- Created on 10 September 2008
Up until recently the availability of small-form factor media centre/ home theatre PC enclosures for home builds has been rather limited. This is all changing with case manufacturers rising to meet the demand for cases small enough to fit in with more modest A/V components and smaller spaces.
The Antec Micro Fusion Remote 350 case is a small-form factor case with dimensions of 12cm (H) x 39cm (W) x 41cm (D). The case really looks the part with black panels and a solid aluminium facia with a built-in LCD panel (complete with a remote) next to a matching optical drive blank. Interfaces for eSATA, USB and HD audio (or AC'97) are available beneath the aluminium facia. The case rests on four aluminium feet with rubber inserts for noise reduction.
Inside the case is extremely well designed, both for fitting and also for airflow. There are three 80mm fans (with separately adjustable speeds) and a separate adjustable air guide that helps channel airflow towards the processor and heatsink across the motherboard. Built into the case is an 80 Plus certified 350 Watt power supply (high efficiency) with active PFC (Power Factor Correction) which provides very stable power to the mainboard and components.
The motherboard compartment is large enough to accomodate a micro ATX form factor board and there is room to for mounting a single hard drive in a removable tray which holds the hard drive in place with the aid of soft silicon grommets which help reduce drive vibration and therefore noise. The design of the case into separate compartments for the HDD and motherboard allow for better temperature control with the 80mm side fans mounted so as to provide dedicated cooling to both compartments. The optical drive is mounted in a removal tray that locates the drive behind the alumnium facia and drive blank, that allows good air circulation and easy access to wiring from the front ports.
Although this is a small case we found installation very straight forward following the well written manual. The only slight difficulty that we found was when routing the power cables and other cabling through the case so as to minimise contact on the installed components and motherboard, however this is to be expected with small cases.
Connection of the LCD display was simple using the USB header and power connectors and we soon had the machine starting from the included "petite" remote. Again the installation was well documented in the manual.
The nice feature with this case is the included software, iMedian HD, which is a media center front compatible with both XP and Vista. We installed a copy of Windows XP and found the updated version of iMedian HD to be more than capable of controlling the system as a media centre/ home theatre PC.
The is an excellent case for a DIY media centre/ home theatre PC where space is at a premium, but doesn't sacrifice features due to the reduced size.
Amazon: Antec VERIS Micro Fusion Remote 350-UK - Desktop slimline - micro ATX - power supply 350 Watt