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Chieftec HM-01B HTPC Case
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Chieftec
Source: Chieftec
Purchase: Newegg.com
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 8 of 8 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]
Chieftec HM-01B HTPC Case
March 11, 2009

Conclusion:

I went into this review with what I thoguht were reasonable expectations for the Chieftec HM-01B HTPC case, as I did see it in person at CES 2009. But, I must not have been paying close enough attention back then, as once I started assembling a system into one I was impressed by many features I had not noticed previously.

The aluminum housing has a nice finish and is thick enough that I don't worry about damage from minor bumps like I do with some cases. The multimedia controls and VFD up front add useful features to the case, while also increasing the visual appeal in a home theater setup. And perhaps the most welcome feature is that the system can run without about zero noise.

The installation was extremely simple, and the tool-less drive features may be the best I have ever used. Unfortunately not all aspects of the installation are tool-less, but it went quickly anyway. The internal layout gives you plenty of room for all the necessary components, with means to manage the wires neatly.


To me the main downside to this case is the documentation. In addition to the manual being extremely brief, it is about impossible to get any detailed information on this case anywhere online. There are so many interesting features that Chieftec could be promoting on their site or on stores like Newegg.com, but the data at either location is extremely brief. Other than that, you should be aware that long video cards probably won't fit in this case, and you should take extra care while connecting the VFD power adapter to the 24-pin header on your motherboard. I was able to get mine on so that I don't think it will ever come loose, but it isn't on quite right despite a good deal of effort.

Newegg.com carries the Chieftec HM-01B HTPC case without a power supply for $279.99, and the PSU is available separately for $65.99 more. But, if you want the bundle as provided for review you can save $25.00 for a total cost of $320.98. The case definitely isn't cheap, but it is a very high quality unit that looks good and is built well enough to last for many years.

It definitely ranks up there with some of my favorite cases, not just HTPC cases, and has to take home the "Highly Recommended" award for that. And even though I feel like the "Whisper Quiet" award has been handed out quite often lately, this is another instance where it is well deserved.

Highly Recommended Whisper Quiet

Pros:

Extremely well built
Innovative tool-less drive menchanisms may be the best I have ever used
Attractive styling
Internal layout is well thought out and easy to work with
Covers conceal optical drive, I/O ports, and 56-in-1 card reader
Includes iMon remote and front panel display

Cons:

Documentation is weak
Not everything is tool-less
Power adapter for front panel display didn't connect to motherboard properly
Long video cards will not fit

Special thanks to Chieftec for providing the Chieftec HM-01B HTPC Case to Bigbruin.com for review!

Please drop by the Bigbruin.com Forum and feel free to post any comments or questions.

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