Putting it Back Together - Wrapping Up and Conclusion
In the final steps, we inserted our Personal Cinema 5700 video card into the AGP slot of the riser card and tightened the mounting screws. The unit was now ready to be closed up and tested, which is where we encountered our first major problem.
When we mounted the cover back into place and powered up the unit, all we got was a black screen, no video. We opened up the case and checked all of the connections and tried to power up the system again before closing it up. Everything now booted, leading us to believe something was simply not seated properly. So we shut the system off, replaced the cover, went to boot and we were back to the no video situation again. After studying the mechanics of the case and components, we found that even with all of the hardware securely in place, the video card was precariously close to the cover of the unit. Once we put the case in its upright position, the tail-end of the card settled just enough that the solder points on the back of the card made contact with the metal case cover, shorting the card and giving us the black screen. It seems the weight of the power cable feeding the card was just enough to weigh the card down, making it contact the door. Special attention must be paid to ensure that cabling is secured so this doesn't occur. Fortunately, no harm was done to our hardware and we simply applied a piece of electrical tape to the section of the cover that was immediately opposite the video card as an insulating barrier for insurance.
In the end, we consider ourselves fortunate that the shorting did not harm our hardware. Silverstone would be wise to add a thin barrier or a simple rubber pad to the door to act as a spacer, preventing such a situation from occurring. Right now the tolerances are very close and can pose a serious problem for some.
Once we took care of the shorting issue, we managed to complete the job, installing InterVideo's Home Theater Software and Remote Control, Additionally, we installed a wireless network card so we could link up with another machine containing a library of over 75GB of MP3s. Once configured, we installed the unit into our home entertainment center, connected the necessary cabling to the receiver inputs and the job was completed. Now, we had a fully functional HTPC for watching DVDs, recording live television and a music server component as well.
There is no arguing that Silverstone makes some of the most attractive cases available today. Case in point, the LC11 Micro-ATX case is a true gem with an elegant aluminum design that is both handsome as well as functional. Silverstone designed the LC11 in such a way to make sure there was ample room for various components, including three hard drives, a CD/DVD ROM drive, an AGP video card and two PCI cards. We were also quite impressed with the LC11 cooling capabilities, which appeared to work quite well with a very low ambient noise level even under load. Throughout the process of installing our components, the case seemed well suited to the task, until we encountered the problem with the video card. We should also note that this was not an isolated incident with the Personal Cinema 5700. To make sure it wasn't a fluke, we also installed a FX5900XT and encountered the same issue. While the remedy for this was simple enough, we are concerned that some users may damage their hardware if they are not careful.
In lieu of the shorting issue, we are going to give the LC11 a rating of a 7.5 and recommend that the buyer use caution before powering up the unit, making sure their video card does not make contact with the case. Nonetheless, we still can't help but be impressed with the LC11 Micro-ATX case from Silverstone. Weighing in at an average price of $160, the LC11 is quite affordable as far as specialized HTPC cases are concerned and will look right at home in any home theater setup.