[mythtv-users] Computer case recoomendations

Stroller linux.luser at myrealbox.com
Mon Dec 25 21:20:13 UTC 2006

On 25 Dec 2006, at 06:20, Rich West wrote:
> Robert Seaton wrote:
>> Your absotivly right, and I simply can't afford to buy the wrong  
>> case.
>>> ...
>>> First, be a bit cautious about low profile cases.  I got burned  
>>> because
>>> one of my tuner cards did not have a LPCI bracket available.
>>> ...
>>> Robert Seaton wrote:
>>>> I'm building a dedicated mythbox. I'm looking for  
>>>> recommendations for
>>>> a computer case.
>>>> 1. Case must be high quality
>>>> 2. Must be desktop form factor
>>>> 3. Must be small enough to fit on top of my TV 4. Must look good
>>>> sitting on top of my TV 5. Must fit an ATX board
>>>> Any recommendations, or links would be appreciated.
> The Antec Overture II is a nice looking case with LOTS of room and  
> it is
> VERY quite.  I had one for about two weeks before I decided to sell it
> since it didn't really suit my needs.  It's a BIG case.  I mean, it's
> like taking a tower, and leaning it on its side (with all of the drive
> trays and such properly oriented).  Yes, it is expandable with lots of
> room for hard drives and such, but, for me, since I was just  
> planning on
> using it as a FE, it was overkill.
> I ended up going for something very small.. a Shuttle XPC barebones.
> ....
> If you have a separate backend server that is hidden away in a closet
> somewhere, then it doesn't really matter how loud or ugly that case  
> is;
> it just matters what the frontend server looks like....

Whilst I prefer bottom posting myself, don't you find that  
consistency aids readability? Whatever one's objections to top- 
posting, don't you find that when two other people have top-posted in  
a reply already, that _then_ bottom-posting compounds the problem?


Seems to me that there are two schools of need here.... I understand  
the desire of experienced Mythers to have a Honking Big back-end  
server and dainty little front-ends scattered around the house, but  
it seems to me that for Myth-n00bs (certainly myself, I'm not sure  
about Robert?)  the case for a combined FE/BE is quite compelling. It  
reduces wiring, the risk of network issues, it's only one PC to get  
working and is generally less emotional / financial / intellectual  
investment in the initial instance.

In this case the combined FE/BE should really have a reasonable  
number of PCI slots - unless I'm mistaken Shuttle & mini-ITX cases  
generally accommodate only one, or maybe two, PCI slots (?) and  
that's pretty limiting in expandability for a Myth system. You might  
get a PCI card with two tuners on it, but what about a wireless PCI  
card? What should you find it necessary to add an additional tuner  
for its hardware MPEG decoding?

If you're unable to commit to a complex Myth network in the first  
instance then IMO ATX or mini-ATX form factor is the way to go for a  
general-purpose Myth box - that'd seem to give you enough room to  
play whilst you get the bugs ironed out. Whilst the 5 or 6 PCI slots  
of a full-sized ATX case may not be necessary I'm pretty sure that  
mini-ATX cases can offer 3 slots... and a full-sized ATX case gives  
you the option of using either. I don't fancy the Overture II, myself  
- it looks kinda plasticky to me, and not as classy as the Fusion -  
but I can see why someone would choose it.

The option that is leaping out at me is the Silverstone LC16M [1],  
tho' - it's admittedly large, and has more 3.5" bays than you'd  
probably want to use in a living-room FE, but it has plenty enough  
room for tuners inside and (surely?!?) a large passive heat-sink. I  
know hi-fi components are smaller these days, but the size of the  
Silverstone LC16M doesn't seem to me to compare unfavourably with the  
high-end and fashionable hi-fi separates of only a dozen or so years  
ago. It has a built-in IR receiver and LCD display and in particular  
the door for the optical drive seems particularly well-made & class  
[2]. I'm sure this is not the cheapest option, but perhaps neither is  
making the mistake of buying the wrong case & having to replace it?  
I'm generally of the belief that buying quality is rarely a mistake,  
and even if you decided after some time the Silverstone wasn't the  
job for you, I'm sure it would hold its value well for resale.


[1] http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-lc16m.htm
[2] http://www.avkorea.co.kr/account/LC16M/IMG_0089-S.jpg

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