Nice HTPC/Media centre case with PSU & remote - £52.37 delivered @ Novatech
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Nice HTPC/Media centre case with PSU & remote - £52.37 delivered @ Novatech

95
Found 4th Feb 2012
Introduction

The Novatech Vision Media Centre case was created to further leverage the emerging trend of multimedia MoDT (mobile on desktop) processors for building home and office computers. Equipped with a compact but powerful 250W PSU and an intelligent airflow layout to ensure even lower powered desktop processors can be cooled sufficiently, this case will easily accommodate a wide range of system configurations.

Features
Designed for MoDT (mobile on desktop) systems
Ultra Slim Design
Aluminium Chassis
250W Micro-ATX Power Supply Installed
Remote Control (Most suitable in Microsoft Media Centre Program)
4 x Expansion Slots (Low Profile)
120mm Fan (Optional)

Not a deal as such as it's the normal price BUT for the money it beats a lot of the competition out there.

Nearly all HTPC cases I could find under £200 look chintzy or have cheap looking front mounted mic/headphone ports etc, this is by far the best I found and much cheaper than the usual suspects.

You will need to add a motherboard, CPU, disk drives, memory and graphics card, but these components don't need to be cutting edge, just a reasonable graphics card for around £25 new.

I realise this cannot compare on price to a cheap media player from the likes of Xenta, but it's a different kettle of fish.

95 Comments

This is a good deal. I would have bought this but don't have any components to build into it!

Original Poster

I used a spare socket 775 board, old Core 2 Duo CPU I had already, 32GB SSD and added some RAM and an nVidia GT210 card cheaply.

The remote works well with Windows 7/Media Centre but does not work directly with XBMC as a standalone, but I'm sure that could be enabled easily (I use an external remote reciever under the TV so not an issue for me)

There is a comment that you can only use a 120mm case fan with M-ITX boards, but the ATX board I've used seems to allow a 120mm fan to be used without issue.

The supplied PSU fan is a little noisy, so I've removed it (voiding PSU warranty) and am using a 120mm fan do deal with airflow - which it seems to do happily.
Edited by: "andymagic" 4th Feb 2012

I have the Antec fusion which I got several yrs ago. This looks a smaller but better.
Heat.
I think i'd take the Novatex label off the front though, hopefully it would just peel right off.

ridiculously tempting.

Original Poster

DrManhattan

I have the Antec fusion which I got several yrs ago. This looks a … I have the Antec fusion which I got several yrs ago. This looks a smaller but better. Heat. I think i'd take the Novatex label off the front though, hopefully it would just peel right off.



I plan on removing the Novatech label, but it's stuck on really well and I'm scared of damaging the alloy front panel finish.

Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold these with decent rated PSU's they would make great looking gaming rigs.

Lever it off carefully, don't push on the anodised surface with anything that could scratch it, and you'll be fine. Remove the sticky residue left behind (this stuff is amazing!!: lakeland.co.uk/897…eed )

What's wrong with the Novatech label?

Original Poster

JamesClark1991

Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold … Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold these with decent rated PSU's they would make great looking gaming rigs.



You voted an HTPC case cold as it wouldn't be suitable for a gaming rig?

I vote you cold based on a massive logic fail lol

I've just tried the supplied remote with XBMC and it works fine, it also allows you to turn it on from a complete power off.

Thanks for the link & tip gsf

Edited by: "andymagic" 4th Feb 2012

try soaking the label in vinegar, leave it a good while, then ease it off

i want to buy, but i bought an Xbox and a PS3 to do the HTPC job already

andymagic

You voted an HTPC case cold as it wouldn't be suitable for a gaming rig? … You voted an HTPC case cold as it wouldn't be suitable for a gaming rig? I vote you cold based on a massive logic fail lolI've just tried the supplied remote with XBMC and it works fine, it also allows you to turn it on from a complete power off.



There should be an option imo! Why restrict its useability when they could offer variety? It's really hard to find a nice case like this that's suitable for dedicated graphics. It's just annoying imo. It's annoying like when Apple products give you a storage size that you HAVE to be happy with. I'll vote cold and recommend that people don't buy the product unitl it's better

If you think that's illogical then meh.
Edited by: "JamesClark1991" 4th Feb 2012

Ive had one for a few months now.

In my opinion, the remote isn't good at all, so I use an after market eBay one. I find the original one slow to respond to button presses, and the cursor movement is also slow and unresponsive compared to the cheap after market remote I have.

The supplied power supply isn't exactly quiet. I replaced it with a CIT 500w PSU, because quiet mATX PSU's are difficult to find, but im still not 100% happy with the noise levels. Im not sure i'd consider removing the fan from a power supply, especially the stock 250w one which is likely to be pushed when playing high quality video and powering multiple USB devices....

The novatech label comes off easily with firm force. When I removed mine it left no residue and instantly improved the look of the case. to remove it get your thumb nail behind it, and lever the label out, it's flexible, and will just pop off. You can even put it back on somewhere else or on another piece of kit....

In summary, a very good case for the money, nothing comes close to it in terms of looks, it fits seamlessly into my bedroom set up with xbox slim, foxsat HDR and AV receiver. Let down by the power supply which is a little too noisy and only gets worse with time......


Edited by: "Miccheck1516" 4th Feb 2012

andymagic

I plan on removing the Novatech label, but it's stuck on really well and … I plan on removing the Novatech label, but it's stuck on really well and I'm scared of damaging the alloy front panel finish.



Gently heat it with a hairdryer, will come right off

JamesClark1991

Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold … Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold these with decent rated PSU's they would make great looking gaming rigs.



could YOU spec a better power supply?

There literally are NONE available that will fit that are higher power and quiet.....i've been looking for months and the only ones are Be Quiet BN134
but havnt been in stock for ages anywhere i trust to buy from...
Edited by: "Miccheck1516" 4th Feb 2012

I like a clean facia with just a slot for the DVD and a power button and nothing else, otherwise I want to hide the thing in a cupboard and, that being so, might as well build a small PC and fit large/quiet fans and passively cooled componants. People wanting a more powerful 450w or 500w PSU will need to pay (a lot) more for a Shuttle brand case.
Edited by: "Noclouds" 4th Feb 2012

Original Poster

JamesClark1991

There should be an option imo! Why restrict its useability when they … There should be an option imo! Why restrict its useability when they could offer variety? It's really hard to find a nice case like this that's suitable for dedicated graphics. It's just annoying imo. It's annoying like when Apple products give you a storage size that you HAVE to be happy with. I'll vote cold and recommend that people don't buy the product unitl it's better :)If you think that's illogical then meh.



There is an option, go and drop £300 plus on an OrigenAE case.

It's an HTPC case, aimed, surprisingly, at the HTPC market, not the gaming market.

Using your logic you'd vote a Ferrari as being rubbish because they're not good off road and you live on a farm.

Also, your avatar is of Hitler, yet you use the phrase 'meh' which is widely believed to be of Yiddish origin, something isn't right



Miccheck1516

Ive had one for a few months now.



The remote is a bit of a cheapy, but seems to work OK for me (I too have some MCE remotes & RX's) apart from the cheapness of the remote, they all perform the same, so not sure what's up there.

Regarding the PSU, I'm still playing - it's currently running a 120mm case fan instead, but that's little noisy but temps are low, even when running hard, I'm not too worried about overall power consumption as when the GPU is decoding films the CPU is at around 4%, so not drawing any real power, I can't see the GT210 pulling much either, even when flat out - but time will tell - if it goes bang due to me messing about I'll fit something else.

I'll give the badge removal a go, so thanks to you and AttentionHorse for the tips


Edited by: "andymagic" 4th Feb 2012

Looks nice, but be aware it's very deep (420mm)
Edited by: "Lupeto" 4th Feb 2012

Original Poster

Lupeto

Looks nice, but be aware it's very deep (420mm)



It's 355mm deep, I just measured it, but I can see why you thought that - the measurements are off on Novatech's site

Edited by: "andymagic" 4th Feb 2012

I assume u cannot put a normal size atx psu in?

Nice looking HTPC case for a decent price.. definitely a hot vote from me to balance out the pathetic "Cold as the PSU isn't any good for gamng" comments..

mind you if you plan to just install XBMC for streaming from a NAS and don't need the optical drive i still think an Acer Revo or eMachines ER1401 completely hidden away is a better option...

Edited by: "Uridium" 4th Feb 2012

JamesClark1991

Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold … Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold these with decent rated PSU's they would make great looking gaming rigs.



With this cases low profile PCI slots where exactly are you going to shoehorn you high end graphics card in...

andymagic

There is an option, go and drop £300 plus on an OrigenAE case.It's an … There is an option, go and drop £300 plus on an OrigenAE case.It's an HTPC case, aimed, surprisingly, at the HTPC market, not the gaming market.Using your logic you'd vote a Ferrari as being rubbish because they're not good off road and you live on a farm.Also, your avatar is of Hitler, yet you use the phrase 'meh' which is widely believed to be of Yiddish origin, something isn't right



You make no sense! A Ferrari isn't 1 basic compnent away from a drastic change in useability so that's an absurd comparisson to make! "There is an option, pay an extra £250 blah blah" don't be so ridiculous, that's not a reasonable option. It's a good looking, reasonably priced product but it IS limited for people who'd like a bit more out of their HTPC and it offers no customisation so it's a very limited product. Imo.

Uridium

With this cases low profile PCI slots where exactly are you going to … With this cases low profile PCI slots where exactly are you going to shoehorn you high end graphics card in...



Ahh did not see that info! my bad. Well this discussion was pointless

Would love to see something like this with a decent PSU that could hold a full size GPU. Recently built a Mini ITX but I prefer the look of this style case!

Miccheck1516

In summary, a very good case for the money, nothing comes close to it in … In summary, a very good case for the money, nothing comes close to it in terms of looks, it fits seamlessly into my bedroom set up with xbox slim, foxsat HDR and AV receiver. Let down by the power supply which is a little too noisy and only gets worse with time......



How does it compare to the Foxsat HDR in size? I have one in a cabinet under the TV and want to gauge how big it is in relation.

JamesClark1991

Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold … Power supply is weak. Only reason I voted this cold, wish they sold these with decent rated PSU's they would make great looking gaming rigs.



The fact it's called a 'media centre' case is probably a hint that this isn't designed to be a gaming rig.

A media centre PC will not use a lot of power, therefore having a much higher wattage rating would be inefficient. Also due to the size of the case it probably wouldn't be able to accommodate a very powerful PSU anyway.

And considering it's only £52.37, what do you expect?

I'm sure If you had a look around though you will be able to find good looking gaming cases. You could probably make a good gaming rig from some of the Antec HTPC cases...
Edited by: "derrycityboy" 4th Feb 2012

Original Poster

png666

I assume u cannot put a normal size atx psu in?



I've offered up a standard ATX PSU and it won't fit straight in, it would be very tight and you'd need to open up the aperture where the mains cable enters the chassis.

I think if you sized up a PSU carefully there would be no reason why you couldn't fit one, but finding a plug and play PSU might be an issue.

looks sweet

png666

I assume u cannot put a normal size atx psu in?



No. Its micro-atx. Considering the fastest low-profile graphics card you can get your hands on is a HD6670 the FSP300-60GHS which is 80+ certified will be adequate for a quad core cpu and a HD6670.

Original Poster

JamesClark1991

You make no sense! A Ferrari isn't 1 basic compnent away from a drastic … You make no sense! A Ferrari isn't 1 basic compnent away from a drastic change in useability so that's an absurd comparisson to make! "There is an option, pay an extra £250 blah blah" don't be so ridiculous, that's not a reasonable option. It's a good looking, reasonably priced product but it IS limited for people who'd like a bit more out of their HTPC and it offers no customisation so it's a very limited product. Imo.



The Ferrari analogy was pretty apt, the Ferrari chassis and power plant aren't meant for off roading, the HTPC case chassis and power plant aren't meant for SLI'd monster GFX cards and a power hungry CPU.

My suggestion to buy an Origen case was no more ridiculous than your wish to put a metaphorical quart in a pint pot for the relative cost of a thimble.

Thanks for your input though, it's been a real eye opener.

EDIT: I've just done some searching on m-ATX psu's and they're available but would add to the cost, still cheaper than the competition and still prettier (IMHO - it's a subjective thing)


Edited by: "andymagic" 4th Feb 2012

Will it be suitable for a DIY NAS?

Original Poster

orthopod

Will it be suitable for a DIY NAS?



Not really, only 1 x 3.5" bay and 1 x 5.25" bay, so storage options would be limited.

I built a NAS just before drive prices rocketed and used the cheapest, ugliest case I could find that held 10 x 3.5" drives (£9.99 PC World) and a beefy PSU I had laying around, fitted 8 x WD 2TB disks and an old IDE drive for the O/S (Freenas 8 ) running on an old Core 2 Duo with 8GB DDR3 - it's hidden away so looks are not an issue.

Edited by: "andymagic" 4th Feb 2012

I had a similar case, an Antec, for over three years, as an HTPC with Mythbuntu, MythTV + XBMC and as my home server. The only problem is that now that I changed my CRT to a nice wall mounted 55" LED TV, this thing is huge, and noisy. I'm replacing it with a Mac Mini, very quiet and much much much smaller.

Bear in mind that these sort of cases hasve two or three fans, plus the CPU fan, making them very noisy for a living room. I'm glad I'm getting rid of it!

If you have the cash to spare, consider a mac mini as an HTPC, you won't look back!

This looks a nice case, so so tempted to with it but would want it silent

This is a good alternative (£17 + delivery):
envizage.com/pro…tml

Takes a standard size PSU as long as the fan doesn't extend out of the bottom. One with push/pull fans works better. Takes full size PCI cards, comes with chrome feet and can be led horizontally.

Blue strip can be turned off to look like a nice blue accent. Its a lot darker than in the pic, would fit in with black AV stuff better than silver. takes 80mm and 2x60mm fans, Can shoehorn a 120mm fan in next to a vent at the end of the pci cards too. has 2xusb, 2x3.5mm & 1x3.5" behind front flap.
Can hold 2 (possibly 3) 3.5" drives and a 5.25" drive.


Edited by: "jacksonliam" 4th Feb 2012

JamesClark1991

You make no sense! A Ferrari isn't 1 basic compnent away from a drastic … You make no sense! A Ferrari isn't 1 basic compnent away from a drastic change in useability so that's an absurd comparisson to make! "There is an option, pay an extra £250 blah blah" don't be so ridiculous, that's not a reasonable option. It's a good looking, reasonably priced product but it IS limited for people who'd like a bit more out of their HTPC and it offers no customisation so it's a very limited product. Imo.


imo... lol

Why have you got Hitler as an Avatar?
Are you a Nazi?

It's offensive yet someone had their avatar removed because it had a picture of a girl wearing knickers that said, "All you can eat". Where's the logic in that?

Original Poster

jacksonliam

This is a good alternative (£17 + … This is a good alternative (£17 + delivery):http://www.envizage.com/products/cases-envizage/cscits006b-envizage-s006b-black-micro-atx-case-no-psu.htmlTakes a standard size PSU as long as the fan doesn't extend out of the bottom. One with push/pull fans works better. Takes full size PCI cards, comes with chrome feet and can be led horizontally. Blue strip can be turned off to look like a nice blue accent. Its a lot darker than in the pic, would fit in with black AV stuff better than silver. takes 80mm and 2x60mm fans, Can shoehorn a 120mm fan in next to a vent at the end of the pci cards too. has 2xusb, 2x3.5mm & 1x3.5" behind front flap.Can hold 2 (possibly 3) 3.5" drives and a 5.25" drive.



That's a pretty good find, I reckon you'd get some heat if you posted it, but I can see where the price difference is - the front is plastic, where the Novatech is brushed anodised aluminium.

Also the width of the case you linked is 340mm according to the specs, as I wanted my HTPC to look 'related' to my Onkyo 509 AV amp it had to be wide enough to carry it off.

Scan sell a decent psu made by fsp which should fit this case

FSP FSP300-60GHS 300W Power Supply

Have a look. Not too expensive and FSP tend to make decent quality stuff

Lupeto

Looks nice, but be aware it's very deep (420mm)



Your literally talking out your ****, I've just measured mine, front to back, at 340mm give or take a few.

It's bigger than a Foxsat HDR, obviously. Best bet it to compare the dimensions, but a Foxsat is shorter, narrower, and lower, Foxsat would sit on top of the Novatech case, Novatech case would not properly sit on top of a Foxsat HDR.

jacksonliam

This is a good alternative (£17 + … This is a good alternative (£17 + delivery):http://www.envizage.com/products/cases-envizage/cscits006b-envizage-s006b-black-micro-atx-case-no-psu.htmlTakes a standard size PSU as long as the fan doesn't extend out of the bottom. One with push/pull fans works better. Takes full size PCI cards, comes with chrome feet and can be led horizontally. Blue strip can be turned off to look like a nice blue accent. Its a lot darker than in the pic, would fit in with black AV stuff better than silver. takes 80mm and 2x60mm fans, Can shoehorn a 120mm fan in next to a vent at the end of the pci cards too. has 2xusb, 2x3.5mm & 1x3.5" behind front flap.Can hold 2 (possibly 3) 3.5" drives and a 5.25" drive.



The problem is this is about 6 cm deeper than the novatech, which is allready bigger than all my other AV equpiment...

I had looked at it before getting the novatech but dismissed it on the above basis.It's also more of a standard matx case than designed with media in mind....
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