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Building a High End HTPC featuring the Thermaltake Mozart Enclosure

Price: $219.99













I admit it, I’m guilty, but just as guilty as the next enthusiast for using parts that I have laying around the house to built an HTPC. Lets face it, it’s not a gaming rig or a main workstation, it’s just an HTPC. Or is it? What does HTPC stand for? No, not Honey the Pies Cooking.  It’s Home Theater Personal Computer.  Ok, how many of you have a Home Theater? Putting together a Home Theater can get rather expensive by the time you purchase that thousand dollar speaker system, receiver, DVD player, and CD changer, and wiring it can cost upwards of five thousand dollars. The worst part of it all is in order to play games you’ll have to add another component, whether it’s an X-Box, PS3 or Wii, it’s an added expense.

Most enthusiasts game, so we have PC games, we also love music, so our hard drives are probably full of MP3s.   Oops, I forgot movies, we probably have tons of those, also. So, my question is, "why should we spend so much money on separate components?  Music CDs, DVD movies and games for that five hundred dollar console that has a hard drive in it anyway?"  With all those components you will need room and lots of it, stack them here wire that there, cut holes in your walls to hide the octopus you’ve developed behind that three thousand dollar entertainment center (furniture) that will have to be dusted three times a week.

About three or four months ago myself and a couple other staff members were talking, and the what if instead of building a Plain Jane HTPC system, someone built a high end one to rival a conventional Home Theater? Well, I felt up to the challenge and have devised the plan:  Super HTPC! The components that I will be using are, in my own opinion, what should be used.  Some things I might already have, and some I might have to purchase.  So, the first thing that will be needed is a case. I just can’t leave all those exposed electronics lying on the floor, can I?

For about a month I surfed the net looked at different HTPC cases for looks, quality, expandability and functionality.  What I finally decided on is the Thermaltake Mozart TX. Why? It’s different.  It doesn’t look like a computer case what so ever, it’s square, tall and appears to be able to keep my components cool. I had four choices to choose from.  First, black, with or without windows. I chose against that because it was constructed of steel, and a case that size would probably become very heavy when I installed everything. So it was silver that I chose, because it is mostly constructed of aluminum, and I tend to lean towards silver anyway. Which one, the one with or without the windows?

One day I received a PM from a member and found out that that member lives about ten miles north of me.  This happens to be a member that has done a lot of modding and even has one of his cases showcased in Maximum PC. That member would be Fueler, so I began thinking and decided to get the case without the windows, so if the possibility arises, just maybe Fueler could help me mod the doors on my case.

I’m not quite sure how long it will take to write this series of articles, or how long it might take to totally tweak the system until I’m totally happy with it. I will say that it is going to be an adventure and I hope that everyone will stay for the ride.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Case
  3. A Look Inside
  4. A Look Inside Continued
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Just the Beginning
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