£300-350 Quiet HTPC Build

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?
6 answers Last reply
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Any more case suggestions?
  6. 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.
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