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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [07.29.04]
Manufactured by: SilverStone


On The Inside

Let's have a look at the inside bay first:

Surprizingly, the motherboard tray is removable. This is something I usually look for on a tower as soon as I open it up. But on this case, it seems to be pretty much useless. As you can see, there is plenty of room to install a motherboard, regardless of the motherboard tray.



First things first; how are the front expansion ports handled?


Since there is no standardized pin layout that I know of for microphone and front port output that I know of, we'll excuse the audio ports for now. However, I hate to see and otherwise progressive case company continue to use individual pins for the USB headers. There seems to be a standard USB layout now, and case manufacturers are starting to recognize that. Hopefully SilverStone catches on!

The FireWire port is also handled poorly; instead of allowing you to connect directly to a header, you will have to route an extension cable to the outside of your case instead. Granted, an HTPC, it is less important to lose the rear FireWire port. Nonetheless, a direct connection makes for a much cleaner installation.

Let's install some drives!

Covering the 3.5" bay first:

The 3.5" bay is removable, which makes hard drive installation a snap. This is especially useful considering that the hard drive will protrude from the bay, and cover part of the motherboard. If any work was required on the motherboard, getting the hard drive out of the way would be essential.

Astute readers will now be thinking, "You said there were four 3.5" bays! Where is the fourth one?" Scroll up baby! The fourth 3.5" bay is located underneath the 5.25" bays. Nice thinking on the part of SilverStone!

Speaking of the 5.25" bays:

Standard non-removable 5.25" bays here. One complaint I have is the lack of drive rails. If you slide a drive in, you'll have to hold it in while installing the first screw, because there is (almost) nothing to hold it up.

Note the aforementioned 3.5" bay underneath the 5.25" bays. Like the other 3.5", it is removable. SilverStone made the right choice in opting for a fourth 3.5" bay instead of a third 5.25" bay here.

Well that about covers the installation of the LC03. Although it wasn't a tool-free installation, that is less important in an HTPC case. Believe me, once you set up an HTPC, you will want to leave it alone.

The low depth of the LC03 means that the drives will partially cover the motherboard. Luckily, the 3.5" bay is handled well; it is easy to remove, and that will get all the HDD's out of the way. Once the 3.5" bay is out of the way, you can unscrew and remove the optical drives.

The lack of depth is well worthwhile however, because while the LC03 is certainly bigger than SilverStone's other full-ATX case, it is well suited for most AV setups. Just barely. If this case was any wider, or deeper, forget it.

SilverStone is quickly becoming my favourite case manufacturer; even in a non tool-free case like this, installation was as smooth as could be. Fit and finish is absolutely immaculate.

I usually leave the looks of a case up to each infividual to decide, but I have to say, I can't think of a nicer (true) full-ATX case to be used as a home theatre PC. Available in black and silver, the LC03 is virtually guaranteed to fit into your AV setup perfectly. It won't stand out in a bad way OR a good way. All you could ask for from here is a gold finish to match a gold setup (gold coloured AV products are very popular outside North America).

  • Absolutely gorgeous, perfect fit & finish
  • True full-ATX in a relatively small form factor
  • Well hidden drive bays and front ports
  • Quite well priced for an HTPC oriented case!

  • Minor qualms (5.25" drive rails, non tool-free install, no direct FireWire headers)