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£300-350 Quiet HTPC Build

Last response: in Systems
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June 9, 2012 9:56:26 PM

Hey guys,

I've been toying with the idea of building a HTPC, I had a build in mind but apparently the case I chose has some major airflow issues so I'm back at square one.


Approximate Purchase Date: In a couple of months, so waiting for Ivy Bridge i3's may be an option.

Budget Range: Preferably £300-350 but can spend a bit more if well justified

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Web browsing, movies and music. Possibly some very light gaming.

Parts Not Required: OS, Storage drives (I'll use externals), Monitor, Speakers, Mouse/Keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any UK site (Aria/Ebuyer/Scan/QuietPC/Dabs/Overclockers)

Country: UK

Parts Preferences: I tend to avoid OCZ SSD's and any motherboard with particularly good sound quality would be a massive bonus.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'd like something small, preferably around the size of an Xbox or something but I can go a bit bigger. Most importantly it has to be as quiet as possible. An aluminium case would be really great as well.

Any recommendations?
June 9, 2012 10:04:22 PM

Here comes recon-uk to the rescue, so, got your fake figures ready about how this box runs 20,000x10,000 resolution at 500fps? I bet that thing doesn't even exist, you just posted it up now.

Anyway, if you look at that thing's specs, it's obviously something not to get.
June 9, 2012 10:39:15 PM

Please don't hijack the thread and start arguing, lets keep it civil.

That looks nice but I really want to build something. Also it looks a bit weak on the CPU and HDD side. A stronger CPU and a small SSD would be better for me.

EDIT: Some people are probably going to say the E-450 is fine but that's what I have in my laptop and it can feel a bit sluggish even for web browsing if you have more than 3-4 tabs open.
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June 9, 2012 11:03:50 PM

Thanks again but that looks like it is going to be a lot bigger than I hoped, also a lot louder. I'm looking for something stylish to put underneath the TV, that case would look nice at a desk but not in a living room in my opinion.

I really love the look of this but apparently it has some cooling issues so it would be a bit noisy even if I got a decent cooler like the Scythe Kozuti or something.

http://www.streacom.com/products/f1c-chassis/

It's mainly the case I can't decide on. That Streacom one looks like it might end up a bit hot/noisy. The Lian Li PC-Q09 looks good (and cheap) as well but I'm worried the PSU might be a bit loud and for some reason it doesn't have any expansion slots.

I have a fairly good idea of the spec I want:

A6-3500 (Or possibly Pentium G630T if it can handle HD smoothly)
Corsair XMS3 2x2GB 1600Mhz
Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3 A75 (Unless anyone knows of a mini ITX FM1 board with particularly good onboard sound)
60GB Intel 330 SSD (Or similar small, reliable SSD)

That comes to ~£210 so I'd have around £100 left for the case and PSU and £40 to buy a quiet CPU cooler and/or fans. I just can't seem to find a good case.
June 9, 2012 11:50:58 PM

Again, that looks pretty cool but I want something for the TV cabinet, I don't think that will fit. Maybe a similar size/shape to an Xbox or an old VHS or something.
June 10, 2012 9:21:34 AM

Any more case suggestions?
June 10, 2012 10:46:35 AM

After a pretty thorough search for cases I think I might just go for that Lian Li case, the version with the 110W power brick. It's really great looking, cheap, small, relatively easy to make a quiet build in and it's well ventilated. It's a big shame about the lack of expansion slot but if I want to add a TV tuner I'll do it over the network or get a USB one. I shouldn't need any wireless/graphics card either.

For anyone that cares, I think this is what I'll go for:

AMD A6-3500 - £55.62
4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 1600Mhz - £22.99
Gigabyte A75N-USB3 - £74.10
Samsung 830 Series 64GB - £53.98
Lian-Li PC-Q09B with 110W Ext PSU - £95.96
Scythe Kozuti - £27.35
Noctua NF-R8 - £11.95

Total - £351

Should be quiet as the only noise will be a cooler rated at a minimum of 8db and a fan rated at 7db. I imagine 3 cores, decent graphics and a fast SSD will make the system feel fast as well.
!