A goal that many HTPC builders have is to build a solution that’s as quiet as possible -after all, we’re talking about a PC that usually sits not far from a TV, and during the quieter parts of a movie, you probably don’t want to hear fans whirring. Going the passive route can require a bit of effort, especially when most chassis are not configured for it. Things only get worse if you’re planning on building a box that has higher-end performance.
It’s for all of those reasons that CyberPowerPC’s just-announced Zeus HTPC caught my eye. It’s built using a Wesena FC5 mini-ITX chassis, which is reminiscent of a 1U server chassis, and just about as wide (17 inches). We’ve seen designs like it before, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Effectively, the entire chassis is one big heatsink, and while heat is bound to pile up inside given the lack of airflow, this design should help keep temperatures far from dangerous levels. For those interested in the backside, look no further.
CyberPowerPC claims that its Zeus can be used for gaming purposes as well, but due to the limited design, the fastest graphics card offered is AMD’s Radeon HD 7750 – suitable enough for 1080p gaming as long as you’re not hung up on running games at their highest detail levels.
Base pricing starts at $699, with the lower-tiered options using AMD’s A series APUs, and the $895+ models utilizing Intel’s Core i5 and i7. The beefiest build equips 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory, the Radeon HD 7750 GPU, an MSI Z87 motherboard and 2TB hard drive. It’s worth pointing out that neither of these builds include an SSD by default, which is because there’s only room for apparently one storage device. You can swap out the included HDD with an SDD, however, and rely entirely on the home network for your media needs.
Overall, a rather sharp-looking PC. Perhaps the biggest downside is that CyberPowerPC doesn’t offer a black version, despite Wesena offering its chassis in that color.