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  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

Fanless Build


Jan 8, 2009
Cutting the cord for cable and want to build a new PC to be the hub of my streaming network. Last PC I built was a HTPC in 2009 and although still powerful I did not take sound into consideration and the old PC runs very loud. Want to keep things quite - 100% fanless quite. Trying to create the fastest booting, no sound, smallest profile PC that can handle all my streaming needs and last longer than 3 years with the ever increasing streaming demands. Budget is maxed out at $800. I've assembled what I think is the perfect combination of hardware, but wanted to see what everyone's take was / whether or not this is even a feasible build or if there is changes that could be made (like different memory) that could save.

Case - Streacom FC8 Evo (Non-optical drive version) - $160
CPU - I3-3225 - Lowest Wattage HD4000 Ivy Bridge - $137
PSU - Nano150 & 120 AC-DC adapter - $69
Mobo - P8Z77-I Deluxe - MiniITX w/ Built in Wifi - $185
SSD - OCZ Vertex 4 128 gb - $108
Memory - G.Skill Ares 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) - $61
Remote - IR receiver and RC 260 Remote control - $24
Mouse / Keyboard - Lenovo N5902 - $49

Total system cost - $793

Thanks for the help


Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
Get this RAM. It is cheap at $32 for 8GB, runs very cool because it needs only 1.35V and is perfect for tiny ITX rigs because it is super low profile. This stuff overclocks really well, but don't bother. You will see... ZERO difference in performance for streaming videos.

For SSD, wait for a sale because pricing is super volatile. I've seen 30% price swings in hours. Buy based on quality and price, as you won't notice any performance difference as long as it is a decent drive. Crucial M4 128GB often goes on sale for $80 or so.

That motherboard? Really? Let's see, a motherboard marketed for overclockers being used with a non-overclocking CPU, and a VRM riser card that will get in the way of the heatpipes in your chosen case. Do you actually need WiFi? If not, you can get the ASRock B75M-ITX for $90. If you need WiFi, either get a USB dongle since you're gonna have external antennas anyways, or get one of the Gigabyte boards. GA-H77N-WIFI is $120 and, ahem, comes with WiFi. For what you describe you will be using this HTPC for, there is nothing the Asus board has that you need. At all.

For CPU you can get by with the cheapest Celeron (it is a dual core Sandy Bridge). Or, if you don't like slumming it that much (as evidenced by your high end mobo and RAM choices) then consider this Pentium G2120 for $100 which is a dual core Ivy Bridge. Think of it like the Core i3-3225, but 3.1GHz instead of 3.3GHz, no Hyperthreading and HD 2500 instead of HD 4000 graphics (but missing QuickSync). Streaming videos will play exactly the same whether you use the $50 Celeron, $100 Pentium or $140 Core i3.

Following this advice will give you the exact same user experience for an HTPC that streams video, while saving you $150-$200.


Feb 6, 2002
Overclocking will not make video stream faster. What you really want is a stable computer that never needs to be rebooted.
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Jan 8, 2009
all very good recommendations. Much of the build was based on Anands review of the FC10 case by Streacom. I'm very amenable to any changes. Will definitely be going with that low profile Samsung memory sticks as opposed to my g.skill and swapping out my motherboard for the recommended gigabyte mobo.

The only question I still have is is it worth it to swap out the CPU? Is the additional $40 worth getting the better internal graphics card (HD2500 vs HD4000)?

Again - thanks for all the help. Even without changing out CPU i've already saved $101 and have a more compatible system.


Diamond Member
May 6, 2011
Is there any reason you cannot use a $500 i5 notebook paired with a $300 NAS? Same money, but as an added bonus you can pop the notebook out and take it with you.