Before you proceed in selecting the parts, you should stop and think about how you intend to use your HTPC.
Here are few questions you may want to contemplate:
You should focus on the key use of your HTPC system, e.g., is it a media player, media server or gaming HTPC.
The key use of your system will determine the right balance among:
- acceptable noise levels
- power consumption and performance
- the appearance and size of the case
- how much you are willing to spend on it
You should focus on the two often ignored factors, noise and power efficiency.