Plex has completely changed the way I consume media. I'm aiming to digitize all of my DVDs/Blu-Rays and just access everything through Plex going forward - as it's just so easy/convenient.
Only downside is that I've been using my main/gaming PC as the server, and while it works fine I'd rather not tie up my main PC's resources with the trans-coding/processing and such. I'd also like to not have to leave my louder, power hungry PC on all the time.
So, I finally decided to build this!
Combination of other popular HTPC builds and my own preferences/research. Aimed for low power, low noise, and still decent performance specs. I'll be using it mostly for Plex as well as any seeding/sharing/ftp stuff, and as a secondary PC on occasion.
I spent more than I could have, but I opted to spend a little more to ensure I would be satisfied as opposed to getting the minimum/standard requirements.
A few comments:
I was worried about the smaller Silverstone case being a little too tight, and I'd prefer more room over less... but this case was practically the size of a mid-tower; much more space than I needed. But it made managing the cables and airflow easy, which I guess is a good enough trade-off. In hindsight I might've tried the smaller case, especially since I didn't buy/need a GPU.
The removable HD cage was pretty handy/nice for making the installation and setup easier, and managing the cables (as the case itself has no real cable management tools, apart from some included ties/straps/plastic 'brackets').
- Fans & Noise
The case is dead-silent at idle. The PS3 is louder than this. I can't hear anything, even when I put my ear close to the case.
I need to purchase at least one y-cable for the fans, as the case itself comes with 3 fans + I bought another 3 fans... and the MB only has 3 system fan headers. The two Noctau 80mm fans came with a y-cable (and an extension, and a low noise adapter), but I'll need another. I thought that I should've got a PWM 120mm fan and maybe replaced the case fans with more Noctau fans (I love them), but at the same time I can't hear anything at all from any of these fans right now.
The 3 case fans are 120mm intake fans with dust filters, and I added another 120mm intake near the CPU for the 'positive pressure' benefit they encourage. And the two 80mm fans are installed as exhaust in the back of the case.
I'm in the process of running some stress tests now, and will update to see how well the cooling/fan noise holds up to it. Confident it will do well with what I've seen so far.
1-hour of Prime95 so far and the CPU has stayed below 50'C, all while the Noctau cooler hasn't even gone above 75% of the 2,500 max RPM. Still can't hear a thing. Loving it so far!
Update: Yep, a few hours each of Prime95 and OCCT/Linpack and temperatures are stable <50'C and noise is still practically non-existent... and it idles at <5w (my APC doesn't even pick it up). Happy camper.