On the outside, the LC11 comes with four USB ports on the front panel of the case. From a HTPC perspective, where you typically would not have a mouse and keyboard connected at all times, the front panel USB ports come in handy. On the left side of the case is a single FireWire port, along with microphone and headphone jacks. The idea is easy access for connecting a video Camera, Digital Camera, Headphones and other peripherals without needing to snake cables to the rear of the unit.
Next, we flipped the unit over and observed the main access panel of the LC11. Four large rubberized feet give the unit ample clearance under the case for good airflow into the oversized intake grill. Removing the cover revealed two 80mm fans, one mounted in the front for intake and a side mounted model for exhaust. Each fan runs at 2050 RPM and is rated for a quiet 21dB. The unit also comes with a modest 240w Power Supply with enough leads to accommodate a fair amount of hardware. The PSU is mounted in a manner where it too acts as an exhaust fan on the other side of the case, exhausting warm air out of the rear of the unit.
The case is designed to accept a micro-ATX motherboard and a fair amount of periphery as well. Note that with the access at the bottom of the case, when everything is in place, PC components actually hang off the top of the unit. The LC11 comes with room for a total of three hard drives and a single external 5.25" bay is provided for any type of CD/DVD-ROM combination. Internal leads are provided to connect the front I/O ports to headers on the motherboard.
It seems that Silverstone has pulled together a very capable, well thought out HTPC case in the LC11. However, we feel the true way to assess its features is to build a complete system to see how well the design works in practice. Moving forward, we are going to continue our assessment of the LC11 by going through the steps of constructing a basic HTPC setup. We've collected a few pieces of extra hardware including an ASUS A7N8X-VM/400 motherboard, AMD Sempron 2800 CPU, two sticks (2x256) of PC-2700 DDR memory, and an eVGA Personal Cinema 5700 TV/Video card. With hardware in hand, we're ready to start building.