Ahanix D.Vine 5

We had our first look at Ahanix in the HTPC market with their D.Vine 4 case in our introduction to HTPC cases back in October. We only looked at it briefly as a sort of feature check on HTPC cases as we talked about what to look for in HTPC cases in general. Then, about a month ago, we compared another Ahanix model to the new Intel BTX form factor to gauge thermal and sound conditions. Again, we only took a brief look at the case's features, since the review was to compare BTX to the ATX form factor. We now have a chance to look a bit more in-depth into the last Ahanix model, the D.Vine 5 HTPC chassis by Ahanix and see its full potential as an HTPC case.

External Design

The D.Vine 5 looks a bit like the D.Vine 4 with its brushed aluminum front bezel. It stands slightly shorter than its predecessor at about 5.7" as opposed to the D.Vine 4's 7" height. At the left, we see the "D.Vine Home Theater PC" logo printed in a contrasting color, which keeps the look of the bezel pleasing to the eyes. At the bottom left corner of the bezel is where the Power and Reset buttons as well as the Power LED reside. The Power button is noticeably larger than the reset button, which helps users distinguish between the two when in total darkness. Otherwise, each button is clearly labeled. Also, both buttons are easy to press and give off a clicking sound to assure the user that they have been pressed successfully.

The middle section of the bezel is occupied by a single optical drive slot and an integrated LCD display. The D.Vine 5 comes with an aluminum optical drive bezel replacement, which matches the case's bezel and will replace the optical drive's factory tray bezel. Under the drive tray slot to the right is a small, round drive eject button, which is labeled "OPEN". The integrated Vacuum Florescent Display is the same 2x16 display with a parallel port interface used in the D.Vine 4. It also features an IR receiver, which can be used with almost any PC IR remote with Windows Media Center Edition.

At the bottom right corner of the bezel, we notice a two-position button that is labeled "MODE". The down position enables "PC" mode while the up position enables "HDTV" mode. This button would most likely control the once optional EiOS HDTV receiver, which was planned to be bundled with the D.Vine 5. EIOS has gone out of business since then and is no longer in production. Ahanix has also removed the mounts for the EiOS HDTV receiver and they will not be found on 90% of the units on the market today.

Index Ahanix D.Vine 5 (cont'd)


View All Comments

  • monsoon - Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - link


    i want my HTPC to be a full fledged double-core AMD PC capable of running everything, with double 5'25" front bays and silent.

    so, what'S out there today to realize such a project ?

    it's been almost a year since this shoot-out, and i would really love to see some commercial products ( already assembled or cases only ) to match these needs.

    120mm fans anyone ?
    passive cooling ( or should we wait for the coming laptop double-core CPU releases ) ?

    thanks for reading this,
  • rdunnill - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    Quote: "There isn't anything requiring these large cases except a gaming video card"

    To the contrary, I use a Holo3Dgraph-I deinterlacing card, which is full-height and thus requires a modestly-footprinted case like the NMediaPC.
  • rdunnill - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    I am considering the NMediaPC case due to its small footprint.

    Footprint barely received mention in the review, but it's important to me, because the space in my HT cabinet is small.
  • mindless1 - Thursday, December 30, 2004 - link

    JKing76, the distinction is not "just playing movies". There isn't anything requiring these large cases except a gaming video card, or to look at it another way, stuffing so many cards in that you can't get a riser to work and need a larger power supply too. Perhaps if you need more than 2 HDDs, that's an issue too... but most won't.

    Games <> Home Theater

    Some can't grasp that, and that's OK, there SHOULD be cases suitable for building living room gaming boxes, but that does not begin to mean HTPC cases per se, should be this large.
  • goku21 - Thursday, December 30, 2004 - link

    What about doing a project/review on a HTPC you build yourself? Go all out and instead of using a HTPC case use a SFF case or something. Be a little different about it.

    That's something I'd like to see. Perhaps something interactive where all the readers can vote on what types of components go into it and what not.

    Of course that's just my stupid opinion =)
  • PuravSanghani - Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - link

    We gave our Editor's Choice Award to the SilverStone LC10/M because it has a combination of great features (VFD Text display, room for expansion with more HDD mounting space, the ability to install a full ATX board and power supply, as well as an optional multimedia kit since MS Windows Media Center is not sold on store shelves just yet). Bias is not one of the reasons we chose the LC10.

    The HTPC100 is a great out-of-the-box solution if you want a simple barebones system. It performed well in our thermal and sound benchmarks. The case, however, does not have much room for expansion, only supports microATX boards, and does not have a text display. Although, for its performance in thermal and sound we believe it is a worthy competitor to the LC10.

    We hope this clears up some confusion in our regarding our conclusion of this roundup.

    Nintari, Mindless, mcveigh: We chose these components because many boxed Home Theater PCs come with hardware similar to our configuration. A media center PC, in our definition, is not just a PC with a TV Tuner slapped in it, but rather a fully functional PC with the ability to process home theater content.

    Definitions of the HTPC will vary by user and the purpose of the HTPC in their home theater setup.

    During our testing we do not install a TV Tuner card but we do process content like playing a DVD and video games to simulate operations during normal PC use with this "standard" hardware.

    #27: Feel free to let us know of any errors in the article and we will be more than happy to fix them. Thanks.

    Purav Sanghani
  • Clint - Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - link

    All three vendor links for the Silverstone case show a completely different case (though they all match one another). Reply
  • ElFenix - Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - link

    I've asked for years: please hire an english major to edit your articles. The sentence structure of this article is even worse than most of the articles around here. Reply
  • JKing76 - Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - link

    Sorry mindless, I don't buy your definition of HTPC. I consider an HTPC to be a computer you'd keep hooked up to a home theater system full time. You want a tiny, low-power PC just for playing movies, well, that's your choice. But there's no reason big screen, high-quality surround sound gaming support can't be part of a HTPC. Reply
  • geogecko - Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - link

    Personally...the best HTPC case money can buy...


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