I am looking to turn my old PC into an HTPC. I probably won't be doing Hi-Def, as it doesn't seem to really be worth the extra cost in my area (Las Vegas, NV). Basically, I want to quiet it down a bit (it's already pretty quiet, I just want to replace the case fans) and was wondering if anyone had any experience with the Noctua 120mm fans...they seem to have the best reviews, but I was wondering if anybody had any actual experience using them in a real-life setting.
Also, does anybody have any good advice on a decent TV tuner for this...preferably dual tuner (able to watch one thing and record another), both able to run off a regular cable connection. I'm probably going to run MythDora (thanks for the article last week, ExtremeTech :-).
The system specs are:
Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro2
512 MB PC3200 DDR (I had a gig when it was my gaming rig, but switched that out for my brother's 512 when I got my new rig)
2X120GB 7200 RPM ATA/100 HDD (1 Maxtor, 1 Seagate)
GeForceFX 5200 128MB AGP (again, swapped out in exchange for my 5600 Ultra when I decided to repurpose it, as the new one is passively cooled)
Soundblaster Audigy ES
OCZ ModStream 450W PSU
Antec Super Lanboy Case
I've heard great things about Noctua fans (although I have no actually experience with them). I do have experience with Scythe fans though, and I swear by them. Get a couple 800rpm, 1000rpm or 1200rpm fans, and you should be good.
Maybe consider getting a new HDD too, as one larger drive will be much quieter than two smaller ones (if the silence is that valuable to you), and dissipate much less heat. The WD AA-series (AAJB and AAKB - ATA; AAJS and AAKS - SATA) have had great reviews as far as power consumption and noise output goes. You can get an ATA 320GB for $75 right now on Newegg (and if you're recording TV, you'll need it).
I have MCE2004 and I record a ton of stuff on my computer. This causes me to have to delete older stuff as I don't have tons of HDD space (2-4GB/hour recording, depending on quality)