Many people like the idea of having a completely transparent case and with the popularization of HTPCs – computers built to be connected to your home theater system for playing movies and songs – Sunbeamtech released an HTPC acrylic case. Since heat is one of the main concerns when building a PC inside an acrylic case (since acrylic can’t dissipate heat, contrary to what happens with steel or aluminum solutions) Sunbeam’s acrylic HTPC case features four 80 mm fans. Let’s take an in-depth look at this case and see if lives up to our expectations.
Sunbeamtech offers their Acrylic HTPC case in two versions: using a clear non-UV reagent acrylic (HTPC-T) or using a bluish UV-reagent acrylic (HTPC-HUVB), which was the model we reviewed.
Even though the final result is really beautiful, acrylic is a very complicated material. It can be easily scratched or cracked and, as we mentioned, it tends to make the computer internally hotter compared to steel and aluminum cases, as it doesn’t dissipate heat very well.
To avoid scratches and cracks during transportation, acrylic cases come disassembled. So you will have to assemble them yourself and because of that the whole process of building your PC will take a lot more time (at least one extra hour). If you don’t like building kits this case isn’t for you, but if you are a geek that loved to build model kits when you were a kid you will love this case.
In Figure 1, you can see the case package – which is far smaller than the package used by traditional cases – and on Figures 2 and 3 the parts that come inside the package, i.e., the disassembled case.
This case comes with two screwdrivers to help you in the assembly process. A pair of gloves was also added so you can build the case without leaving your fingertips all around it.
The assembly process is somewhat similar to the 9-bay acrylic case from the same manufacturer that we reviewed some months ago. In fact we found this case easier to assemble than this other acrylic case from Sunbeamtech and we had no trouble putting it together. Because of that we won’t go through all the necessary steps to build this case. On next page we will describe this case with it already assembled.
The only thing that happened with us was that the rear panel came cracked. But that is the risk you take when buying an acrylic case. If this happens to you, simply return the product to get another one that isn’t broken.