Guys, I appreciate the feedback. I guess using a fanless hd-plex enclosure with my i3-2125 made me yearn for yet another perfectly silent solution.
And, it probably makes sense to provide some context on this system. Basically, I'm looking to put together the ultimate MAME (and other emulator) machine. MAME does't need a lot of horesepower for a sig. % of games, but it certainly "values" cpu strength over gpu strength for the games that are tougher. Furthermore, with advances in crt-simulation shading (to get that old-school retro feel) like HLSL, there IS a need for some power.
Regarding the enclosure...I like how the drive(s) mount below the mb. The two usb ports on the front are perfect for gamepads and it overall has a nice footprint. Good point on the price being driven up by the inclusion of the ps. I'll see if the guys at MitxPC can sell it to me without one.
You know what I am now thinking...buy the HR-02 Macho, which includes a 140mm fan, that's reputed to be pretty quiet:http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/07/ ... er_review/
What do you guys think of that as an overall cooling solution? 140mm is pretty wide and covers a sig. portion of the mb so in addition to moving air across the CPU, the rest (or a good portion) of the mb will get some air movement too.