While updating the post on the Asus mobo used in my latest HTPC build I thought I'd post up some info on the case I went with and the quick mod I did that made a HUGE difference to its appearance.
When speccing up the machine I wanted an ITX case that let me use normal size (i.e. not laptop) components as to keep the cost down (5.25" BluRay drive, standard ATX power supply etc.).
Luckily Coolermaster has recently released the Elite 120 Advanced.
This is a great little case albeit it slightly on the larger size of mini ITX, but still a good fit for a HTPC.
I actually originally specced up this machine with a Bitfenix Prodigy but promptly returned it as soon as I saw it.
It was waaaay to big to look at home in a lounge area...
Anyway, the case ticks all the boxes as far as component support however looks a tad ugly - but we can fix that :)
Here's a picture of what it looked like originally:
Not the prettiest thing in the world right?
Other people have obviously been thinking the same thing and I saw some other attempts people had made to pretty this thing up on various forums.
So I had a quick look on eBay and found a few people selling small individual sheets of 3M Carbon Fibre Di-Noc Vinyl adhesive for less than $10.
All I can say is - wow. What a difference this stuff makes to the appearance:
A quick word of advice if you go down this path.
The case badge is slightly recessed and will leave a divet if you whack the vinyl straight on.
Get yourself some Rapid Filla and smooth it over before you whack it on and you'll get a nice finish like that in the picture above.