Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case Page: 1
Introduction
 
Many of you will be familiar with the name Sunbeamtech. Case hardware and modification items ranging from CCFL's; power supply's; fans and rheobuses are just some of the items that this Chinese company produce. In fact it would probably be easier to count the items that they don't manufacture. Let's have a look and see what Sunbeamtech have to say:
 
Sunbeam Company, a true art innovator in the field of PC modification and accessories at all aspect, targets on providing the top quality and state of art computer products to high tech PC users. We dedicate outstanding high quality control as our number one priority and deliver the products with the highest level of excellent Performance, as well as the coolest Innovation and an Appearance that draws your attention.

Launched as a promising new company in the field in 2000, Sunbeam Company specialized in developing cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL), and furthermore extended to manufacture various modding equipments. Throughout the years, we now expand our product coverage to provide pioneering and fancy computer application at all aspects, while focusing on, but not limiting to, cooling systems and computer cases. Our mission is to satisfy PC players all over the world who are tired of boring traditional computer impressions and longing for experiencing the excitements of revolutionary hardware designs.Sunbeam Company has manufacturing factories located in Dongguan City, China.

In order to provide exceptional product quality combined with superior customer support, we keep updating and advancing ourselves to meet the diverse changes and increasing market demands. We strive to continue designing and developing ground-breaking, exciting, and appealing products as well as being the one stop resource and solution for all computer enthusiasts seeking to turn their ingenious visions into the coolest and fanciest reality.
 
Recently we had the opportunity of reviewing the Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube Case, which performed quite well in its review. Today, we have Sunbeamtech's latest offering  - the Sunbeam Acrylic HTPC Case.
 
Sunbeamtech HTPC
 
So without further ado let's have a look at the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case' specifications.
 
Specifications
 
The Acrylic HTPC Case' specifcations were taken direclty from Sunbeamtech's Product Page.
 
Color: Transparent(HTPC-T), UV-Blue(HTPC-HUVB)
Drive Bay: 5.25" Drives Bay x 2, 3.5" Drives Bay x 1( Internal )
Front I/O Port: USB 2.0 x 2 + Speaker + Microphone
Weight G .W: 5.6 kg
N .W: 4.8 kg
Dimension: 47.5(L) x 44(W) x 19.5(H) CM
M/B Type: Standard ATX
 
The Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case certainly provides ample HDD storage and plenty of room real-estate in which to build your chosen HTPC.


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Packaging
 
The Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case comes packaged in the now familiar black cardboard box. The front of the packaging has an image of the HTPC case itself, and that the box comes with 4 included fans.
 
HTPC box_front HTPC box_rear
 
On the rear and sides of the packaging Sunbeamtech has included the Acrylic HTPC case's specifications and features. Opening up the box you are greeted by another inner box secured with nylon strapping.
 
Inner box Box of goodies
 
All the goodies contained within the box are all individually wrapped in thin styrofoam-like material, and the extremities of the box are well protected by walls of foam. Nothing's getting damaged in there!!!
 
Along with the assortment of individual case panels Sunbeamtech has supplied all the accessories that you'll need to get the Acrylic HTPC Case up and running in no time.
 
Screws, screws and more screws.
 
Included in the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case' packaging is:
* Chassis (in pieces)
* Motherboard backplane
* Case Feet
* Corner reinforcers
* Power/Reset switch
* All screws necessary for the construction
* 2 x screwdrivers (long and short shaft)
* 1 x Case speaker
* 1 x Pair of cotton gloves
 
A Closer Look

The On/Off button assembly features 2 x USB 2.0 ports and speaker/mic ports. The buttons feel really nice and easy to push, and have a quality feel about them. You will also notice the assembly has 2 x LED's present; one for power and one for HDD activity.
 
On/Off Assembly

The supplied 80mm fans are a little bit of a mystery as I couldn't find the exact fan on the Sunbeamtech website. I do believe though that they are an SLF Silent LED variety with a noise output of 21dbA and a rotational speed of 1200RPM. I have included their specifications below:

Size: 80* 80 *25mm / 120* 120 *25mm

Rated Voltage: 12V DC

Bearing Type: Sleeve

Rotation Speed: 1800 RPM±10% / 1200 RPM±10%

Air flow: 21.45 CFM / 45.21 CFM

Air Pressure: 1.98 mmH2O / 1.21 mmH2O

Noise Level: 21.45 dB(A) / 21.75 dB(A)

Input Current: 0.15 A±10% / 0.16 A±10%

Power Consumption: 1.8 W±10% / 1.92 W±10%

Speed Sensor: Yes

Cable Length: 600mm

Life Expectance: 30000 hours
 
80mm fan
 
As with the Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube Case that I reviewed previously, the HTPC case is simply screwed together using thumb screws and the screw holes present in the panels. However, the Sunbeamtech HTPC Case is considerably more rigid thanks to some additional reinforcement.
 
Corner reinforcement Side reinforcement
 
The motherboard stand-off's have even received an upgrade in the Sunbeamtech HTPC Case. The beatuy of the newer ones is that they are screwed from underneath the chassis using an actual screw, instead of being threaded into the Acrylic where they have the potential to strip the thread.
 
Motherboard Stand-off's
 
The increased height of the motherboard stand-off's over the older type should make cable routing under the motherboard itself a little easier too.


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A Closer Look (continued)
 
The Sunbeamtech HTPC Case features an adjustable internal fan that can be used to provide increased airflow over your hardware. A passively cooled graphics card or chipset cooler would certainly benefit from the additional airflow provided. The addition of an accompanying fan grill to prevent injury from fan attack is also welcome.
 
Internal adjustable fan Internal adjustable fan_2
 
The HTPC Case features 2 x 4-bay 3.5" HDD cages. These are easy to remove from the chassis once constructed, as they are mounted onto the chassis floor courtesy of 4 screws. Nice touch Sunbeamtech!
 
 
HDD cage
 
The interior of the Sunbeamtech HTPC Case is a little compartmentalised, which is either a blessing or a curse. On the one hand it does help keep everything in its place, and each wall or compartment is well ventilated. But if you are going to be digging around with a lot of upgrades or oversized power-supplies you might feel a little cramped. Your mileage may vary.
 
Rear of HTPC chassis Front of HTPC chassis
Top view of HTPC chassis Alternate top view
 
You will notice that the 3 case fans are all provided with fan grills. Whilst this does prevent injury to the curious, the lack of filtering does mean that dust will be able to readily make in-roads into your chassis.
 
5.25" Bays
 
The 5.25" bay allows for 2 devices to be installed. The mandatory DVD burner and perhaps a nice LCD panel would compliment the front fascia quite nicely. Just above the 5.25" bay area you can see the provision for including a floppy drive if you so wish.


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Installation
 
The installation of my chosen hardware into the Sunbeamtech HTPC Case was an absolute breeze. The extra room that the HTPC Case affords makes wire routing and connecting hardware so much easier. It was nice being able to install the power supply and motherboard without having to become a contortionist around the HDD cages.
 
Front fascia Alternative top/front view
 
One thing to remember when using an Acrylic case is that there is absolutely nowhere to hide cabling than under the motherboard itself. So plan your install carefully.
 
I'm happy to report that the increased height of the motherboard stand-off's made cable routing under the motherboard a very simple process, and helped alleviate extraneous cabling from reducing airflow inside the case.
 
Top view Alternate top view
 
 With all the hardware that I managed to pack into the Sunbeamtech HTPC Case it feels very solid structurally; thanks no-doubt to the increased reinforcement that Sunbeamtech has incorporated into the chassis. Not that you probably would...but I have no concerns whatsoever about it being transported regularly and not maintaining its structural integrity.
 
I also took the liberty of checking to see if the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case would be able to handle the increased length of last/current generation of graphics card, and I am happy to report that it happily accommodated my ASUS NV8800GTS 640MB graphics card with room to spare.
 
Night shot -front Night shot-top view
 
With hardware installed and the and the power connected, we're ready to rock! For the lovers of all things 'Bling' this case will be right up your alley. However, I must say that the LED's on the included fans are extremely bright and can become a distraction. But it wouldn't take too much effort to purchase yourself some of your favourite 80mm variety and replace them if you too find them a distraction.


Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case Page: 5
Test Setup
 
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:
 
Case(s)
• Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case
 
Motherboard(s)
• XFX MG-630I-7159 (630i)

Processor
• Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 "B2" 2.4GHz 2x2MB

Memory Modules
• OCZ FlexXLC PC2-6400 CL3 DDR2-800 (4-4-4-12)

Graphics Card
• GeForce 7150 IGPU

Hard Disk
• Western Digital 80GB SATA2 7200 RPM 8mb (RAID0)
• Seagate Barracuda 80GB SATA2 7200RPM 8mb (RAID0)
• 2 x Seagate 80 GB PATA 7200 RPM 2mb (Storage)

Operating System
• Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (Latest Updates)
 
 
Cooling Performance
I will be measuring temperature at idle and load of different thermal zones around the Sunbeamtech HTPC Case. Temperature measurements will be taken from the following areas within the chassis:
 
* Hard Disk Drive
* Power Supply
* Graphics Card
* CPU and chipset
 
All temperature recording will be done courtesy of a digital thermometer. Ambient temperature at the time of testing was 26.5 Deg Celcius.


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Test Results
 
Cooling Performance
The Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case performed very well in our cooling performance testing. The case breathes very well, and provides very good cooling to all major areas, which is impressive considering that 3 x 80mm fans handle the intake and exhaust duties.
 
Thermal Zone Idle Temperatures
 
Thermal Zone Load Temperatures
 
Noise
The 80mm fans that the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case come with are certainly competent coolers, and provide excellent airflow which we can see from the above graphs. However, they aren't as quiet as you would expect. The supplied 80mm fans produce a very low frequency hum that is quite audible, and which could become an issue for those who prefer silence, or as near to it as possible. Once again, if you find the fans too noisy for your particular taste you could always swap them over.


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Conclusion
 
So how well did the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case perform in todays review?
 
The Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case has surpassed any of the former models of Acrylic based chassis' manufactured by Sunbeamtech in my opinion. The HTPC Case just feels more structurally sound than any I have owned before. Furthermore, the extra room that it provides when installing your chosen hardware is a bonus. It is also reassuring that the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case can accommodate larger VGA cards like the GeForce 88** Series.
 
Admittedly, the included 80mm fans aren't as quiet as they perhaps should be for HTPC duties, and the bright light that they emit also tends to be a distraction. All things considered though, it is a fairly simple process to purchase your own favourite 80mm brand and replace them.
 
Pricing for the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case is equally attractive; Sunbeamtech suggest that the unit will be available at US$79.00 MRRP.
 
In conclusion, there isn't a hell of a lot to dislike about the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case. A couple of things to take notice of though are: the likelyhood of increased cleaning due to non-filtered fans; the chassis itself attracts greasy fingerprints like the 'dickens', and the bright and slightly noisy fan issue I highlighted earlier. Cosmetic issues aside, I think the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC Case is a great product that provides solid performance at an excellent price. Stellar effort Sunbeamtech!
 
The Good
• Unique;
• Exceptional value for money;
• Excellent Cooling performance;
• Structurally sound, and
• Enough depth for longer VGA cards
 
The Mediocre
• Increased likelyhood of dust;
• The design and/or lighting sceme may not appeal to all
 
The Bad
• Zip, zilch, nix and nada
 
 OC3D Value For Money Award
 
Overclock3D would like to thank Sunbeamtech for providing us with the review sample
 
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