Edit: This machine has performed fantastic. Temps. have been a slight concern, but nothing alarming. I should have went with Windows 8 as I use that OS on another machine now and really enjoy 8.1.
I haven't had a chance to pull down temps. and add'l performance info. because I don't have a great keyboard/mouse combo for getting things done on this rig yet. I'm posting this from a Macbook, in fact.
I first want to start by thanking the community here for sharing their builds as the completed builds for this case are what helped me finalize my build.
I elected to build a rig over getting one of the new consoles due to more versatility and power. I will be using this as a media hub for pulling off a NAS via XBMC, running emulators (hopefully through the aforementioned XBMC) and play the latest games at, hopefully, higher specs than I would've had I went that direction.
The biggest criterion for case selection was a 12" max height. This slowly led me from a desired mATX case to this mITX. This was my first build since some old junkers in HS (graduated '04, ugh), but it went extremely smoothly and I'm very pleased with the outcome - for the most part.
You'll notice I have over-clocking compatible components, but no over-clock. This is something I'd like to do in the future, but feel I'll get pretty beastly performance for now without OCing, and it allowed me to use the stock cooling across the board.
After removing the side hard-drive mount I eliminated the ability to liquid cool and have two drives plus the optical. I also took out the side fan because the daughter boards on this MoBo. I have the mechanical drive mounted on the bottom and the SSD under the optical tray.
I made the tough call to have the PSU exhaust the case. This is based on some reviews of the case from Amazon. Cooling seems pretty good, but I've yet to stress test the unit and have exactly zero games loaded right now. Believe it or not, there was method to the madness of the cables and the front fan has a straight shot to the drives then MoBo CPU.
My two biggest gripes:
The IO shield with this MoBo is padded and too thick. It will bulge.
Cable management. Not a fault with the case due to all the zip tie points, but I have a modular PSU and had to use ALL of the cables. This was two too many from my perspective. The mechanical drive and SSD were about an inch too far apart to be able to hit the optical, SSD and mechanical with one rail. While my MoBo supports chassis fans the front fan needed it's own chord from the PSU effectively crowding the case further.
Justifying buying this over the console ended up being silly based on the cost, but I have a long list of applications and games for which I'll get my use out of it. Hopefully with future aftermarket cooling and OC dreams it can stay competitive for some time.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommendations to help future builders as it did me.