HTPC Build

Hey all,

I'm sure this HTPC build has been asked a thousand times over, so please bear with me.

I'm looking to build an HTPC system that will be able to play 1080p and ALSO house a 5.25 Blu-Ray drive. I would also like for this system to consume as little energy as possible, as (expected) I plan to keep it on 24/7. Here are my priorities for the box.


1. As low as possible (idle) power consumption
I've seen that many people seem to be using ZOTAC mini-itx boards with an ION chipset. Is this the way to go? I read a few posts on here and saw some people saying to wait for the ION2.

2. 1080p playback

3. 5.25" Blu-Ray drive (preferably with the option to read DVDs as well)
I'd really prefer the full drive over a slimline optical drive. I just haven't had much luck with slimline opticals. They always seem to fail on me. Also, price may be a factor here. I don't need the option to write DVDs, but reading them would definitely be great.

4. A case that is longer than it is deep.
Something akin to a DVD player where the drive is clearly on one side and the motherboard is on the other. I've found a couple that almost fit the bill, but I feel like there should be more of these.

5. Quiet
Noise isn't that much of a concern for me, but it would be nice to keep it quiet. I see a lot of people recommending and talking about Pico PSU's, but I don't really understand what the difference is between them and a standard ATX PSU (aside from size, I guess?). Also, I see a lot of these motherboards come with the 60W DC power bricks. I don't think 60W is going to be enough to handle this system; is that the case?


I don't have any 1080p capable devices in the house right now, but, I figure if I'm going to do it, I might as well do it right the first time. I've "cheaped out" a few times before and it always comes back to bite me (unless anyone can convince me that building this on the cheap might be a better idea for the time being)

TL;DR I want to build a low-power HTPC that is capable of 1080p playback with a 5.25 Blu-Ray drive that does not make a lot of noise. I would prefer if it was housed in a case that is wider than it is deep (similar to a DVD player). I would like to buy this sooner rather than later, unless it is smart to hold out for some new advancement.
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