I'll state upfront, I apologize if I'm bringing up a question that's been asked before. I did a quick search and don't see anything recently discussing my specific desires, so I'm hoping I don't get a "do a search' lol.
I'm attempting to help a friend build his first HTPC. If this works out, I'm pondering building one for myself as well. I'm pretty knowledgeable on computer components, but have never dabbled in the HTPC scene.
Probably gonna run XBMC, main intent is for playback of ripped content, some Amazon Prime content and occasionally displaying PC content on the TV itself. All data will be hosted off a NAS in the home(dual GigE Synology box connected to a Cisco managed switch, plenty of bandwidth).
Planning on probably running a microATX form factor board, likely with an i3(would love an i5 if there's room for cooling, but I think that's a stretch). One SSD, maybe 2 at the most, since the bulk of data would be on the NAS. Currently, no real desire for an optical drive on the unit, but if a bay is present, that's fine.
Relatively low profile. Definitely smaller than a receiver. No annoying lights on the front(or the ability to turn them off...a standby is fine and can tolerate a low visibility power light, but nothing glaring). Inherently cool design layout, to avoid loud fans. We don't mind spending some cash on high quality, near silent upgrades, but really want this not to be noticeable.
Also, would love to find a case/mobo option that had like a full height slight sideways, off a riser card on the mobo, to allow an eventual GPU upgrade down the road(when a higher end model is available with a low pro fan or even silent edition as tech advances). I thought this option would be a bit more common place by now?
My case requirements may be a bit steep, but it's a concern. The video service at my friends house and mine is an IPTV solution which has a fanless DVR. There's no devices generating any noise to compete with this box, other than my own personal PS3(which isn't that loud...2nd gen Slim).
If something out there exists that meets these requirements, I have no issue with spending the cash on it, I just haven't found it. I know the riser card/full size GPU slot is a bit of a shot in the dark, but the other options shouldn't be quite as difficult. Would love if I could fit a Seasonic SS-460FL silent power supply in it as well.