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This review is from: ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive
Pros: No issues yet, installed Windows and several other programs with it so far. Have not tried a Blu Ray yet, awaiting software for playback.
Cons: None yetREAD FULL REVIEW
This review is from: SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / Steel ML04B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
Pros: Beautiful. I bought this for my first HTPC build and spent about a month looking at cases and eventually narrowed it down to the Silverstone brand, and eventually to this particular case.
It is simplistic and attractive, looks awesome on my TV stand with the rest of my components. It is about the size of my DVR cable box from my cable company, but ten times better looking. Has a lock on the front but is not a large obnoxious silver key lock, it is smaller and more cosmetically appealing.
Well built and perfect size IMO; accommodates a standard ATX PSU and 5.25 external bay drive, while still being relatively small in size. Some people are swearing that they could not use a standard ATX psu and a 5.25 drive. I purchased the Corsair CX500M semi modular (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-139-050) and a standard Asus blu ray drive (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135247)
I did not have room to spare per say, but I took my time and managed cables as best as possible and in the end, everything fits without pinching or bending anything and I am happy. The fan is on the bottom of the PSU, there is no ventilation on the back, so having the blu ray drive close to the back of the PSU is not restricting any airflow. I think the buying the (semi) modular PSU helped because I could choose at least where some of my connections plugged into.
The front panel that folds down is great; it hides the 5.25 external bay and all the front usb/audio connectors that looks hideous on most cases.
Great price also. I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
Cons: There were a few cons with this case, but easily remedied. If I read the manual front to back before I started I may have avoided some, but I did not.
The first was the "bracket" near the front of the case. It seemed like the only logical place to place my SSD, it fit perfectly on top of it and the screw holes aligned.
However, there is no way for the ATX power connector to plug into the motherboard with this bracket installed. (it comes installed). I used a standard (semi-modular) ATX PSU, I have never used anything smaller, so I dont know of the ATX power connectors are smaller, but the amount of wires needed for the plug makes it impossible for the bracket to stay in.
I took it out, and then had to find a home for my SSD. I finally cracked open the manual and it shows a spot underneath the 5.25 bay, next to the PSU on the bottom of the case, where you can mount it. This is where I had all the excess cabling, so it made it a little difficult, but I spent some time and all said and done, it works.
The problem is, is that this location is only 1/8 of an inch AT MOST off the bottom of the case. And because the SSD is mounted upright (you have to screw it in from the bottom) - the PSU connection on the back of the drive is upside down of what you would want. There is very little room for the power cable when mounted this way. My PSU came with "L" connectors, so they are not straight out like the sata cables were. If they make 'straight' power connectors that would have made it much easier.
I ended up just bending the wires back before connecting it, and it seems to be OK. I was worried about it putting stress on the power connector on the back of the SSD but the cables were stiff enough to stay bent so it should be OK.
I read that this case can support up to (4) 80'' mm fans - I bought two, and when I first opened up the case it took me a minute to figure out where 4 would fit. There is room for 4, but they are all down one side (the shorter side) of the case. I was hoping to put one fan on one side and one on the other as a push/pull setup to move air through the case. Having to put all case fans on one side does not allow me to do that.
I was then hoping to be able to put the fans exactly where I wanted them since the entire side of the case is "vented" with circles the size of screw holes.
There are only 4 places you can put the fans however. Imagine if you had 4 fans installed, they would be all butted up right next to eachother. These are the only 4 spots you can mount them. I did not want the fans on the far outside edges because one would be blowing air past my RAM Dimms and end up under my Blu Ray drive and not really make much circulation for my CPU.
Instead I put them both on the 'inner' positions, right next to eachother, one intake and one exhaust. The exhaust is directly next to my CPU, and the CPU fan blows down onto the heatsink, so it sucks the hot air out and the fan next to it blows air in.
Other Thoughts: Even with the few glitches I had, I would buy this case again in a second. It was my first HTPC and it was fairly effortless and it's functional and beautiful. Well worth the money. Very glad I went with this case.READ FULL REVIEW