Nuts to low-profile PCI slots!

by Matthew Gast

Related link: http://www.ahanix.com/ahanix_product.asp?pid=26



Like many who care about their fair-use rights (not to mention the right to use the bathroom on my own schedule), I'm building a MythTV box in my (ha, ha) copious free time. Last month, I ordered the pcHDTV cards so I could get them ahead of the July 1 deadline. Yesterday, I decided to buy the parts for the rest of the system. After spending a lot of time checking out cases, I decided to go with an Ahanix MCE301, which is by far the best looking case available in the "mortals can afford this" price class. After placing orders for all the other equipment, I noticed that the Ahanix case only supports low-profile PCI cards. Many cards are available in a short form factor to fit in a low profile case, but not the pcHDTV cards. With regret, I cancelled all my orders and went back to the drawing board for a new set of equipment, and to find a new case that won't look quite as good.

Oh, well. If I move to a distributed system in the future, I might still get use the MCE301 as an enclosure for a front-end box.

5 Comments

tonyparkersd
2005-04-18 13:44:09
Try this enclosure...
Mathew,


Take a look at this enclosure. When you land on this page http://www.modthebox.com/htpc.shtml scroll down to the bottom and follow the little gray arrows to see all the pictures of the unit. They show a "MyHDTV" card in one of the pics which is not a low profile card.


Hope this helps.


-Tony

mgast
2005-04-18 17:16:41
Try this enclosure...
Thanks for the tip, Tony! I originally went with the Ahanix case over any of the Silverstone cases for appearance reasons. When I struck out on the MCE301, I thought of going with an Ahanix D5, but it only has one internal drive bay. I was hoping not to go with a full-size case, but at this point, it looks like I just want to cram too much power into the case to do use anything smaller.


Right now, my two leading contenders are the Silverstone LC03M (just like the one in the article, but with a vacuum fluourescent display) and the LC10M. I haven't decided which one I like better yet. It will have a VFD, though. The idea of programming custom messages on to the VFD is too cool for me to pass up.


(As an aside, the low-profile Silverstone cases use a riser card and can mount full-size PCI cards sideways. If I didn't need so many expansion slots, I'd probably go with the Silverstone LC02.)

Tdot
2005-04-19 10:36:42
PCI Raiser Cards
Matthew,


wouldn't a PCI raiser card do the trick? I believe it used in almost all low-profile cases.


T.

mgast
2005-04-20 10:40:46
PCI Riser Cards
You're right, a riser card is used most of the time. (That's what Silverstone does on the LC02 case.) Rotate the slots a quarter-turn, and use a riser card to get two or three full-size openings. The Ahanix case keeps the slots vertical, which gives you one or two more slots than a riser, but at the cost of requiring that they be low-profile. An interesting design decision, but not one that is helpful to me...
iSAWaUFO
2005-08-25 18:06:11
ASUS Pundit case
I built a PVR using an ASUS Pundit case:
http://usa.asus.com/products/desktop/pundit/overview.htm
I was looking for something that would fit in with my video console.
Even though it should take full height PCI cards, I still had to use a low profile video capture card, as a full height card was just barely too high to fit into the card cage. It was pretty frustrating.
There are probably some full height cards that would fit, as long as the PC board doesn't go exactly to the maximum height.


I really like the case. It will lay on it's side and use about the same footprint as a VHS deck, although it extends someewhat deep into the cabinet. If you lay it on it' side, however, you will want to remove the bottom foot of the case and this leaves the raw metal exposed on the left (bottom) side. You can scoot it to the left side of the shelf to obscure that. Otherwise it's a very nice looking case and fits well in the video console. I get the feeling a lot of video console shelves are not tall enough to hold a full width PC case.