As stated in the Master Plan, I want the case to be a full ATX case. The trend these days seems to be sliding toward mini-ATX and Small Form Factor (SFF), but I don' want to be limited to what I can stuff in there later on. Also detracting from the value of these smaller cases are some horror stories
about each form factor and the cooling problems, fit issues and restrictions of each. Aside from the "it won't fit on my shelf" argument, I have yet to hear a bad thing about ATX cases.
The HTPC market is large enough now to encourage more than a few manufacturers to begin developing full product lines of cases which look like home entertainment devices, but conform to all the PC case standards. This is lucky for me, because I want to be able to drop the case in my current HT setup and not have it look like a sore thumb. There have been some recent entries
in to the market such as the and a few from SilverStone, Antec and UNeed International
but I am resisting the other recent trend of stuffing too much into the front of the case. Many cases these days include LCD readout panels, IR receivers, USB, FireWire and Audio connectors and a bunch of other stuff that either limits your choice of MoBo or sticks you with some items that are not Linux compatible.
After reading many disappointing reviews
. I finally stumbled across some an old review
of a full ATX case made by SilverStone in 2004. To me, the LC03 embodies the peak of functional, effective case design. It does not include anything you don't want, does not force a fanless PSU, has an elegant and component-like front face, and was enjoyed by all who reviewed it.
So my first purchasing decision will be a SilverStone LC03 case for around $125.
Silverstone LC03-S (Silver) ATX Desktop No Power Supply 2x5.25 2x3 ...
$118.00- Mwave.com:4.3 / 5
SILVERSTONE LC03-S (SILVER) ATX DESKTOP NO POWER SUPPLY 2x5.25 2x3.5 2x3.5(hidden) W/ FRONT USB CONNECTOR & 60mm CASE FAN x 1