We’re about to talk about a particular type of PC case range in this one. Ever heard of home theaters? Yes, people align PC cases in their living rooms to attach it with big displays to gain the ultimate home theater experiences.
We’re about to discuss the best HTPC cases you can possibly get with your money. HTPC or Home Theater PC cases aren’t really as flashy as Gaming PC cases. The whole idea here is to keep it subtle, small, and classy. I think you already got the point I’m trying to make.
No one wants the type of light show and extra bells and whistles in their living room PC. Some even might want to place it horizontally. We’re about to discuss all there is to it about HTPC cases. Hang on tight and enjoy the ride. We’re about to begin!
HTPC Cases Comparison Chart
|Name & Brand||Material||Motherboard Compatability||Fan Size
|SilverStone GD09B||Aluminum||ATX||120 Millimeters
|Fractal Node 202||Spcc||Mini ITX||80 Millimeters
|SilverStone ML05B||Acrylic||Mini ITX||80 Millimeters
|Antec VSK2000-U3||Alloy Steel||Micro ATX||92 Millimeters
|InWin BL040||Alloy Steel||Micro ATX||80 Millimeters
The Prime HTPC Case Features
Before we start with our best list, let’s take a look at the particular features that are desired in an HTPC case. As I’ve said, the stuff you’d be looking for really isn’t as common as usual desktops and gaming PCs. Just follow my lead; I’ll guide you through it all.
Well, the aesthetic features of an HTPC case shouldn’t clash with the signature style of the living room’s décor. The color of the case should blend in with the outward visuals of the room. A Razer green case with black panels might go awesome with a lush green carpet.
On the other hand, some might prefer nothing more than a case that resembles a plain black box. The whole appearance thing depends on the outward look of your living room where the home theater will be placed. So, choose wisely.
The Size Factor
Large cases, especially full towers, might often not be preferred in HTPC case choices. They consume a lot of space and are often flashy. That’s exactly why mid-tower cases are preferred in most cases. You can go with Mini-ITX cases as well. Also, there are some specific M-ATX cases that should fit in just fine.
Even though these cases are low in number, you’ll come across some PC cases that are compact and can be placed horizontally. These are often preferred by many HTPC builders. What I meant to say is size and placement matter a lot.
Do take extra caution about the noise that your PC case can make. You have to find the proper balance between proper cooling and noise levels. A number of fans can keep the proper airflow intact, but at the same time will cause a substantial amount of noise when you get into some heavy tasks.
Water cooling can prove to be a nice solution to this. Keep your CPU cooled without the disturbing noise of loud air coolers. You might also choose fans that have lower noise levels (dB).
There’s a lot of workarounds. You just need to be smart with the fans that come with the case and a tad bit creative with the aftermarket purchases.
Now, this is a topic that can have some debate. As we all know, it’s the age of RGB. Many cases come with internal RGB LED lighting. Although some even come with a static lighting feature. What you need to do here is decide. Do you want the glowing flash of an RGB system? Or do you want to stay subtle?
This ultimately comes to personal preference. Some even like a bit of dim lighting, and there are some that prefer no lights at all. So, it’s totally your call at the end of the day.
The Best HTPC Cases You’ll Find
Now that we’re done with the minor details let’s look into the top list of HTPC cases that are available in the marketplace right now. I’ve done my research and handpicked the very best of them. Take a look; you might just find the right one for yourself!
SilverStone Technology GD09B
This one from SilverStone just had to hit the top of my list. This baby here is sleek, classy, and can fit just about anywhere in your home theater setup. I mean, you can’t go wrong with a case that’s dedicatedly made for home theaters.
So, what does this case have to offer? Let’s find out!
SilverStone claims this one to be at the peak of space efficiency and compatibility. And it does live up to that to quite some extent. Since it belongs to the SilverStone Grandia series, special care has been taken to make it offer high performance and be stylish and functional at the same time.
This case here is fully ready for full-fledged components like an ATX motherboard and an ATX power supply. Not to worry, it can house SSI-CEB and Micro-ATX motherboards as well. Not to mention, it’s equipped with the SilverStone RA02 rackmount ears. This makes placement far easier.
Fitting it inside a home theater cabinet really won’t be an issue as it has a depth of only 385mm. Just slide it in, and you should be just fine.
Let’s talk about the subtle design that it has for a bit. It’s specially made with a positive air pressure design. Making a perfect balance between cooling and quietness, this case stands out from the multitudes with ease.
Among the other noteworthy features, this case here has drive cages with multi-purpose mounts. This totally eliminates the need for various adapters. Also, the removable dust filter on the power supply makes maintenance seem like a breeze. We all know how messy it can actually get over there.
Apart from that, there’re also filters for intake vents that make things even more convenient. You also get seven expansion card slots along with an 8th aux slot, making room for future upgrades and expandability.
Also, if you’re worried about storage, the 5.25 Drive, 3.5, and 2.5 Drives are there to save the day.
There’s really nothing to complain about the size here. With a height of 170 mm and a width of only 440mm, it’s as compact as it can get.
All in all, I’d give this case a big thumbs up and would recommend it to anyone who prefers simplicity with a bit of style.
Fractal Design Node 202
It would simply be a crime to make a list of the best HTPC cases and leave out the Node 202 from Fractal Design behind. With a perfect blend of elegance and functionality, this case offers a lot in terms of home theater standards.
But don’t be fooled by its basic looks and size. This one here can house a full-fledged gaming build. Note that the Node 202 is a small footprint case that was designed with great care. Every little detail and internal spacing shows signs of great craftsmanship.
It can be placed just about anywhere in your home. Be it horizontally or vertically. Aesthetically, it’s rather pleasing and can easily fit on your desk or beside your TV without being an eyesore. You can even think of keeping it nicely on any corner of your office space with ease.
The case has a volume of only 10.2 liters which is quite minimalistic if you ask me. This much is to be expected from the professional Scandinavian manufacturers of Fractal Design. This small case supports Mini-ITX boards, SFX range power supplies, and graphics cards that go up as long as 310 mm.
Now that’s pretty darn impressive!
You might be glad to know that the case comes with a pre-installed Integra SFX 450W PSU. So, if you’re making a basic build that won’t be consuming much power, there’s no need to upgrade to a PSU of higher wattage. This one should serve you well enough.
Now, let’s talk about the interior a bit. With separate motherboard and graphics card chambers, the Node 202 brings to the table a very efficient internal thermal design. Plus, the strategically placed dust filters make maintenance very convenient for all users. Kudos to Fractal Design for that.
The case has minimal dimensions of 13.07 x 14.84 x 3.46 inches and a weight of only 3500g. Even if you’re willing to carry this case around with you, you really wouldn’t be facing much problems.
Here we are with yet another awesome case from SilverStone. This time, we’ll be talking about the ML05B. Just like the previous one, this too is crafted specifically for home theaters. Simply put, the case is simple, elegant, and downright amazing.
If you’re a fan of compact designs, then you just won’t be disappointed. The case has minimal dimensions of only 8.03 x 13.78 x 3.9 inches. IT’s safe to call it a super small case with a volume of only 7 liters. Wash away all your worries regarding the heft, as it weighs only about 2.47 kilograms.
Not impressed yet? Wait, there’s more!
This case focuses on low-profile hardware and to make the computing experience as soundless as possible. The case interior is optimized for low profile coolers. Also, you get ample room for a single-slot low profile expansion card. But remember, the PSU has to be of SFX (100mm deep) class.
You also get enough storage space for four 2.5-inch hard drives. Which is okay if you’re not planning to store a whole lot of data. However, there is room for an optical or 1 x 3.5″ / 2 x 2.5″ drive.
Remember that this case belongs to SilverStone’s Milo (ML) lineup of cases. This means you’ll get ample efficiency in a slim and compact size. So, it’d be unwise to stack inside a fully optimized gaming rig or something similar of the sort.
As for fan slots, you can go up to two 80mms or a single 120 mm fan. You’ll have to be happy with the ITX motherboard limitation, though. The case isn’t really built for enthusiasts. But for those who prefer compact HTPC cases, it might just prove to be a gold mine.
Antec Value Solution Series VSK2000-U3
Just take a good look at this case from Antec, and you’ll get to know what slim yet strong actually means. The VSK200-U3 is a case that’s truly one of a kind. It actually looks more like a mini gaming console than a PC case, which makes it ideal to be in the category of HTPC cases.
To start things off, let’s talk about the toolless features that it has to offer. The ODD/HDD mounting is absolutely tool-free and it allows quick release for rapid installation with minimal effort. This really helps to get the PC up and running in just about no time at all.
There’s a dedicated base included with the case that gives you the option of vertical installation. Trying to save some space on your desk or home theater cabinet? This might just do the trick.
However, you should be aware of the limitations as well. It won’t be wise to plan a full-fledged workstation or a gaming rig on this one as it has the limit of an M-ATX and Mini-ATX motherboard at max. The form factor for the PSU should be TFX as well.
It could prove to be a bummer for PC enthusiasts, but this whole deal is about HTPC cases, right? So, I wouldn’t call the VSK2000-U3 a bad option in any way.
Apart from that, there are four dedicated expansion slots that should be more than enough for a minimalistic build. Remember that the GPU support is up to 200mm max. It’d be really unwise to go beyond that. Oh, and the CPU cooler height is just about 65 mm (Just so you know).
By the looks of it, you won’t be able to mount anything high profile or too fancy in this case. But you should be just fine with whatever your home theater requires.
The pre-installed 92mm fan is really nice touch to it all. It’s absolutely perfect for temperature control within the compact space. Unlike other case models, you won’t be getting an included power supply. But I really don’t think that’s too much of a big deal.
Apart from all this, you’ll also get a 5.25″ tool-less drive bay, a 2.5″ SSD slot, and a 3.5″ HDD slot. 3 Drive bays in total doesn’t sound too bad, to be honest. The guys at Antec even included two USB 3.0 ports in the front. Pretty sweet, eh?
InWin BL040 mATX Desktop Case
InWin has been making impressive computer cases for quite some time now. Some of their best cases even fit inside the category of the very best HTPC cases that are around. The InWin BL040 is definitely one of them.
The case isn’t all that complicated, to be honest. You can go for Micro-ATX builds with this one. The internal volume is of 11.5 liters only. That’s exactly why the case looks slimmer than most other contenders.
The external bays of the case include one 5.25″ bay and a single 3.5″ bay, which isn’t all that bad. The internal bays include two dedicated 3.5″ bays and one 2.5″ bay. InWin took extra care in keeping things as low profile as possible. The 4x low-profile expansion slots are really nice touch, to be honest.
The entire case has only the minimal dimensions of 19 x 6 x 15 inches. With a weight of only 12.82 pounds, it’s safe to call the case very travel friendly. They even included a standard TFX 300W 12V form factor power supply straight out of the box. Which is ideal for basic home theater builds.
Lastly, the front I/O includes two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and an HD audio port. They pretty much covered the basics here. To sum it up, this case ticks all the right boxes needed to build a basic home theater PC and more.
The End of The Show
While checking out the best HTPC cases that I’ve selected for you, I really hope that you found the right one for yourself. Even if you didn’t, I hope we’ve shared enough info to guide you to pick another alternative.
HTPC cases should look like a work of art even if they aren’t your beastly gaming performers. I think you got the whole picture by now. So, that’s pretty much it. I really hope you enjoyed the read. Let’s wrap things up for now, then, shall we?