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Editor: Julio Franco

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Silverstone LC13B-E

Simple yet elegant is how I would describe almost every case Silverstone has ever created, and the LC13B-E is certainly no exception. Like most of the manufacturers featured in this round-up, Silverstone offers an extensive range of cases, though whereas companies like Antec also offer value-priced cases, Silverstone sticks primarily to high-end solutions.

The majority of Silverstone cases cost between $200 and $400. However the LC13B-E, which is a member of the Lascala series, costs just $100, which is a surprise, and actually makes it the cheapest case of our round-up. Yet the LC13B-E is also the most flexible HTPC case in this comparison, offering a different kind of feature set.

External Design
The LC13B-E's front has been constructed entirely from aluminum and comes in either black or silver. Other than the small white Silverstone label at the top of the case there isn't much else that will catch your eye.

This front door uses some nice lines and curves, though for the most part the design is very sedate. Once the user gently pulls on the front case door it automatically folds down exposing two external 5.25 drive bays and another two 3.5 drive bays. The front I/O panel carries two USB ports, two audio jacks, and a Firewire port. There is no need to hide the I/O panel as everything is concealed by the front door.

The door can easily be folded back to the closed position by lifting it up manually. Once closed everything is hidden away nicely and, assuming you don't mind having to lower the door every time you want to access the I/O panel or to insert a disc, then this is a very clean solution.

Despite being the most flexible case featured in the round-up, the LC13B-E is not the biggest, measuring 17" wide, 6.4" tall, and 17" long. This is considerably shorter than the Thermaltake DH104 that we are about to check out. Despite this, the LC13B-E offers support for Extended ATX motherboards, while it can support two 5.25 devices, and six 3.5 devices. The LC13B-E is quite heavy thanks to its steel design, seeing it weigh in at 9kg.

The use of steel is made more evident when jumping around to the back of the case, where the treated steel has been left exposed. Here we have a total of seven full size ATX expansion slots, a pair of 60mm fan grills, and a bracket that supports standard ATX power supplies. The rear of the LC13B-E is well ventilated, and with a decent power supply much of the warm air could be extracted from within the case.

Both sides of the LC13B-E feature large grills to allow the case to breath in cooler air from outside. Meanwhile, the bottom of the case features four standard feet that can be found on many of the other HTPC cases that we have looked at. Overall we liked the look and feel of the Silverstone LC13B-E on the outside, now it is time to see what it looks like on the inside.