Yesterday ExtremeTech featured an article about building a quiet but high performing computer for gaming. When building a computer that you want to place in your living room as a media center the question of noise is more important than the question of performance.
You need some power, but not the same kind of bleeding edge processor and graphics that gamers need to drive their advanced 3D action.
That’s why it’s interesting to have a look at people that have tried to silence a very powerful PC. By using the same methods and simply replacing some of the components with slightly lower performing components you can end up with a seriously silent media center PC.
Of course there’s always the question of looks. The important wife acceptance factor (WAF). The computer that ExtremeTech have built does not fit in on top of your amplifier. It looks too much like a regular PC. To solve that, I can simply recommend my own solution: a well ventilated cabinet with a silent fan in a noise reducing mount.