I figured while I was on the path of computer construction I’d go ahead and update my HTPC. The old P4 machine that I’ve used for years just wasn’t cutting it any more and it’s a pain to drag out my laptop when I want to watch a movie. After searching for some case options, I came across the nMEDIAPC Red Wood PC case. This classy looking red wood box, makes your PC look like an old record player and blends in well with most tv stands. The speaker grills provide filters for air intake, the volume knob works as the power button and there is an optional insert for the front LCD display if you want to see media tags. The brass (and plastic) front face is nice to look at and over all the outside finish is very nice.

The inside of the case is roomy enough to support a full ATX motherboard as well as 4 hard drives. The wood frame itself also seems to do a very good job of muffling fan noise and nMEDIAPC was kind enough to include rubber hard drive mounting brackets to reduce vibration.

One down side to this wooden design is that some of the mounting brackets are attached by simple wood screws. That’s good enough to hold the brackets in place, but the more times you mess around with them the looser they become. If the mounts get to loose you might have to apply wood glue. The other possible negative to the nMEDIAPC Red Wood PC case is that it’s very heavy. At about 22 pounds, it’s not something you’d want to carry around the house.

I went a little overboard on a few of the parts. An HTPC usually doesn’t require an 8 core processor (AMD 8120 black edition), but with the 24 hour rebate it was only $110 making it the same price as the i3 i was looking at and the 120GB OCZ Vertex Plus was on sale for $60. Add to that a very cheap Biostar 880GZ motherboard for $40, a few odds and ends, and that brought the final price to just under $290, if I actually get the mail in rebates back the price should be closer to $265.

For the remote control, I’ve decide to use an old HTC Incredible android phone running Unified Remote. This allows you to use the phone as a keyboard and mouse as well as offering remote control options for windows media player, youtube, and chrome. So far it’s worked great, and the nMEDIAPC Red Wood PC case really does bring a little extra class to my otherwise bland living room.  This case has room for 4 hard drives so if you’re thinking about trying a NAS build, this could be a good way to get your wife or girl friend to approve.

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