Introduction

It’s been a while since we’ve taken a close look at a home theater case, and after looking at one of Ahanix’s latest, we’d like to think that perhaps it was worth our wait. While we were quite pleased with the D-Vine 5 in our December 2004 HTPC roundup, we still encountered enough feature flaws to prevent it from winning our editor’s choice award in that comparison.

In terms of what is good for an HTPC case, it actually fared quite well, but where it was lacking was in areas that apply to all the cases that we review, such as thermal performance and layout/design.

Well, it’s been almost a half a year now, and Ahanix has a newer, greatly improved model in the D-Vine family for us to look at, the MCE601. Ahanix has six different lines of HTPC cases and is still working on even more designs, as well as several related product lines such as Mini ITX, Micro ATX, and silent accessories. With a company that seems to have such a deep interest in small systems, their HTPC cases should be some of the best in the industry. Here’s a quick glance at what the chassis has to offer.

Ahanix MCE601
Included Features
- Great HTPC styling
- Support for several hard drives
- Vacuum fluorescent display
- 350W SilentX power supply
Possible Improvement
- USB for display connector
- Ability to use standard PSUs
- Ability to use non-ATX motherboards
- Larger fans for improved cooling

Let’s see how this model compares to the D-Vine 4 and 5, and also how it performs as an HTPC case in general.

More information on the MCE601 is available at Ahanix’s website.

External Design
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  • Dmitheon - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    Couple of quick additions. Not to sound like an advertisement, but pcalchemy is offering a customized version of this case (in addition to the standard one), where they remove the PSU and add an adapter which allows any MicroATX PSU to be used. It's a bit cheaper than the normal version. Also, a thanks to the site for review HTPC cases. Many of the regular HTPC sites don't actually do thermal & sound measurements, and this stuff is useful. My only other hopes that you guys can take a look at some of the newer offerings from Uneed and Silverstone, particularly Uneeds X11 and X15e, and Silverstone's LC14M. Reply
  • yelo333 - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    Same issue as #3.

    FF 1.0.3, and Gentoo stable.
    Reply
  • Netopia - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    I don't think that there are any other graphics on that page. There SHOULD be (it does say click to see full sized) but there aren't.

    Photography also needs to be better. In an all black environment like inside a case, one should use some sort of bounce flash to fill the shadows and give some contrast so that people can tell what they are looking at.

    Other than that, nice review.
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    #3 - Same deal on XP and FireFox, too. Maybe the link got wiped when the article was posted? Reply
  • sideshow23bob - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    Hey I had trouble viewing the thermal data. I assume there was something more than an picture of the internal case +mobo, b/c that's all I saw when I scrolled over it. I'm currently on a friend's Mac and using safari as a browser, so let me know if it's my issue or on all computers. Thanks. Reply
  • Googer - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • Zepper - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    Guys are slipping... Typical Ahanix - all show, no go. I have never seen one yet where even half the attention paid to the external appearance was paid to internal details and modern conveniences. No vibe dampers for the drives or fans. Less than 1/4" of added height would accomodata a stanard PSU. And it goes on and on...

    .bh.
    Reply

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