Boomerang Rapido wrote:
Am I better off building a PC myself if quiet and small is what I'm going for? I figure if I want to keep the cost down I will have to compromise on the "small" part.
It's getting easier to build an affordable and silent mITX basic computer.
A custom NUC case will deliver but would be expensive compared to a mITX solution.
The Celeron 847s which have been used for passive boards/barebones for a while are kind of weak. But some smallish chain store in Germany now claims to have GA-C1037UN in stock. I haven't tried this board yet but the CPU should be adequate for your purpose. This board might not overheat in a reasonably open case like the Antec 110 (again, I'm only being cautious because this is a new part and I haven't got my grubby hands on it yet).
And hopefully even cheaper and efficient Bay Trail boards will become available soon. These will no doubt run fine without fans.
Of course single-fan mITX builds can be pretty quiet as well now that CPUs have become efficient. People have been building them for quite a while. Search for "Kozuti" and so forth.
The one non-obvious thing you need to pay attention to if you're new to this is the difference between DC-powered and regular boards. DC-powered boards give you a wider choice of small cases and (typically) a better efficiency.