Originally Posted by conkydoc
Questions / needs for the HTPC:
1. Is a fanless build worth $300 - 400 extra for the special cases? What is the quietest build that can be achieved with a fan?
2. Is a SSD only HTPC a good idea or should I consider putting a HDD along with a SSD ( I have never used a SSD before, so do not know the reliability factor well)?
3. If 4K becomes mainstream, then ability to add a graphics later that can support it.
4. Low power consumption.
5. Do I need a remote or controlling via an app from a smartphone is good enough?
6. Intel vs AMD - which runs cooler and lower power consumption would influence my decision.
7. Pico PSU with power brick or regular PSU?
8. If needed, have ability to add a TV tuner card to the HTPC.
This is coming from someone with a mITX system.
1. Definitely not worth that much more money. A good quality heatsink and aftermarket fan will be whisper quiet and inaudible from a few feet away, let alone the couch. Look at Noiseblocker brand fans, they're outstanding.
2. SSD is great so long as you house your main storage drives at the server, and are not planning on writing Live TV data to the SSD over and over.
3. I'd look at a Micro-ATX size build then. I'm currently using a low-profile GPU in mITX, but the choices are really limiting and most of the cards use tiny fans that can get loud. You'll have an easier time with a GPU this way.
4. Intel Ivy Bridge or upcoming Haswell and AMD Trinity are both great on power consumption. No worries here.
5. Smart phone app that turns your phone into a touchpad and keyboard is nice to have. A remote is better once you're up and running with a full screen interface though like WMC, XBMC, etc. Get a Harmony remote and a cheap IR dongle receiver.
6. Again, this is about a wash. IMO, if you're going to run a dedicated GPU, then go with Intel setup. If you want graphics on die only, then go with AMD Trinity APU's.
7. Go with regular PSU in a mATX case. I'm wishing I would've just done that instead of building in an Origen AE M10 case. The case looks really cool but the temps inside there make me sad.
8. HD Homerun Prime and all you need to worry about attaching is a network cable.