On arrival, the case looked just as good as I'd hoped it would - like a
very smart (and slightly bulky) piece of hi-fi.
Taking the top off the case, it looked much as one would expect, except
for a set of wires coming from the VFD/IR device in the front panel
First job was fitting the power supply, which, being from Silverstone
too, was very straightforward
...followed by the motherboard, and then the CPU and cooler :
The memory (2 x 1GB sticks) and Hauppauge PVR150 card were just as easy
After that it was just a matter of fitting the DVD and hard drives, and
plugging everything in :
One slight disappointment with the Silverstone case was that the two
case fans used 'simple' 3 pins connectors, and therefore could not be
controlled using the PWM features of the motherboard and BIOS. In
addtion, the fan on the Akasa cooler was also only a 3-pin type.
Consequently, I couldn't set the system to self-regulate the fan
speeds. While the fans were fairly quiet, the CPU was running at
a very cool 30 deg celsius, with the motherboard a couple of degrees
higher, so I knew I could reduce the amount of cooling I was using.
After a whole lot of research, I decided to go for a Scythe
Ninja Mini cpu cooler, running in passive mode, and a pair of
Coolermaster PWM fans to replace the Silverstone case fans. After
some trial and error, I've got the system running at around 50 degrees
Celsius with the fans gently ticking over at well under a 1000rpm, and
the whole system is now very nearly silent.
Another small issue was the sound capabilities of the motherboard -
while it had a digital header on the board, it had no digital output
connector on the back panel. More extensive googling turned up a
bracket from Glow
Technology that enabled me to take digital output to
my AV amp. In fact, this now works brilliantly - when playing
MP3s or recorded TV it delivers 2-channel stereo to the amp, but when
playing a Dolby 5.1 DVD it delivers the original encoded sound signal
digitally to the amp at 24 bits at 96Khz, which the amp then decodes
itself. This has enabled me to mothball my DVD player too,
creating more space under the TV (I never did get the shuttle to
send Dolby digital sound from DVDs to my AV amp).