RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [10.30.06]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake


90mm Is Just Right

We know by now that making a good full ATX HTPC is hard to do, and we have yet to find the perfect one. We came across a couple that were pretty good, mostly from SilverStone. They offer tons of space for extra component, and usually look pretty good next to a nice home theatre setup. However one thing always stood out with these cases: height. Not all setups have a lot of vertical space for cases, as more and more TV benches are designed with slim DVD players and video game consoles in mind.

So the search continues, for a slim full ATX HTPC. Thermaltake believes they have that solution in the Mozart Sx, which boasts a height of just 90mm.

The 90mm measurement doesn't include the feet, by the way, but they can be removed. Also note that even though it is very low profile, it is extremely wide and deep. It measures in at 47cm wide by 44cm deep (that's 18.5" x 17.33"). So if you need something that is low profile and narrow, you need to look at a mATX solution instead.

The Mozart Sx boasts a ton of features (our version even has a VFD display and remote control).

Thermaltake has foregone the clean, flush look of competing HTPC's and went for a more functional approach instead. The result is a case that looks more like a computer than a home theatre component, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your taste. 

Below the VFD is a row of controls, including the Power and Reset switches you'd expect to see on any computer case. In addition to those are controls for forward and rewind, play and stop, mute and volume. They are surrounded by a nice black brushed aluminum facade. In the left corner is an exposed port cluster for USB, FireWire, and analog audio.

The drive bay is a two-part system; if the optical drive ejects, a small panel will open to allow access. If you need access to the 3.5" bay, the entire door can be flipped down. These are the only external bays on the case.

This full ATX case also supports full-size ATX power supplies. As you might notice by now, the low profile design requires peripherals to be installed parallel to the motherboard. This brings a couple disadvantages; first of all,  you'll only be able to install up to 2 peripherals, including a video card. Secondly, your motherboard must be laid out a certain way to be able to install anything. We'll go into more detail when we discuss installation.

Next Page: (Interior)