SilverStone Grandia GD03
Building an HTPC is not like building a gaming rig; you don’t need the biggest and baddest parts available to make it run great. However, this is an option that you may wish to consider, so choosing the right chassis is important, you need to look at the options the case offers and the expandability of what you may require of it in the future.
The SilverStone GD03 is a great chassis that has many features and plenty of room for expandability. The hot-swappable hard disk drive bays were a great touch to help with the ever-increasing video libraries that we all seem to accumulate. Including the five internal HDD bays and the two hot swappable drive bays, the GD03 gives you a possible fourteen terabytes of storage at one time. The option of adding three extra 80mm fans to help with cooling should the need arise was also well-conceived and implemented.
Then there is the issue of cost: an HTPC case can run anywhere from $100 to $700 USD. This is not a cheap investment by any means, but looking at the bigger picture it is not like a home stereo or TV where the technology changes so quickly that it renders it obsolete the next year. An HTPC case is simply a home for the components that can be changed out very easily; it is an investment that should last you five or ten years, possibly even more. The Grandia GD03 can be found for approximately $170 USD, putting it into rather premium pricing territory for a non-LCD display HTPC case, but you do get a very good case in return for that investment.
While I was very pleased with this enclosure overall it was not without a couple faults. If I had to pick one of the very few things that could be improved for this chassis, it would have to be the lack of an included built-in media interface. Admittedly though, this is not a huge issue because there are options available on other designs that do offer this feature, but this would have also put this chassis in an entirely different class of HTPC cases, so it’s more of a preference than a complaint. Second and more importantly, the airflow from the front optional intake fans is restricted when the front door is in a closed position. It simply renders the fans redundant to a certain extent when trying to introduce cool air and acts more like they are just there to circulate the warm air.
The SilverStone Grandia GD03 leaves a great impression and performs very well, showcasing a successful blend of aesthetics and functionality, leaving us to confidently recommend this chassis to both novice and experienced builders alike.
SilverStone Grandia GD03
Our thanks go to SilverStone for providing the Grandia GD03 for this review.