My never ending quest to build a better HTPC takes me to the Silverstone LC19 case. Offering the ability to install a micro ATX, mini ITX, or DTX board, this slim case certainly looks like it would be perfect for a media streaming frontend. For me, this means the system is quiet, good looking, and has good air flow to keep my components cool. We’ll see if this case can fit all that criteria.
Specifications and Features
The Silverstone LC19 is a super slim case designed to fit in with the most upscale of home audio systems. The front panel is all aluminum while the rest of the case is regular sheet metal to keep the cost down and make it more durable. That aluminum bezel hides the multi-card reader which could be useful pictures and such; it definitely helps in a pinch when you can’t find a USB cable to hook up your camera or don’t want to waste time looking for one.
To save some space, the power supply has an external power brick, much like a laptop computer, along with a very small internal component. There is also a single 50 mm fan to help exhaust some heat out the back of the case. Of course, 50 mm fans can be very loud so it’s a good idea to match this case with low power, cool components so you can run fanless and silent. If you want a fan but don’t want the noisy 50 mm one, you could try to mount a larger one externally, or possibly a low profile fan internally above the hard drive location. I did not try to do this, but I’d imagine a few twist-ties or zip-ties could solve that problem easily.
|Motherboard||MoDT, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, DTX|
|Drive Bay||External||Slim optical x 1|
|Internal||3.5″ x 1 or 2.5″ x 1 (vibration dampening)(LC19R only)|
|Rear||1 x 50mm exhaust fan, 2200rpm, 19dBA (LC19R only)|
|Side||3 x 50mm fan slots (LC19R only)|
|Top||Oversized CPU/NB vents|
|Expansion Slot||1 (includes 1 x PCI riser card and 1 x PCI-Ex16 riser card) for LC19R|
|Front I/O Port||USB 2.0 x 2
IEEE1394 x 1
audio x 1
MIC x 1
52-in-1 card reader (LC19R only)
|Power Supply||Fanless 120W DC/DC board & AC adapter|
|Operating system support||—|
|Expansion Card||width restriction-6.8″|
|Limitation of CPU cooler||37mm|
|Limitation of PSU||DC board with external adapter|
|Net Weight||3.9 kg|
|Dimension||390 mm (W) x 68 mm (H) x 348 mm (D), 9.2 liters|
|Extra||Slim optical drive IDE adapter|
Real World Use
The best and worst thing about the LC19 is it’s size. It works great as a media streaming frontend but if you want to fit in more than one hard drive, you’ll have to get creative. I was able to fit a second standard 3.5″ HDD in the optical drive tray, but the case will not fully close while it is there. A 2.5″ laptop drive or SSD would fit better and live here happily if you make some modifications to secure it with screws so it will not bounce around the case when moved.
Working with the case itself is very easy. Of course, there isn’t that much there so there aren’t too many places to cut your fingers or lose screws. That also means there isn’t much room for hiding cables, so you will have to be creative if you enjoy cable management. But, the no-frills interior means you don’t have to fight to put in your motherboard and SSD, then make the necessary power and data cable connections, then put the top panel of the case back on, and power up the system. It really is as easy as 1-2-3.
To test out the ventilation, I threw in a Zotac Fusion mini ITX board with a fan-less heatsink along with a Western Digital Caviar 250 GB SATA drive. After some testing with the old spinning platter hard drive, I threw in an OCZ Agility 60 GB SSD. I also disconnected the 50 mm fan because I want the system to be as quiet as possible. While watching a loud movie it might not matter what other subtle noises are in the room, but if the system is in a bedroom then any noise could be enough to keep you from a good nights sleep. As such, I did place this in my bedroom and I definitely prefer having no fan noise whatsoever.
The Silverstone LC19 is an excellent base on which to build your ultimate HTPC system. It’s small and compact while having a clean and classy look. The top and sides of the case have a plethora of air vents for excellent ventilation, which make it possible to have a completely silent system. For all those reasons, this case is Overclockers Approved.
Thanks, Silverstone, for sending this case over for testing.