In this excerpt from the ExtremeTech book, Build the Ultimate Home Theater PC, you’ll learn how to choose the perfect case and power supply for your home-theater PC build-it project.
Some people believe that the PC case is just an enclosure for the PC’s contents, others that the case sets the stage for everything else inside. Whether it’s just the skin around the package or it makes the package what it is, the case is undoubtedly a key component in an HTPC. We are inclined to put a lot of weight behind and thought into the selection process for an HTPC case, particularly because looks, layout, and functionality matter more for such cases than they do for ordinary desktop PCs. Our thinking is that the case must not only provide desirable technical characteristics—and this chapter will dig into them deeply, never fear—but also that it must fit into a typical entertainment center both physically and visually.
Power supplies aren’t thrown into this chapter randomly, just to give them a place to go. Most PC cases, including those designed specifically for HTPC use, include a power supply. That’s why we discuss them in this chapter, where we explain their purposes along with potential problems they can pose for HTPCs and how proper selection helps to mitigate or sidestep those problems.
Here, we’ll give you a detailed look at several HTPC cases and at some power supplies. You also tour a couple of cases and power supplies, to establish what some of these things look like (and because of our own selection process in deciding what to show you, how we think they should look).
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