While I have assembled some PC’s in the past, I’ve never actually done the component selection. I’m fed up with continual price increases from Comcast, and since I live in an area with good over-the-air TV selection, it seems now is the time to ditch cable TV. So I'm in the process of designing a HTPC.
I only have wifi for an internet connection without a lot of expense, and I want to use the wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse from my existing Mac Mini. Looks like Intel has a Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 130 card that provides both wifi and Bluetooth in a single card. It fits in a PCIe Half-Mini card slot, which is available.
I can't figure out if an external antenna is needed, or is this card enough? It seems that sticking it into a metal case would block any signals.
I'm planning an Intel HD77EB motherboard with an i3-2120T processor. There are 4 PCIe slots and I'm using three: two ATSC tuner cards, a 1394b/a card. There is also a PCIe mini-card slot, so this seemed like a way to get both wifi and bluetooth in a single port.
I haven't found a case yet. This is the most frustrating part of this effort! I'm frustrated about how difficult finding a case has become. This shouldn't be hard! I'm looking for a horizontal micro-ATX case, 3 PCIe half-height openings (unless this wifi card creates more demand), 1-3.5" bay, 1-2.5"bay, an optical drive slot (slot load is ok), and an IR port. There just don't seem to be any good case selection tools.
See how close this one comes to meeting your requirements: Wesena HTPC-e7
More options on the same website.
Thanks for the lead! It looks like the Wesena HTPC-e6 is a great fit, as long as I can get all the PCIe connections as half-height cards. The tuners and the 1394 cards are, so this adds another requirement to the wifi / bluetooth search.
Another option is a card from Gigabyte. Just looking at the picture, I don't think that the card will fit in the half-height profile. It's pretty clear that my original selection won't work without an antenna connection.