I'm trying to decide which components to pick for my HTPC (the main use case is Blu-ray / DVD / rips playback, and some light gaming)
First the case… My main decision factors are:
- Want to be able to fit a blu-ray drive
- Must fit in 470mm (L) x 185mm (H); my TV unit is 390mm deep, but it's ok if it oversteps a bit
- Must be amenable to quiet operation
- Nice to have: front-facing card reader, good headroom for CPU heatsink
- Don't care: visual display
I narrowed it down to Silverstone GD05B vs Lian-Li PC-C60B.
Contenders were the Silverstone GD04B (but I'm concerned about the optical drive slot - I want to be able to fit any blu ray drive), the Silverstone GD01B (which is a bit older, and has worse fans) and the Lian-Li PC-C50B (but it looks like cooling performance is not as good).
Both have good reviews and seem to be regularly used by people to build HTPC. I'm leaning towards the Silverstone, if only because it's a lot less expensive; the only annoyances seem to be:
- no integrated card reader
- CPU heatsink MUST be < 70mm to fit with the optical drive
What do you guys think? Any particular feedback regarding either case? Any other case I should strongly consider?
Then the CPU cooler: Since I want an optical drive, the CPU cooler for my AMD A10-5700 needs to be <= 70mm. I want a CPU cooler that will run quietly during video playback (if it's a little louder during game playing, that's ok).
So I'm thinking of getting the Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile CPU Cooler; that seems to be about the best one that can fit under 70mm (the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 would be an alternative).
If I went with the Lian-Li PC-C50B instead, it looks like I'd have pretty much the full height of the case as headroom for my cooler (no conflict with the optical drive). In that case, I think the Noctua NH-C12P SE14 would be my best choice (followed by the Scythe Kabuto 2).
What do you think? Also, in your experience, is it worth replacing the fan on the CPU coolers with an even more silent option, such as the Noiseblocker M12-S1 12cm S-Series NB-Multiframe Fan?
Finally, the PSU: After running some calculations, I'm never ever going to need more than 300W (and should be needing considerably less the vast majority of the time). My main concerns are efficiency and quiet (although I do not necessarily want a fanless PSU)
The following seem to fit:
- some of the Corsair PSUs (Corsair CP-9020058-UK CXM Builder series 430W PSU, …)
- Silverstone Strider SST-ST40F-ES 400W PSU
- Enermax ENP350AGT NAXN 350W PSU
- Seasonic SS300-ET
- beQuiet line (be quiet! BN180 Pure Power L8 430W, Be Quiet Pure Power L7 300W)
Initially, I was thinking of going with a Corsair PSU, but the beQuiet line seems to have an impressive efficiency (>= 80%) over the 10% - 90% load and a very good noise profile. Does anyone have some feedback on this?
Also, I'm thinking of going semi-modular (I can't find good low-wattage fully modular PSUs) - I think it will help with power management, especially in a tight case. Thoughts?