something we don't get to say often, but it completes the media centre image. Neil Mohr