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NZXT Steel Duet HTPC Enclosure - Affordable Home Theater Case

By: Mike Wright | HTPC Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 10, 2007 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.5%Manufacturer: NZXT




Moving to the inside of the box will give us an idea as to what kind of space we will have to work with, and I'll say right up front that I was a bit surprised to see the ability to handle a full-sized ATX motherboard. Yes, the fit will be tight, but this will be a huge benefit for many who are looking at building this type of system from spare parts. I know that I have several motherboards sitting around gathering dust, and this enclosure will let me use any of them. This can help keep costs down since they aren't giving away those micro ATX motherboards last time I looked.



While smaller than standard cases, the optical drive tower still has a similar appearance. This case includes the rail system to mount them and it is screw less as well, so you can quickly and easily install and change out devices if needed.


Directly below the optical drive tower is a single 3.5" mounting platform to allow the use of a floppy drive or other externally accessible storage device.



Tucked right beside the optical tray is a neat little space for the hard drive. While this case design allows for some pretty good airflow, the hard drive will suffer in this department. The space is just the right size for a 3.5" hard drive, so there won't be much room to try to get some cooling in place for those with high spindle speeds. This is one area where you may want to choose the component carefully. Many hard drives run fine without any cooling, but others that run hot aren't recommended here.



To the other side of the optical drive tower is the tray that mounts the power supply. The cord you see peeking out is running to an outlet on the back of the case. This allows the system to still use a standard PSU power cord even though we have moved it to the front of the enclosure.



You will need to drop the front bezel to install your devices, and also to install the power supply. Six squeeze tabs will allow for reasonably easy access to this area. A pair of needle nose pliers will be a big help in this task, but a screwdriver will handle the job in a pinch.



Included in the base design is a pair of fans that are mounted to the back panel. Like any airflow plan, these are best used as exhaust ports for the system. There are spaces on the top and side panel for more fans if you desire, but these are purely optional. When I built this system I tossed in a very hot Athlon FX processor and I did not have any problems keeping things stable. Temperatures were not as low as they are in a larger enclosure, but they did not get out of hand. Considering that most builders are now using the Intel line, the cooling should give you no problems at all.

Sharp LC-52D62U 52 in. HDTV LCD Television


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