|nMediaPC HTPC 8000 Wooden Media Center Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 13 August 2009|
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HTPC 8000 Interior Features
Once the top panel of the nMediaPC HTPC 8000 is removed, a large open space inside the wooden enclosure is filled with a small steel drive rack. This steel rack fastens to the case with one wood screw at each side, and aligns with the front bezel optical drive tray door. A small decal points a red arrow to the front of the case, so that the cage will fit properly with the bezel.
After the drive tray is removed, the large open volume inside the HTPC 8000 becomes apparent. There's enough room for an extended ATX motherboard, with clearance for tall CPU coolers.
Although it was a tight fit, the Prolimatech Megalems, Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme, and Xigmatek Thor's Hammer S126384 all fit beneath/beside the drive cage. A word of caution though: not every motherboard locates the CPU in the exact same place. Some mainboards locate the processor socket closer to the rear of the case, and some move it down and over to the front. While nearly any thin/wide CPU cooler with a 120mm fan (similar to the three noted above) could be used depending on socket orientation, square coolers (such as the Cooler Master Hyper Z600) may not fit beneath the drive cage.
Light weight felt is stapled behind the mock 'speaker' grill, which helps restrict the amount of lint and dust that might collect inside the HTPC 8000. An energetic enthusiast or case modder could easily see potential changes waiting to be made, and even the novice craftsman could craft themselves some very nice additions. Even with my limited experience at modifying computer cases, I'm already looking for ways to fit a home theater component inside the HTPC with another system.
Perhaps it's overkill, but the nMediaPC HTPC 8000 Media Center Edition case fits up to four 3.5" drives along with a single optical drive mounted in the middle. Most computers have one or two drives, since the price of storage has come down while the capacity has gone way up. Rubber vibration-dampening grommets help keep the HTPC 8000 motionless on the inside, and quiet on the outside.
Somehow the drive cage received ventilation holes on one side, but not on the other; not that it will matter since the area beneath each drive cage is not meant to hold any hardware (although it clearly offers the possibility).
In the next section, my final thoughts on the HTPC case industry are shared editorial-style...