At the end of our adventure, we managed to cobble together a SFF gaming PC capable of playing most current titles smoothly at high resolutions with extra eye candy for about US$1200. Equally important, we managed to do it while keeping the system reasonably cool with the least amount of noise possible. Our rig measured a smooth 21 dBA@1m and we did it with components and aftermarket heatsinks with few modifications. You'd be hard pressed to build something smaller, quieter, and more capable.
Like any other build, this system is not right for everyone and depending on your wants, needs, and budget you may prefer something completely different. However we hope that our exploration of component selection and our resulting build's gaming, acoustic, thermal, and power consumption performance has been insightful and/or informative. That's really about as much as we can hope for. Though we felt we built a fairly balanced and well-thought out machine, we welcome your inevitable deluge of criticism and outrage. In any event, like most custom PCs, we had plenty of fun and frustration building this gaming box, and we promise to continue these guides as long as you continue to read them.
Our thanks to Intel, Gigabyte, Corsair, AMD, OCZ, Silverstone, and Scythe for making this guide possible.
Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.