Last Updated on March 3, 2020 by Jake
If you want to build a home theater computer, then you need a home theater PC case, commonly referred to as a HTPC case. Although HTPC cases come in different shapes and sizes, they are designed to fit into your home theater system without looking or feeling out of place. The best HTPC case will offer storage and optical drives, as well as multiple ports that allow you to play videos and stream content to your TV and sound system with no fuss.
With an HTPC case, you want functionality, performance, and style. A good case will allow you to easily connect your HTPC to media components, thus allowing you to take your multimedia experience to the next level.
In a Rush? Here’s Our Top Picks:
|Thermaltake Core V21 SPCC Micro ATX Cube Computer Chassis CA-1D5-00S1WN-00,Black||Check Price on Amazon|
|SilverStone Technology Mini-ITX Slim Small Form Factor Computer Case with Handle ML08B-H||Check Price on Amazon|
|Cooler Master HAF XB EVO - High Air Flow Test Bench and Lan Box Desktop Computer Case with ATX Motherboard Support||Check Price on Amazon|
|SilverStone Technology Home Theater Computer Case (HTPC) with Faux Aluminum Design for ATX/Micro-ATX Motherboards (SST-GD09B-USA)||Check Price on Amazon|
|Fractal Design Node 202 Black Mini-ITX Slim Profile Compact Small Form Factor Computer Case with PCIE 3.0 Riser Card||Check Price on Amazon|
Best HTPC Case Reviews
Thermaltake Core V21
- Supports M ATX and Mini ITX Form Factor Motherboards. Motherboards 6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX) , 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX)
- Designed for use in either a vertical or horizontal orientation on the motherboard
- Chamber concept design with optimized cable management space for small form factor builds
- Stackable and flexible thermal solution. Remarkable expansion. Advance ventilation
- 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic Front Ports, Internal Bay: 3x 3.5 inches or 2.5 inches
This is a marvelous box HTPC case and the latest of the famous Core V series. Unlike other boxy cases, the Thermaltake Core V21 is eye-catching. The same eye-catching design coupled with the large preinstalled 200 mm fan allows for outstanding cooling performance.
The Thermaltake also supports all kinds of cooling systems including the DIY/AIO liquid cooling system. There is a transparent side panel that will gloriously display any RGB lighting on the motherboard or graphics card you install. It also allows externally modular upgrades permitting the creation of dual systems.
Dimension– 16.7 x 12.6 x 13.2 inches
Form Factor/Motherboard Support– Mini ITX, Micro ATX
Ports– USB 3.0 x2 / Audio Ports (supports HD Audio)
Drive Bays– 3.5’’ or 2.5” (Hidden) / 2.5’’ x3
Cooling System– 200 x 200 x 30 mm fan (800 RPM, 13 dBA)
Max CPU Cooler Height– 185 mm
PSU Limit– 200 mm (With Bottom Fan)
GPU Clearance– 350 mm
- With a price of under $65, this HTPC case is the most affordable on our list.
- For a boxy case, the Thermaltake Core V21 looks awesome. The transparent side panel allows for a pretty display when you install a motherboard with RGB lighting
- It comes with a powerful yet quiet 200 mm fan.
- The interior is quite roomy.
- It lacks sound absorbing material.
SilverStone Technology Mini-ITX Slim Small Form Factor Computer Case (ML08B)
- Highest performance capability in super slim form factor
- Optional models includes removable carrying handle (ML08B-H, ML08B-HW)
- Support graphics card up to 13 inches
- Mini-ITX motherboard & SFX PSU compatible
- Independent expansion slot design for easy assembly
For us, this is the best HTPC case currently on the market. With a slim profile, the SilverStone Mini-ITX Slim Small Form Factor PC Case has an optical drive bay and offers superior airflow, which ensures performance is always high. The sleek slim black chassis gives it an elegant and performance-oriented appearance.
It also has a GPU clearance of 13 inches; as such, it can fit all sort of graphics cards. Its tool-less drive cage feature makes assembly easy and unsophisticated as you can swap out drives without using screwdrivers.
As you may have already figured out, this case is compatible with Mini ITX motherboards. It is also SFX-L PSU compatible. If you aspire to build a small form factor desktop for your home theater, this is an excellent choice. You can orient it horizontally or vertically, depending on your home theater set up. In all, it is very attractive, sleek and small.
Dimension– 14.96″ (W) x 3.43″ (H) x 14.57″ (D)
Form Factor/Motherboard Support– Mini ITX
Ports– USB 3.0 x2 / Audio Front Ports
Drive Bays– 2.5” & slim tray loading optical drive x2
Cooling System– Passive vents
PSU Limit– SFX-L (130 mm)
GPU Clearance– 350 mm
- The SilverStone ML08B is gorgeous, sleek and slim.
- Very portable.
- With a price under $85, it is affordable.
- It has a separate chamber for the graphics card.
- It has a carry handle.
- The chassis is plastic.
- The SFX PSU needed is quite expensive when compared to other PSU on the market.
Cooler Master HAF XB EVO
- A case quickly and easily transforms into a test bench ideal for enthusiasts and over clockers
- 2 durable trifle fans included in the front (also supports a 240 millimeter radiator) for powerful airflow
- Supports a tower CPU coolers up to 180 millimeter tall and high end VGA up to 334 millimeter long
- Supports up to 4 HDDs or SSDs by removable HDD cages
- Motherboard tray can be removed to install, remove or swap components
The versatile Cooler Master HAF XB EVO is one of the more popular HTPC cases on the market, supporting ATX, MicroATX and Mini-ITX form factors. It is also ideal for overclocking your CPU since it supports tower CPU coolers up to 180 mm tall. You can install as many as 4 drives (SSD/HDD) using removable HDD cages.
The motherboard tray can be easily removed, swapped or install. It also has seven expansion slots. Another excellent feature is the rigid carry handles on the side, which allows you to easily carry and move the case. The design of the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO allows for high airflow. This rapidly and efficiently cools the CPU, the graphics card and other hardware components.
Dimension– 17.4 x 13 x 16.7 inches
Form Factor/Motherboard Support– Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX
Ports– USB 3.0 x2 / Audio Ports (supports HD Audio)
Drive Bays– 4 HDDs / SSDs
Cooling System– 120 mm XtrFlo fan (1200 RPM, 17 dBA) x2
Max CPU Cooler Height– 180 mm
Expansion Slots- 7
GPU Clearance– 350 mm
- The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO supports all the popular form factors.
- It has several expansion slots.
- Roomy and spacious, which make it easy to install components.
- It is designed to enhance airflow. This makes it easy to overclock the CPU and increase performance.
- The motherboard tray is removable.
- Some don’t fancy the boxy nature of this case.
SilverStone Technology HTPC Grandia SST-GD09B
- Positive air pressure design for excellent cooling/quietness and dust-prevention
- Support expansion cards up to 12.2". Support ATX motherboards
- Quick access filters included
- Incredible 358mm depth to fit comfortably inside home theater cabinet
- Drive cages with multi-purpose mounts eliminate need for adapters.Independent graphics card vent
The SilverStone Technology HTPC Grandia is one of the most smartly designed HTPC cases on the market. Just like the other excellent HTPC cases reviewed, the SilverStone GD09B is one of the more economical ones with a retail price of just over $100. The SilverStone GD09B is well designed and efficient.
It is likely the smallest ATX case on the market, which means that you can fit it into any space. Although it is tiny, it has an impressive 358 mm depth as well as room for multiple drives and fans. It also supports the Kensington lock.
Aesthetically, it is one of the best-looking HTPC cases you can find. It also feels sturdy and well-built. Since it can support an ATX motherboard and not just a small form factor motherboard, it allows you to expand your system with more cards and functionality.
Dimension– 17.32 x 6.69 x 14.09 inches
Form Factor/Motherboard Support– ATX, Micro-ATX
Ports– USB 3.0 x2 / Audio Ports
Drive Bays– 5.25″ x1, 2.5″/3.5″ x1, 3.5″ x1, 2.5″ x1
Expansion Slot- 7+1
Cooling System– 120 mm fan x2, 80 mm x2
PSU Limit– 220 mm
GPU Clearance– 210 mm
- The SilverStone GD09B has drive bays that can support different drive sizes without the need for an adapter.
- It has an impressive 358 mm depth.
- Its positive air pressure design allows for exceptional cooling and prevents dust from entering the system.
- Supports ATX motherboards.
- The fans are very quiet.
- The wire management system is not the best.
- The interior feels a little cramped.
Fractal Design Case FD-CA-NODE-202-BK
- Sleek and elegant design: fits in any space or room
- Strategically placed air filters: for a dust free interior
- Extremely small footprint: volume of only 10. 2 liters
- Highly versatile case: can be set up both vertically and horizontally
- Compatibility: Mini-ITX motherboards, SFX power supplies and graphics cards up to 310 mm in length
The Node 202 is a striking console-style HTPC case. Like the SilverStone ML08B, the Fractal Design Case has separate chambers for the graphics card and the motherboard.
This prevents heat build-up and allows for better cooling. It also has air filters, which allows for dust free interior. The case can be set up vertically or horizontally, depending on the space available. It supports the mini-ITX motherboard and SFX PSU.
One of the main selling points of this HTPC case is how quiet it is. This is managed by the smart thermal interior design. This case has it all. It is sleek, simple and gets the job done.
Dimension– 5.7 x 18.2 x 13 inches
Form Factor/Motherboard Support– Mini-ITX
Ports– USB 3.0 x2 / Audio Ports
Drive Bays– 2.5 inch SSD x2
Cooling System– 120 mm fan slot x2
PSU Limit– 130 mm (SFX PSU)
GPU Clearance– 310 mm
- The Node 202 performs quietly.
- 3 strategically placed dust filters for a dust free interior.
- It has the appearance of a console.
- It provides a smart thermal interior design. This allows for efficient cooling at a lower noise level.
- Cable management is not the best.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best HTPC Case
When it comes to choosing a chassis for your home theater PC, the objectives are substantially different from those you encounter when picking a chassis for a gaming PC. An HTPC usually focuses more on movies and streaming content than graphic-intense games. Similarly, HTPC cases are supposed to be sleek, small, and take up little space. At the same time, it should have a bay for your optical drives as well as SSD/HDD bays.
Case Size / Drive Bays
Having a slim and sleek HTPC case is really important for those with tight space. However, if you want to beef up your case with dual GPUs, for example, that will take up a lot of space. If you want to play GPU intensive games on your home theatre computer, check the GPU limitation of the case and ensure that the GPU you want can fit into the case. Most people won’t need a large case as that is the priority of gaming computers.
The HTPC should have optical drive bays so as to allow you to play Blu-rays and DVD. This is an absolute necessity.
The PSU also influences the case size you decide to choose. Most HTPC cases have built-in PSU but if you want to fit in a different PSU ensure, the PSU you plan on using fits into the space available as PSU size limitation varies from case to case.
A noisy PC can really mess with your home theater experience. Usually larger cases with larger fans are quieter but that is not always the case. The design and materials that go into the construction of the case also influence how quiet the HTPC will be. Many HTPC cases such as the SilverStone GD09B and the Node 202 may be slim and small but they are extremely quiet. If you are concerned about noise, make sure to choose a case that provides less vibration.
The form factor goes a long way in determining the functionality of the HTPC you will build. Form factors such as the mini-ITX and the micro-ATX offer less functionality as they offer fewer expansion slots.
Best HTPC Case – Wrap Up
Having a the best HTPC case possible is a must for everyone who wishes to build a state-of-the-art home theater. Since the first place to start your build is the case, getting the right case will ensure your foundation is solid.
Here, we have reviewed the best cases you can find. Although each case has its strength, you can be confident in your decision knowing you are on your way to building the best HTPC case you can, regardless of what you choose.
Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API