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Case, Power Supply, Fan Reviews
  Product:     Cooler Master CM Media 260 Case  
  Price:     $159 (CAN) / $135 (U.S) 
  Supplied By:     Cooler Master
  Author:     Skaal-Tel
  Date:     September 19th, 2005
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Lucy from Cooler Master for providing the CM Media 260 Case for review.

Cooler Master

Introduction:

Space the final frontier or is it? For many computer enthusiasts, there are more computers lying around our houses in various rooms than we can shake a stick at. However, these are usually relegated to FTP Server, Workstation, or gaming use as if that was all a computer was good for. A recent development in PC use is that of the HTPC or Home Theatre PC. Smart consumers have discovered that TV screens are really big and wouldn't it be really cool to play Battlefield on a 32" widescreen? At the same time, you can justify this cost to your parents/significant others/yourself by telling them that you can also use the PC as a TIVO, video recorder, DVD player, Internet radio and so much more. Windows, Linux, and so forth all have media-centric operating systems designed to make PC use on a TV easy. In order to really win over your potential critics, however, the computer must look good and this is where Cooler Master steps in with the introduction of the Cavalier and CM Media style HTPC cases. Today in the MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the CM Media 260, a new desktop style HTPC case released by Cooler Master.

Specifications:

Coming in silver or black with an optional VFD display, the CM Media 260 is low-profile and capable of housing perfectly ordinary mATX/ATX boards and power supply. Here are some specifications taken directly from the Cooler Master website:

Cooler Master CM Media 260 Case - Key Specifications:
Cooler Master CM Media 260 Case: Manufactured by Cooler Master
Dimensions: 430mm (W) x 88.9mm (H) x 440mm (D)
Material: Aluminum front panel and SECC steel body
Colour: Silver / Black front panel, black cooler body
Drive Bays: 4 (1 x 5.25" external, 1 x 3.5" external and 2 x 3.5" internal)
Vacuum Florescent Display (VFD): VFD/ Parallel Port Connector, 2 x 16 characters display window, IR receiver/Remote control unit (Media Center software/Option)
Cooling System: Side: 60mm system fans x 1, Dual 70mm fan
Expansion Slots: 2 x PCI Slots, 1 x AGP
I/O panel: 2 x USB2.0, 1 x IEEE 1394, 1 x MIC, 1 x SPK
Power Supply: Standard PS2

North Water Xtreme Xchangers
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North Water Xtreme Xchangers
Click image for larger view
 

The Cooler Master CM Media 260 arrived in a perfectly ordinary cardboard box, packaged in the usual foam with a protective bag over the case itself. Dimensions and specs are listed on the outside of the box.

North Water Xtreme Xchangers
Click image for larger view
North Water Xtreme Xchangers
Click image for larger view
 

The case arrived with an excellent printed manual and installation guide. Motherboard stand-offs are pre-installed in the case, and all relevant screws for any possible installation are present. My initial impressions of the case were pretty good. Shipping seemed to wreak the usual havoc, with a small scratch on the right side and the plastic on the power button missing. Nonetheless, I was pretty impressed with the good looks of the case. I like the machined aluminum face and the magnetic flip-down doors are higher quality than many I've seen before. The VFD acrylic is a deep blue, and slightly transparent. There is another clear piece beneath the CD drive door presumably for use with a remote control which was not included with this package.

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