_ I’ve been meaning to get round to doing a new HTPC for a while, but other things have always constrained it to near the bottom of my priority list. I have only recently built a new PC (about 4 months ago) using the stylish Silverstone FT03 case. As that is now out the way I can focus some attention on to a HTPC build and start looking at what is available for a potential build.
My current HTPC is about 3-4 years old. I spent a long time in researching and gathering the parts for that build. Back then, HTPCs builds were for a small number of enthusiasts and majority of cases on offer were basically as big and loud as your desktop PC. Mini ITX motherboards were relatively new and not widely available and you had to ensure that the motherboard was DLNA certified to play HD content via blu-ray.
_ I did find a lovely case made by Hipermedia. It was a slim, micro atx case with slot loading optical drive bay, front visual display and 150 watt built in power supply (there was similar case available from Silverstone, but I opted for Hipermedia).
_ I kitted out with:
What I found with this build is that, even though the case is thin, it is still deep, obviously to accommodate the Micro atx motherboard. The power supply it came with had a small fan for cooling. With small fans, comes big noise. The CPU heatsink and CPU fan had to be one that was built for the case, due to the slimness. This fan was also loader than I would have liked. The HDD, although I bought for speed, it too made more noise than I anticipated. This was before Solid State Drives became widely available. The HDD in the build is nothing more than a boot drive as my media collection is based on my Synology Diskstation 8TB (configured to RAID 4, so 6TB usable space) NAS.
The 3-4 years since, more and more had become available for the HTPC enthusiast. Pre built systems became available from high street retailers and components became smaller, quieter and energy efficient as consumers demanded as much.
I already have a number of components that I will be using for the new build.
After doing my research I managed to find two potential cases, both that enable silent running as the case is the heat sink capable of dispersing heat generated from the CPU. I was really pleased when I found these, as silent running is what most HTPC builders are looking for.
Ultimately, I decided to go for this:
The Streacom FC8:
_Once I have all the components to hand and some time on my hand I shall build this. Updates and picture will be available on this site