I'm trying to figure out how to build a cheap, silent, general purpose system. By cheap, I want to keep it to under $400 without software. By general purpose, I mean web browsing, video playing, occasional transcoding and music playing. Main media storage will be on a NAS.
It seems to me that when building a silent system, the costs ratchet up quickly because all the components need to generate a bit of profit for their manufacturers. I've been waiting for an integrated or barebone system that might allow some economies of scale.
I just noticed the new Shuttle XH61 barebone. It comes with its own power converter, external adapter, CPU cooler, fans and motherboard in a solid case for under $200.
For a budget build, I was thinking of the following system:
Shuttle XH61 - $180
4GB value RAM - $22
Intel G530 CPU - $60 (a capable CPU, on par with a Core2 Duo E8500 prom a couple of years back)
Crucial M4 64GB SSD - $95
Total = $357 without optical or OS
Again, the XH61 appears to come with its own CPU heatsink and fan, and its own case fan. I read one comment somewhere (http://secure1.ncix.com/products/produc ... ?id=159621
) where someone said they found them to be inaudible! Does anyone know if Shuttle has stepped up here - using cooling/fans that SPCR would approve of? If so, might this be the answer to my elusive search for a cheap
, silent, competent rig?