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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


I am looking to build another mythbox (combined front end and backend).


Notes:
  • Need space for 3 PCI tuners
  • Needs to be socket 939 (already have a CPU)
  • needs to be inexpensive (less than $180 would be great for both)
  • Open to Barebones
  • I don't much care about how durable the case is, or even how it looks. Just somewhat small would be nice, and able to fit full size cards.
  • Most Importantly, it must be QUIET!!! I have an ASUS Pundit-AH1 for a mythbox already it is quiet enough (except at extreme load and on boot). Anything that quiet would be great.



I've looked at the Antec Sonata II ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129155 ), which seems okay but it may be a little big. Any thoughts on this case?


I'm also considering the Antec Minuet III 300W ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129013 ) case, but it has mixed reviews on how quiet it is. If it is as quiet as my pundit that would be okay, although I'm not sure if the Hauppage and Kworld cards I already have will fit, since it wants low profile cards, so I probably can't use that one.


The Nmedia 300BA ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811204007 ) looks great and cheap, but I'm once again worried about noise.

Any other ideas would be good.


At this point, for security, I'm leaning towards just getting another Asus Pundit-AH1 barebones, but it only has two slots. My parents have an old (pentium II or III) they are retiring, so I could just take that and probably use it as a dedicated backend someplace far away from the room I'm putting it in (due to noise) and then the pundit wouldn't need two slots. But it would be nice to only have to build one computer too...


Any ideas on an HTPC case/Barebones are greatly appreciated.
 

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I think you will have a problem with quiet + 3PCI slots.


In my experience you can do a lot of things to quiet down the rest of the system, such as fanless video cards, and quiet CPU coolers, but the motherboard fan is often then the loudest component (by far).


And I'm not seeing much in the way of 3+ PCI slots + passively cooled + Socket 939 these days.


I'd focus on your motherboard selection first. If you can find a decently quiet motherboard, your case doesn't even really matter in terms of silence, just size and appearance. I don't need 3 PCI slots, so I am going with ABIT KN8-SLI (passive) and NZXT Duet (mostly for looks and good ventilation since I expect my fan usage to be very minimal)
 

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I can recommend the nMediaPC cases. I have two of the new 288BA's, which accept any ATX power supply. they are quite quiet using either a power supply with a 120mm fan or something like the Antec SmartPower series when running with Q-fan enabled (under 60db total case noise). I also like the Arctic Cooling CPU fans for low-noise. look around on the net for reviews of nMediaPC cases, they are tested as being pretty quiet and I can attest to that.


I also have an Asus Pundit P1-AH1. which is really quiet since it has no fans other than those for the PS and the CPU, but you're stuck with built in 6150 graphics then. which if you have a beefy enough CPU isn't a problem for HD with the right decoder. I'm running one as a SageTV client with a 4000+ CPU and it works fine. I think you can only stick one tuner in it though from other posts I've read. it has two PCI slots but it's really tight, even for one card. that's why I ended up going the nMediaPC route.


Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just thought I'd follow up. I ended up going with the Antec SLK1650. Which works pretty well. The supplied PSU is probably the loudest thing, and it is underpowered (350W), so I will be replacing it with a 500W PSU. But overall it works nicely, and isn't too loud now - with a quieter psu I expect it to be even quieter. My Pundit is quieter most of the time, but at heavy loads the CPU fan is louder - thinking of replacing that fan, but size in there is so limited that I probably don't have much choice of fan.


For those that care, my Asus Pundit P1-AH1 is able to fit two tuners without a much of a problem. Bigger ones (like hauppage) might be a problem, but the Kworld and Avermedia I use fit fine.
 

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I have an old nMedia case and other than the useless front panel display, it's been quite acceptable. It does accept fullsize cards and I imagine the newer ones are better, and the PS is really quiet. Construction quality and thought put into the design are definitely not the best but I gots no reason to swap it out due to anything glaring.


-Trouble
 
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