Home Theatre PC's were going to be the next big thing a few years ago, if Microsoft were to be believed. When they released XP Media Centre Edition, a new breed of PC's appeared, which aimed to bring the PC into the lounge, and to unify the whole PC / home media experience from one central PC. Sales of these systems were very slow, partly due to the initially high prices, and partly because the consumer was slow to pick up on the new technology.
With the growth of home built PC's, the HTPC has seen a resurgance in popularity amongst enthusiasts. Also responsible was the falling prices in the required hardware. Most major PC case manufacturers offer some HTPC cases within their product range. Some are no more than a reduced sized enclosure, whilst others offer true HTPC friendly features. Today we are reviewing Silverstone's latest offering, the Grandia GD02-MT, and we aim to see which catagory it falls into. But first, a little information on Silverstone.
Silverstone Technology Ltd. was founded in 2003, and since then have consistantly brought to market attractive PC cases, both in terms of design, functionality and aesthetics. They have also generated some innovative solutions and gained a respectable reputation amongst PC enthusiasts. The SilverStone Technology’s philosophy is based on their recognition that merely having innovative expertise within the industry is not enough. Their objective is to ensure that their expertise is delivered to all products with consistency, in response to user’s needs, and with maximum user satisfaction.
So let's now move onto the subject of our review, the Grandia GD02-MT, which is classified as a Micro-ATX HTPC case. It features some welcome additions, which are ideal for HTPC use and we will be putting the case through it's paces. Firstly, let's take a look at the case's specifications, which we obtained directly from the Sliverstone website's product page
SST-GD02B-MT (Black w/ multimedia + 4.3” touchscreen)
SST-GD02S-MT (Silver w/ multimedia + 4.3” touchscreen)
|Material:||Aluminum front panel & corners, SECC body|
|Motherboard Size:||Micro ATX, DTX, Mini-ITX|
|Multimedia:||4.3” touchscreen, IR, remote control with on/off function iMON media center software|
Native resolution: 480 x 272
Supported resolution: 640 x 480, 800 x 600, 1024 x 768
External: Slim optical drive x 1, 3.5” x 1
Internal: 3.5” x 2 (vibration dampening)
|Cooling System:||2 x 80mm exhaust fan, 2050rpm|
|Front I/O Port:|
USB2.0 x 2
IEEE1394 x 1
Audio x 1
MIC x 1
|Power Supply:||Optional Standard PS2(ATX)|
|Expansion Card:||Compatible with expansion card up to 11.5 inch|
Let's see what Silverstone have to say about their new offering on their product page:
Grandia represents brilliance, and SilverStone’s Grandia GD02 is certainly a brilliant chassis that seamlessly integrates innovation and aesthetics. For the first time, a unique optional 4.3 inch touchscreen makes a debut in a home theater PC enclosure along with a brand new multimedia interface. Its friendly interface allows users to easily control onscreen actions while also providing a dedicated media player right on the front panel. An HTPC enclosure also has never been so powerful yet so compact like the GD02. With a depth of only 360mm, it will comfortably fit inside home theater cabinets but still accommodate a regular sized power supply, Micro-ATX motherboard, and even high end graphics cards up to 11.5 inches. With exquisitely finished hair-brushed aluminum front panel and organic spherical appearance, GD02 is not only designed brilliantly but also looks brilliant.
So there are some big claims there, and we aim to see if they hold true or not.
Moving swiftly on to the next page, we shall discuss the packaging and contents of the product.