I decided a while ago to replace the old PC I was using as HTPC for multiple reasons : even though it was silent, it took too much real estate for an HTPC (Antec Solo + old Kenwood stereo (1994)) and had trouble reading some HD sources (no decent graphics card and quite old CPU)... And of course, I had no HD audio...
I also wanted to externalise its two 2TB Raid HDDs to a NAS, for obvious reasons.
I ended up placing the following order :
* Antec ISK310-150 Mini-ITX Case
* Asus P8H67-I Mini-ITX Motherboard
* Intel i3 2125 (w/ Intel HD 3000) CPU (with stock heatskink and fan)
* Intel X25-M 80GB SSD (got it from my main rig in which I installed an OCZ Vertex 3 120GB)
* 2 GB DD3 RAM
* Synology DS-411
* Logitech X5500
The noise level was not satisfactory out-of-the-box, so my fist mod was to get rid of the ISK310's horrible PSU and replace it with a picoPSU 150XT and a 150W fanless power brick. As far as cable management and PSU noise are concerned, this was a VERY smart move. I LOVE this picoPSU !
150W is a bit of an overkill, though. Reading the beginning of Toy Story 3 (1080p) only drew 47W from the wall ! I haven't done any stress tests, but reading HD sources is the most I'll be asking from this rig anyway...
Still, the stock Antec TriCool fan is terrible, as I expected. I'm now waiting for the Noctua NR-F8 PWM to invade the market, and I'll install two of them (à la SPCR, in their test of the ISK300-65), with low noise adapter on. I expect to be able to undervolt the CPU fan and reach near silence very soon
I'm still lacking an optical drive; I have ordered a slim, slot-in Sony Optiarc BluRay reader.
I'll get back to you with pictures when the build is complete ! In the meantime, any comment is welcome !