Suffice to say that with minimal components I have been able to build a HTPC that looks and works fantastic. We have no problems whatsoever with our playback and even HD and DVD content plays extremely well thanks to our selected graphics card and the help of PureVideo from NVIDIA. So for a very small amount of money we have been able to manage something very impressive here. Of course if I did not have these spare parts some more memory and a faster CPU would have been the way to go here. But still, I'm surprised how well this little setup can manage movie and music playback.
The looks however is what we need to talk about in this conclusion as in reality this article was a review on the ThermalTake Mozart with Media LAB.
Taste differs per person and you might find this to be a really ugly casing. I personally am absolutely in love with it. The casing is sexy looking, blends in perfectly with other Hi-Fi components without being shouty, noisy or weird looking. No, I think the Mozart casing is stunning in many ways. Its sturdy design makes it a very low noise non resonating solution. When we enabled the fans we measured levels below 40 DBa which is really impressive while maintaining a good airflow inside the casing. There still is plenty of ventilation inside the casing cooling down your components by creating such airflow. It's not all perfect though, the casing is not at all tool-less and does not have a retractable mainboard tray but hey .. it's forgiven for sure as these are the only two negative things I can think of.
You have plenty of space to work in and everything is easy accessible. There is also lot of scope for expandability with three 5.25" bays and five 3.25" internal bays. It comes with three silent fans and a stunning design.
When you decide to buy the casing then be sure to go for the "4001" model as it comes with the VFD front display, remote control and some sort of Media Center software called IMEDIAN. In my opinion this was user unfriendly and not professional looking though. So you'll probably end up with Media Center Software or something in that liking. If you do like it though, you will save 115 USD on buying Windows MCE software. The software however is flexible and can be setup in many ways as it offers a lot of features.
This again might be very personal. With the VC4001SNS model also comes the handy remote control. It's a really good infrared RC, but you have to be able to point it straight at the Mozart as if the RC is a little blocked the Media unit will not respond properly. The remote itself is really good though .. don't get me wrong there. I love the fact that you can switch it in both a mouse and keyboard function. One negative point though .. the remote might be too complex. Media Center and HTPCs are design for ease of use and flexibility. If you want to change a song or anything you'll constantly seek for the proper button as in my humble opinion there are way too many options and functions on that remote. Yet again .. that might be a personal preference also.
It works really well though. The included software for the remote is flexible, easy to use and hey .. not one little crash we have experienced. It's absolutely swell.
The VFD PLED screen .. man .. you just have to love it, it really makes the design complete and complements this casing. When your computer boots up it'll display a friendly message, in Windows it'll display OS & hardware functionality, news headlines, weather in selected countries, and the minute you startup the MCE software it'll recognize it and guide you through the menus. Good information is displayed about the song or movie and once the music/sound volume hit's a certain thresholds (which you can set) it'll enable a graphical equalized function. All that straight out of the box after you installed the drivers. The software is very straight forward and at default setup already extremely well. A big two thumbs up here.
Yeah you got the point already .. the bottom line here is that this is a very impressive casing. It'll function as an HTPC or can even work as a desktop PC. The price is also extremely competitive. My compliments to Thermaltake for a job well done and with these last words I'd like to grant the Mozart Series Media with Media LAB casing our highest ranking award, a Guru3D Certified product.
So .. is the Mozart a classical masterpiece then ? Music Maestro .. please ?
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ThermalTake Mozart With Media Lab Today we are entering the mysterious world of the HTPC .. the Home Theater PC. A PC that has been built for the sole purpose of playing back music, movies and or media files, basically a multimedia center. And that is not an easy mission, as everybody has different goals, budgets and tasks for such a PC. Essentially this is a review about the Thermaltake Mozart. Look at the choices and building part of the HTPC as an additional bonus in this review.
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