SilverStone Lascala LC13

Written by Luke Ponio    Friday, 10 June 2005 11:00
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SilverStone Lascala LC13
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Introduction


Desktop cases used to be fairly common among computer manufacturers. Somewhere in the late 90's, the tower case took over. The home theater PC craze has renewed the interest in desktop cases because of the size similarity to audio visual equipment.

When I think of a desktop case, I think of small power supplies and short motherboards. SilverStone realizes that most DIY'ers won't move from to a desktop case if new parts are necessary. As a result, SilverStone has introduced a suite of desktop cases compatible with standard ATX parts. Today, we are looking at the Lascala series LC13.

 


 

 

SilverStone Lascala LC13

The case arrived without imperfections. Compared to Styrofoam, the packing material is really nice because it doesn't break apart and leave a mess.

The is not too wide for most home theater cabinets, which is great. However, it might be too tall for some shelves. Check that the dimensions are compatible with your cabinet before purchasing the case. SilverStone engineered this case for maximum internal compatibility. The LC13 supports standard ATX, micro ATX, and extended ATX. Extended ATX is an interesting feature for a case targeted at the HTPC market; dual Opteron HTPC anyone? Although there are mounting holes for extended ATX boards, not all extended ATX motherboards on the market are fully supported. Using an extended ATX board also requires the removal of the extra 3.5" drive bay. The case is made out of steel, except for the aluminum front panel. In the case of HTPC's, an aluminum case isn't necessary because it will likely stay in one spot.

Material Aluminum front panel, 1.0mm SECC body
Color Black
Silver
Motherboard Extended ATX*, ATX, Micro ATX
Drive Bay Extemal 5.25” x 2
3.5” x 2
lntemal 3.5” x 2
Cooling System Front 92mm intake, 2100rpm, 21dBA
Rear 2 x 60mm exhaust, 3000rpm, 25dBA
Expansion Slot
7
Front I/O Port USB2.0 port x 2
1394 Firewire x 1
Earphone jack x 1
MIC x 1
Power Supply Optional standard PS2 (ATX)
Net Weight
9 kg
Dimension 430 mm (W) x 163 mm (H) x 430 mm (D)

On the front is a power button, power LED, and HDD activity LED. The front panel folds down with the help of a gear on the left side. A magnet keeps the panel from falling down. The magnet isn't very strong. If an optical drive accidentally ejects, it will knock the plate down instead of causing stress on the tray. Behind the panel are the external bays, headphone and MIC jacks, two USB 2.0 ports, and one Firewire port.

 

 


 

SilverStone Lascala LC13 Continued

Most HTPC cases do not have dual external 5.25" bays. The LC13 does have them, which might be a reason for the case's height. Two external 3.5" bays, one internal 3.5" bay, and one special removable drive bay that slides under the 5.25" bays complete the rest of the drive expansion. With four 3.5" bays available, there should be no problems for those who want to store hundreds of gigabytes of video and audio.

For ventilation there is one 92mm intake fan in the front and two 60mm exhaust fans in the back. The 92mm fan has a 4-pin Molex connection and the two 60mm fans have 3-pin connectors. The 92mm fan has a vent on the bottom. The bottom of the case is the best place for a HTPC because it allows other A/V components to be stacked on top without inhibiting airflow. There are also ventilation holes on each side panel. Unfortunately, the right side's ventilation holes are almost completely blocked by the 5.25" drive bays. The holes behind the 60mm fans are also fairly restrictive. Instead of the honeycomb pattern, SilverStone could leave the grills open and use two circular wire grills like the ones on the front of the 60mm fans. The front fan is not too loud, but the rear 60mm fans are too loud for a HTPC in my opinion. However, the included fans are some of the quietest 60mm fans I have heard. They are low pitch and do not whine like others I have heard.

The inside of the case is small compared to tower cases. Everything needs to be installed in a planned order to avoid headaches. I tried working with the components after everything was installed and it was a pain. This is a disadvantage with desktop cases. If you are going to be swapping parts often, I would recommend a tower case instead. I did like that the cables were sleeved and the motherboard connectors for the front USB, Firewire, and audio were grouped. For a desktop case I think SilverStone did a good job with layout.

 

 


 

Conclusion and Thoughts

 

 

Overall I was impressed with SilverStone's offering. The case is highly compatible, aesthetically pleasing, and well built. Yet, I do have two gripes about the quality. While I was sliding the case into position in my cabinet, one of the rubber foot grips came off. Yes, it is minor and SilverStone will probably replace it. It is inconvenient. nonetheless. The power button is also nice, but it makes an awful scraping sound when pressed. Maybe a re-design or some type of lubricant to prevent it from scratching the sides would fix this problem.

Personally, I like smaller HTPC cases. For someone looking for an ultimate HTPC with great expansion possibilities, I have no problem recommending the SilverStone LC-13.

Pros:

  • Beautiful full tower
  • High compatibility
  • Aluminum brushed front panel
  • Low price
  • Grouped cables
  • Well built

Cons:

  • Power button is not smooth
  • Restrictive ventilation
  • 60mm fans are noisy

We would like to thank SilverStone for providing us the sample.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit us up in the forums. You can also check out more of our latest reviews on the front page.

 

 

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