EDIT: 9/9/2011 - Installation of new CPU Cooler
Today I received my CoolerMaster Hyper 101 and I was able to continue my experiment. I think I can safely say that there is no one else on earth that has a HTPC quite like mine.
The first thing I did of course was remove the stock Intel 2100 CPU cooler and compare it to my new cooler. Here you can see the old and the new.
Here is a shot of the CPU all cleaned up and ready for its new cooler.
Here you can see the major problem that I ran into. The copper pegs of the CPU cooler were too tall. If I could remove these it would fit perfectly.
After uninstalling the CPU cooler from the motherboard and taking a hacksaw to it I was able to make a new custom cooler. Do not try this at home! Please also note that this likely destroys your heatpipe and possibly can damage your CPU. As I am not afraid to experiment I thought I would give this a try.
Now you can see how well this fits in the case. Not much wiggle room and the support bar from the case applies pressure to the fan ever so slightly but not enough to really stress the motherboard. I wish there was just a little bit of room between the cooler and the case cover.
A few more view of everything installed.
A now some Kill-a-Watt readings with the PICO PSU and my new CPU cooler in place.
At idle on Windows Desktop (27 watts!!!)
While playing 1080p Wall-E non-compressed Bluray MKV (33 watts)
While sleeping (2 watts)
Temps have been in the 40-45 C range. I started playing Wall-E and left it going while typing this and the temperature is now around 50 C. I think these will drop a few degrees once the Arctic Silver settles in.
Also as you probably noticed I am using a Noctua 80mm fan on the Hyper 101 CPU cooler. I am using the Low Noise adapter and running the fan at 1300RPM although I can't hear the damn thing at all and I am thinking about running it at the stock 1800RPM to decrease the temps a few degrees.
This thing is quiet. I think my experiment is almost done. And I still have room for TWO more hard drives!!!!!!!!