Welcome to SPCR!
Those are pretty broad questions. Just about anything you read at SPCR will help you get to your goal, but some things will get you there a little faster. I recommend the following:
1) Read the Sticky: FAQ for Newbies: Please read this first!!
in the Newcomers Forum. Do not spend a lot of time here in the forums -- you'll get lost in the trees; you need to see the forest first -- go to the main site...
or at least scan
all the articles in the Recommended Section
, not so much the tables of component listings but the text
that precedes it. These articles contain info on principles, issues and techniques fundamental to silent computing. Without an understanding of these basics, you'll always be working piecemeal. In the smallest nutshell, to achieve quiet computing, you need intelligent thermal management with minimal airflow in a low-resonance, low-vibration case
. The less heat you have to deal with the easier & cheaper it will be. It's less about sound-proofing and more about not letting the noise begin.
3) The SFF reviews in the Complete/SFF Systems section
will give you more specifics on what to look for in a small case.
4) The basics of this DIY SFF project still have relevance today: PC in a Breadbox
5) Finally, be really clear about what you need -- how many PCI ports, how powerful a VGA card, etc. If you are seeking something fairly ambitious, then an AV component style horizontal case that can take a full ATX board (rather than a SFF barebones) may be best -- something like the Silverstone ST01
reviewed here in the cases section.
6) Come back to this thread to post new questions, thoughts & issues as they come up. We're very helpful.