Hardware Installation

In this section we are going to install some standard hardware and see how well things fit and go together.

ATX Motherboard

The SilverStone GD07 HTPC chassis is designed to accommodate Micro-ATX, ATX and E-ATX motherboards and we had no problems slipping a full size mobo into place.  All the mounting holes lined up perfectly on the standoffs and there is adequate room on all sides to work.  In our opinion, unless you really need a full-size mobo, going with one of the newer, very capable Micro-ATX motherboard’s will ease cable routing considerably.

CPU Coolers

The GD07 HTPC case has a CPU cooler height limitation of 138mm (5.4”) so many of the large, tower-style coolers won’t fit.  And since there does not appear to be room to mount a 120mm fan/radiator combination on the 120mm side panel opening you won’t be able to use an internal liquid cooling option either. The bottom of the case serves as the “motherboard tray” so there is no cutout behind the CPU socket area; you will have to mount your CPU cooler before installing the mobo.  However, there are still many good air-cooling options available and SilverStone offers two of them!

The SilverStone NT01-E CPU Cooler features five copper heatpipes that conduct heat away from the CPU and up into a finned copper array that is designed for passive cooling; or more specifically in most cases, to be closely mounted to one or more rear exhaust fans, which draw air through the cooler.  The good-guys at SilverStone also sent along a pair of their SST-FN81 80mm cooling fans, which we mounted in the back panel of the GD07 along with the NT01-E cooler. 

Another good option is SilverStone's very capable low profile Nitrogon NT06-E CPU cooler, which features the same robust mounting system as the NT01-E, five copper heatpipes, and it mounts a 120mm cooling fan (SST-FN121-BL).

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