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HTPCs (Home Theater PCs) are targeted to users that want a computer connected to their home theater system to watch movies and videos, listen to songs, and play games. Since this kind of computer will usually be physically installed together with your home theater equipment, HTPC cases usually have the same size and color of home theater receivers, so your computer will look like standard home theater equipment.
The latest HTPC case from Silverstone is the Grandia GD06, which features two hot-swap hard drive bays and an aluminum front door. The rest of the case is made in steel, and the panel behind the front door is made of plastic. Let’s check it out.
The GD06 has one 120 mm fan on its left side panel and two 120 mm fans on its right side panel, all featuring air filters. The three fans blow air inside the case, making this case a positive air pressure model. This means that there is more forced air entering the case than exiting it. These fans spin at 1,200 rpm, have a 20 dBA noise level, and have a three-pin power connector, meaning that you can install them directly on the motherboard in order to monitor their speed. The left fan can be replaced with an 80 mm model.[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
The front panel of the SilverStone Grandia GD06 has an aluminum door, featuring a lock to prevent unauthorized people from removing your hard drives, inserting or removing discs, or installing USB devices. Of course, the top panel also has an anti-theft device, otherwise someone could simply bypass the front door protection by opening the case.
Opening the front door, we have two hot-swap 3.5” hard drive bays (not compatible with 2.5” devices) on the left, a standard 5.25” bay on the right, two USB 3.0 ports, the reset button, and the traditional audio jacks. The standby (a.k.a. on/off) switch is located at the bottom part of the front panel, and it is not covered by the door.
The USB 3.0 ports use a front panel connector instead of the traditional USB plugs. This way, you can install them directly on your motherboard instead of having to route the cables to the outside of the case, and install them on USB 3.0 ports located at the motherboard rear panel. The GD06 comes with an adapter to convert the internal USB 3.0 connector into a standard USB 2.0 header, so you can still use the USB 3.0 ports as USB 2.0 ports in case your motherboard doesn’t have a USB 3.0 front panel header.
[nextpage title=”The Top, Bottom, and Rear Panels”]
The top panel was already shown in Figures 1 and 2, and its only feature is the presence of a 3 x 3 inches (77 x 77 mm) cooling mesh. The bottom panel, shown in Figure 7, has an air filter for the power supply fan.
The rear panel of the GD06 is partially painted in black; the area around the expansion slots is not painted. The interior of the GD06 is not painted.
The GD06 has four expansion slots with vented covers. A fifth expansion slot is placed horizontally, above the power supply compartment. This slot may be used for installing I/O brackets, such as brackets containing USB ports.
The rear panel supports the installation of two optional 80 mm fans.
The reviewed case has an anti-theft hole for securing the top panel, which is the panel you must remove to open the case. You will need to buy a lock from Kensington to use this feature.
Let’s now take a look inside the SilverStone Grandia GD06.[nextpage title=”Inside the SilverStone Grandia GD06″]
In order to open the Grandia GD06, you must remove its top panel, which is fastened to the chassis using regular screws. Upon opening the case, the first things you will see are the several disk drive bays, which need to be removed in order to install the power supply and motherboard. The motherboard tray has several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using ties.
The case supports video cards up to 11” (280 mm) and CPU coolers up to 2.75” (70 mm) tall. However, if you remove the 5.25”/3.5” bay bracket, you can install CPU coolers up to 4.7” (120 mm) tall. Obviously you won’t be able to have an optical drive in this case.
Expansion cards are fastened using regular screws.
Officially, the GD06 supports power supplies up to 5.9” (150 mm) deep, however you can fit a 6.3” (160 mm) unit – which is the most common power supply size nowadays – without any trouble.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The SilverStone Grandia GD06 has one 5.25” external bay, two 3.5” hard drive external bays with hot swap connectors, one internal 3.5” bay under the 5.25” bay, another internal 3.5” bay (with rubber rings to absorb vibrations), and two internal 2.5” bays.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the SilverStone Grandia GD06 case include:
- Style: HTPC
- Application: Micro ATX, Mini-DTX, and Mini-ITX
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC) body with aluminum front door
- Power supply: Doesn’t come with the product
- Available colors: Black
- Side panel: Meshed with fan
- Dimensions: 5.9 x 17.3 x 13.4 inches (150 x 440 x 340 mm) (H x W x D)
- Net weight: 12 lbs (5.4 kg)
- Gross weight: 16 lbs (7.2 kg)
- Bays: One external 5.25” bay, two external 3.5” bays with hot-swap connectors, two internal 3.5” bays, and two internal 2.5” bays
- Expansion slots: Four plus one horizontal for I/O brackets
- Maximum video card length: 11” (280 mm)
- Maximum CPU cooler height: 2.75” (70 mm) tall or 4.7” (120 mm) tall if you remove the 5.25”/3.5” bay bracket
- Fans: One 120 mm fan on the left panel and two 120 mm fans on the right panel (1,200 rpm, 20 dBA)
- Optional fans: Two 80 mm fans on the rear panel, one 80 mm fan on the left panel if the 120 mm fan is removed
- Extra features: Lock for the front door, anti-theft hole for securing the top panel with a Kensington lock
- More Information: https://www.silverstonetek.com
- Average Price in the US*: USD 130.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The SilverStone Grandia GD06 can be a good option if you are looking for an HTPC case with a high number of disk drive bays and positive air pressure configuration. The price is fair for a case with the features the GD06 has, but if you don’t care about the hot-swap bays but still want a good HTPC case at a lower price point, consider the GD04 from the same manufacturer. (The GD04 doesn’t have USB 3.0 ports, though.)
- Air filters on all fans
- Air filter for the power supply fan
- Positive air pressure configuration
- Excellent number of disk drive bays (one 5.25,” four 3.5,” and two 2.5”)
- Two external 3.5” bays for hard drives with hot-swap connectors
- On/off switch is not covered by the front door, so you won’t need to open the door every time you want to turn on your computer
- Lock on the front door
- Anti-theft mechanism securing the top panel and the whole computer
- Good construction quality
- Doesn’t use thumbscrews
- Anti-vibration mechanisms are available at only one of the four 3.5” bays
- Anti-theft mechanism requires a relatively expensive Kensington lock
- Price is a little bit high (but still fair)