Back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show one of the most interesting and innovative products I came across was not one of the many tablets or 3D monitors on display, but was actually a computer case. SilverStone Technology has been producing computer enclosures for years, yet they seem to always drive a new level of innovation into their products, and is why they're one of the few enclosure manufacturers to be featured on Phoronix. After being fascinated by their small form factor Sugo enclosures in the past, they introduced a SFF Fortress enclosure, which is easily one of the most unique micro-ATX enclosures.
I'm probably alone in this, but I think this case is ugly as hell. Well, ok, it's not that ugly, but it has very weird proportions. The finishing looks amazing, but the fact that it is a column just doesn't work for me. It looks like a trash can. Or like a paper shredder. No, it looks like someone took one of those ugly-as-fuck-early-2000-cube Shuttle designs and extruded it upwards, making something that seems like the mutant bastard offspring of a paper shredder and the aforementioned Shuttle case. The Sugo and Fortress (except this one) lines are very nice looking. This isn't. The more I think about it the uglier it seems to get, so I better stop here.
While I don't think it is "ugly", (I reserve that term for the "ZOMG, let's slap 10 million LEDs, a window and 5 pounds of cheap plastic front bezel that only a Decepticon could love") I agree it is not my cup of tea either. I like my cases to be HUGE with massive expansion options. Even my HTPC cases I prefer something that can handle at least 4 internal drives (preferably 6) and don't stick out like a sore thumb in a entertainment center or audio rack. My biggest problem with most of Silverstones smaller cases is that they keep using smaller diameter fans that are either noisy or need replacement frequently (or both).
That case looks amazing, but I fear what the price is going to be if you buy it on its own. Also, while they list ATX motherboard support, I don't see mentions of mATX/mini-ITX.
I'm planning on rebuilding my HTPC after moving this summer, and I was hoping to use a mini-ITX motherboard, possibly something Llano-based if AMD releases a 40-90w chip that will fit. A case that looks like it belongs in my A/V rack would be a good thing.
Unfortunately they do not list a price yet on that case but as long as it falls within the price range of other high quality cases I'll be grabbing one for my new HTPC build. The fullsized ATX motherboard support is a plus as I will be needing a lot of PCI-e slots for the next HTPC build (3 Hauppauge Colossus cards, one Hauppauge HVR-2250, and a Nvidia GTX-520 totaling 5 pci-e slots). Not many good HTPC cases have that kind of expandability.
Yeah, that's a lot of expansion cards. Personally, I'd just stick with the IGP in either a Sandy Bridge or AMD system, but I will acknowledge that Nv's VDPAU implementation is nice to have. I've just usually gone for a faster CPU to compensate for lack of video decode accel in my current playback scheme. Saves me the PCI-e slot which can be filled with other stuff.
Phenom x3 720 is plenty fast for my current playback needs, since I don't have much 1080p content to worry about.