With the rise of modern technology, Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) have become increasingly popular in households all over the world. Not only are they more compact and aesthetically pleasing than ever before, but they also offer a range of powerful multimedia processing capabilities that make them ideal for home entertainment systems.
For those looking to build their own HTPC, finding the right case is an important first step in building a successful setup. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top HTPC cases available on the market today, making it easier for you to find a great option for your unique needs. From sleek and slim designs with eye-catching looks to robust and reliable models with plenty of space for upgrades and expansions, these cases will provide you with a great foundation for your HTPC system.
With options ranging from low-profile designs ideal for tight spaces to larger form factors that give you lots of room to customize your setup as needed, these top HTPC cases are sure to meet any need or requirement you may have when setting up your home theater system.
Our Top Picks: The Best HTPC Cases for Your Home Theater Setup
The Best Overall HTPC Case
The Fractal Design Node 202 HTPC case is both a beautiful and functional addition to your entertainment setup. Sitting at a mere 10.2 liters, the compact design allows it to place anywhere in your living room in both vertical and horizontal positions. With its sleek, non-descript black finish and alloy steel construction, this product is designed to be unobtrusive while still offering superior quality.
The innovative design of the Node 202 offers many advantages. It allows for all main components such as the motherboard, graphics cards, and PSU to be kept in separate chambers for optimal airflow.
With Node 202, you have a choice to go either with or without a power supply. This package includes an Integra SFX 450w PSU so you don’t need to purchase one separately.
The HTPC case boasts compatibility with mini-ITX motherboards. It supports two 2.5″ SSD storage options, a GPU up to 310mm long, and CPU coolers up to 56mm tall. As such, it enables users to build powerful systems while still offering a small form factor.
The Node 202 easily accommodates two 120 mm fans for cooling your graphics cards, as well as CPU coolers that up to 56 mm for optimal performance. With great cable management features built in, the Fractal Design Node 202 HTPC Case will provide an aesthetic and efficient upgrade for your next build.
The Fractal Design Node 202 HTPC case is a stylish and compact chassis perfect for those looking to build their custom high-performance gaming or home media PC. With its minimalistic exterior, the Node 202 has been designed to blend in with any living room environment and can be placed in virtually any space due to its small size.
The Runner-up HTPC Case
Silverstone ML05B is the perfect case for users looking to build a stylish, small form factor media center. This chassis is designed with affordability in mind while offering ease of installation and complete access to components. It features a sleek, black acrylic front panel that gives it an elegant look.
With an impressively compact volume of 7 liters, this small form factor PC is ideal for creating amazing media and entertainment experiences. This HTPC case supports Mini-ITX motherboards and SFX power supplies, making it the ideal choice for squeezing top performance out of your tiny rig.
Despite its miniature size, this case offers impressive functionality. You can equip it with up to two small 80mm fans for maximum airflow without compromising its size. Meanwhile, the 4-in-1 bracket can be optional with the slim optical drive, the 3.5” HDD, two 2.5″ HDDs, or a 120mm fan.
Unfortunately, one downside is that expansion card height is limited up to 74mm, meaning high-performance GPUs won’t fit into this model. However, if you want maximum computing power in the minimal possible footprint – and don’t require dedicated graphics cards – then the Silverstone ML05B could be the perfect choice for your next HTPC build.
The Best Slim HTPC Case
IN-WIN BQ656S is the perfect HTPC case for those that need an ultra-compact form factor. Equipped with a sleek classically designed black chassis and a powerful 150W internal PSU, this case can fit neatly into any surrounding.
This versatile design also allows you to switch between horizontal or vertical mounting options so you can customize it to fit your own personal needs. Plus, the slim construction of only 3.3 liters in size allows you to make use of limited space while still having plenty of room for all your essentials.
The BQ656S well supports a Mini-ITX motherboard and comes with two USB 3.0 ports and HD Audio for your connectivity needs. And because its depth is smaller than 80mm, it can be placed in any living room setup as well as mounted behind your monitor which will help keep your workspace clutter-free.
This case takes installation convenience one step further by allowing you to install a slim ODD or 2.5″ disk drive internally as well as a dedicated place for a 2.5″ SSD – giving you plenty of options for internal storage expansion when necessary.
Despite its numerous features, however, there are some downsides such as not being supported with discrete graphics cards and a slightly complicated cable management system that won’t allow you to customize your PC as same as larger cases.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for an ultra-compact form factor that offers plenty of power and versatility without taking up too much space or weighing too much on your wallet then the IN-WIN BQ656S is the ideal choice. With multiple mounting options and enough ports to meet the needs of most users, this HTPC case won’t disappoint.
The Budget Choice HTPC Case
With the Goodisory A01 HTPC case, you can build a living-room-ready home entertainment PC with ultimate convenience. Its stunning aluminum body is just 200(W) x 75(H) x 200(D) mm in size and offers an incredibly compact 3 liters of space for exceptional performance. The case’s inner frame is made of steel for added sturdiness and its outer panels are aluminum to provide a sleek look.
The Goodisory A01 supports a CPU cooler clearance of up to 55mm, and it also allows you to fit 2x 2.5″ SSDs or 1x 2.5″ SSD + 1x 3.5″ HDD as well as offers 2x USB 3.0 ports on the right-side panel for connectivity options. This HTPC case fits perfectly in any home or living space and can be conveniently placed horizontally for effortless access.
However, the Goodisory A01 still has some pros, that make its performance can be limited. The discrete graphics cards are not supported, making the HTPC case best for low-demand specifications such as home entertainment purposes only.
If you value convenience and aesthetical appeal more than ultimate power, Goodisory A01 will offer an amazing living-room-ready experience without taking up much space. But remember that PSU is not included so you will need to purchase an additional PICO PSU and a 12V DC adapter aside from the case itself. Enjoy building your entertainment PC fast and securely with good looks guaranteed.
The Mid-Tower Choice for HTPC Case
Introducing the SilverStone GD09B, a beautifully designed HTPC case with impressive features. Its elegant design is sure to be a perfect fit in any living room.
This case supports a 5.25″ ODD (compatible with 3.5″ x 1 or 2.5″ x 2), 2x 3.5″ HDDs (one compatible with 2.5″), and a 2.5″ SSD drive. It’s supported by two USB 3.0 ports located on the front panel.
With the dimensions of 440 (W) x 170 (H) x 358 (D) mm, the case’s capacity is 26.8 liters. It’s as large in comparison with other HTPC cases. So it is not surprising that the GD09B can support ATX motherboards and even SSI-CEB (12″ x 10.5″). Additionally, the CPU cooler clearance is up to 138 mm while the GPU size can reach as large as 13.6″ (345 mm). This powerful case also includes one 120mm fan and more support fans at the left, right, and rear panel locations.
The SilverStone GD09B is your ideal choice when it comes to building an attractive high-performance HTPC home theater system that will easily blend into any living space design while giving you the versatility to manage future upgrades with ease.
The Best Performance HTPC Case
The Thermaltake Core G3 is the perfect solution for PC builders who desire outstanding performance and a stylish design. Constructed with a sleek, minimalistic look, the Core G3 has a metal exterior and transparent side panel that offers superior strength and style. The design also includes an easy-to-use access window, plus fan filters on all air intake that allow ample airflow while helping keep your system clean.
Highlighting its functionality is the fully modular drive cage that gives you ultimate flexibility when it comes to customizing your system’s layout. This cage can entirely open up the interior for extra-large cooling solutions or mounting two 3.5” HDDs (or 2.5″ SSDs) drives for high-capacity storage. The PSU is positioned at the rear of the case, allowing good cable management in a small form factor environment.
The Core G3 dimensions offer full compatibility for a radiator of up to 240mm on the front panel along with capacious space for a GPU up to 310mm in length and CPU coolers up to 130mm tall. With its versatility and wide range of features, you can trust that your hardware components will stay secure inside this strong and sturdy chassis. This user-friendly HTPC case promises to take your system’s performance to new heights thanks to its quiet operation, superb cooling ability, streamlined look, quality materials, and versatile components which all work together to ensure efficient function and stability.
Getting the best performance out of your machine doesn’t come easy but now it doesn’t have to be complicated either. Purchasing a Thermaltake Core G3 HTPC case will provide you with years of dependable performance, good looks, and convenient mounting options.
Things to Consider When Purchasing an HTPC Case
HTPC Case Size
The case size is an important factor to consider when building your own HTPC, as it will determine the overall layout and allow for additional components.
HTPC cases are classified into three main form factors, Mini-ITX (SFF – Small Form Factor), micro-ATX (Mini-Tower), and ATX (Mid-Tower). Mini-ITX cases offer a more compact design with fewer available expansion slots than micro-ATX or ATX HTPC cases. These cases are ideal for users who don’t plan to add any extra components such as extra RAM, graphics cards, or multiple hard drives.
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Micro-ATX HTPC cases are typically larger than mini-ITX cases and come with three to four extra expansion slots that can usually accommodate either a dedicated graphics card or multiple extra drives. Finally, the ATX HTPC case provides maximum expandability with multiple drive bays and dedicated expansion slot sockets that can include up to seven PCIe slots simultaneously.
Ultimately, HTPC Case size should be chosen depending on how much expandability you need in order to achieve your desired HTPC performance goals as well as available space in your living room.
Having an HTPC in the living room can be great for keeping up with movies, streaming music, or gaming, but you should consider the noise minimization measures when selecting it.
Home entertainment systems often run around the clock, and can cause noise while they are running.
If you are looking to enjoy movies, it is important that the HTPC does not make too much noise as this will affect the movie-watching experience. Similarly, if you plan on playing music through your HTPC then any noise generated by the hardware will interfere with your audio quality and enjoyment.
To reduce these unwanted noises some tips would be investing in an HTPC case that has a sturdy frame and shock-absorbing base. Additionally, look into components such as fans and other cooling items to ensure their dB values are as low as possible meaning greater noise reduction.
Ultimately, if you take the time to research and invest in HTPC cases with sound-dampening features then you will reap amazing rewards from your HTPC without hearing all the distracting background noise.
Discrete Graphics Cards
When making the decision to install a discrete graphics card in your HTPC, it is important to first assess the purpose for which you will use it. If you only plan on watching movies, playing music, and playing light games, then you likely don’t need to invest in a discrete graphics card, an integrated GPU should be sufficient.
However, if you intend to play games that require high-performance hardware or run virtual reality applications, then having a dedicated graphics card is essential. When selecting which graphics card to purchase, additional considerations include whether your HTPC case has enough space to fit both the card itself and its accompanying cooling system.
Before you settle on any one model, be sure to take all of these features into account. Otherwise, your HTPC experience may not meet expectations and end up being uncomfortable in the long run.
Our top picks HTPC offer a wide range of features, from cooling capability to good looks and advanced noise reduction, making them an ideal choice to suit your taste for home theater.
Some cases come with plenty of expansion possibilities such as SilverStone GD09B or Thermaltake Core G3. They allow users to customize their setup according to their needs. Additionally, their well-constructed designs provide excellent protection against dust and other particles that may enter the system.
Ultimately, it’s hard to find the ideal product for everyone. Thankfully, with our recommended HTPC cases in mind, you can now narrow down your search and select the most suitable setup that caters to your home theater system.