Steiger Dynamics LEET Core Water Cooled Gaming HTPC

9.9 Overall Score
Build Quality: 10/10
Cost Analysis: 10/10
Quiet Operation: 10/10

Best build quality available, Superior quiet operation, Lives up to 1337 name

Price puts it out of reach for some

It is unfortunate, to some extent, that you can only see pictures of the LEET machine. They do it some justice, but a true appreciation is lost in translation. We will do our best to explain what you are seeing. Just keep in mind that our words can only do so much to convey the beauty and attention to detail found inside this personal computer. Since we have the top off, we might as well start there. But, before we do, let us talk dimensions.

You may recall that we mentioned this case has support for E-ATX motherboards. That alone should hint at the dimensions of this chassis. When building the world’s first commercially available water cooled gaming HTPC, you need a case that is large enough to house powerful components yet small enough to fit nicely in your entertainment center. The LEET stands at 8.7″ high, 17.1″ across and 15.4″ deep. That is not enormous, but it is not small, either. Some may argue against its size pointing out that a tiny, yet powerful, system can be built that does not use up so much space or energy and is a fraction of the cost. But that is not the point of Steiger Dynamic’s LEET systems. These are the Ferrari’s of the HTPC market. One machine to rule them all. Besides, you can not beat the silence of a custom water cooled setup like this. We will go into this a bit more later on in the review.

Finally, we go under the hood, so to speak, and see what makes this unit tick.

First, check out the walls of the case. At 5mm thick, there is nothing on the market that matches it in this form factor. The chassis is all aluminum and one solid piece from the left to right side. All that metal makes for one heavy case without the hardware installed.

Moving from the walls to the inside, you can see how clean the interior is. The Seasonic power supply is fully modular allowing Steiger Dynamics to use only the power connectors required. The custom sleeving does add to the cost of the build. It also adds to the sleek, tidy interior.

Working in cramped conditions takes time and patience. With a full ATX motherboard, standard size PSU, full 5.25″ optical drive, four 3.5″ hard drives, two SSDs and a GTX 690 what space is available gets eaten up rather quickly. We have not even mentioned the custom cooling inside the LEET. If you have ever attempted to build your own system, you can imagine how much time it takes to assemble something like the world’s first liquid cooled gaming HTPC.

In our review PC, the custom liquid cooling comes courtesy of Swiftech. The CPU/pump combo unit is their Apogee Drive II which gives Steiger Dynamics more room for other components by moving the water pump directly on top of the CPU water block. The compression fittings are also from Swiftech as well as the two radiators. To save more room, the 2x120mm radiator that sits on the left side of the case has a reservoir. Steiger Dynamics worked closely with Swiftech in development and testing of the specially designed radiators found in the LEET Core and Reference systems. By using these space saving components, the LEET is able to pack up to 2 GTX 690’s in addition to all the other gear mentioned earlier.

With the LEET powered, we are not over stimulated by LED lights. That is something important for an HTPC. Bright lights in a dark room can be distracting when watching a movie. Our unit did come with an optional LED light strip that turns on via a switch located near the front left foot of the case. We will talk more about bright lights in a little bit. Next up we are going to go in depth about component selection and what the different tiers within the LEET lineup get you.

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3 Comments on "Steiger Dynamics LEET Core Water Cooled Gaming HTPC"

  1. Peter January 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Very very nice system!

  2. Lee January 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    These are sweeeeeet! Getting a Leet next month!

  3. Ilian April 1, 2013 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I bought the Reference system and stated in the review, this is a great product…probably presently best on the market. What they did not mention is the quality of the service. These guys will meet all your requirements to keep you on board. Don’t doubt it..if you have the money go for it!

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