Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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sounds like your settings may have been off just a bit in XBMC. You need do to go through and check all the settings for your video and audio in XBMC; I find this true with Plex as well.
VLC tends to be a lot more lenient file discrepancies than the players for XBMC, Plex, Boxee, and so forth.
As for noise, I would get the largest fans I could, and the ones that are suppose to be silent. Less rotations, less noise. Otherwise, go everything heat sinks. Heck, just ditch the case and you should have plenty of air.