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SilverStone Grandia GD03 HTPC Case Review

Written by: Maxwell Anderson
Date: July 27th, 2011
Rating: 7.8 out of 10
Page: 1

Long-Winded Introduction

Computers have certainly come a long way from the beige boxes that once sat only in our home offices. One of the most popular spots for computers these days, outside of the office, is the living room. Having a computer in your home theater setup has many advantages, because it can be used as: a DVR, a back-up for your movie collection, a gaming system (including any video game emulation you wish to do), a DVD/Blu-Ray player, a wireless gateway, and the list goes on. The only problem with putting your computer out with your other A/V equipment is that, well, it probably looks like a computer.

In walks the home theater personal computer (HTPC), which at its simplest is nothing more than a computer you hooked up to your TV, but at its best, is a fully-integrated part of your entertainment arsenal. If you care anything about aesthetics, and I know many of us do, then we want our HTPC to look like it belongs alongside that high-tech receiver you probably paid too much for. Most computers look out of place in such a domain, so what are we to do?! Get an HTPC case, of course. There are plenty to choose from, all differing in sizes, colors, and most importantly, features. What you need obviously depends on what you’re going to be using it for and what kind of hardware you’re putting into it. If you’re putting the computer next to a bunch of black hardware and you’re planning on using a large video card, the Grandia Series GD03 HTPC chassis has got you covered.

The Grandia GD03 case is, of course, from the Grandia series, which is one four HTPC case series produced by SilverStone; the others are the Crown, Lascala, and Milo series. The Grandia appears to be “newer” than the Lascala series, and less-expensive than the Crown series, while containing significantly larger cases than the Milo series, which contains only slim cases. The GD03 seems to be fairly middle-of-the road for the Grandia series, in terms of price and features, so it should give us a basic idea of what the Grandia series is all about. Based on the SilverStone full-ATX body, this case boasts the following features:

- Dual hot-swappable hard drive racks
- SilverStone styled aluminum front panel
- Enhanced low noise exhaust fans included
- Optimized for cooling performance and quietness
- Rackmount capable
- Holds seven hard drives

As you might have been able to tell, the above list was ripped directly off of the manufacturer’s website, except for the last bit about holding seven hard drives, which is definitely its main selling point. You’d be hard-pressed to find another HTPC that can hold that many hard drives, which is probably for a good reason: to fit seven hard drives, you need a big case. If you’re setting up a media center/server for your living room, though, then you don’t really have another option, save maybe using external drives.

Alright, so you probably understand by now that this is a large case. But how large exactly? 16 15/8 x 6 7/16 x 17 3/16 in (W x H x L) – length being the depth. That’s 42.23 cm x 16.35 cm x 43.66 cm (W x H x L, again), to put it in terms of a more intelligent unit system. That’s big – regular full-tower big. Make sure to measure your entertainment center before ordering this bad-boy.

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