* Mail-In Rebates:
This is really a update/upgrade of my previous 'Fourth Console' build (which was itself a replacement for a LAN party/HTPC Sandy Bridge rig housed in an NZXT Vulcan that I sold to a friend). Since I don't do nearly as much LAN gaming as before, I figured it was time to make it a bit more suitable for full-time duty as a HTPC/couch gaming rig.
Case: Rosewill Neutron
For the price, I couldn't find anything close. Part of me wanted to pick up the Xigmatek Nebula-C ($49 currently), but I'm looking to keep things cool so the fans don't have to work as hard. Tons of space, removable motherboard tray and hard drive cage to make installation easier, six fan mounts and a nice, clean appearance that resembles nothing so much as a small subwoofer - my previous bright orange Prodigy stuck out just a little too much for a full-time living room box.
Fans: be quiet! Pure Wings 140mm; BitFenix Spectre 120mm; Corsair SP120
I became a huge fan of be quiet! fans after using them in my most recent build. Decent airflow and dead nuts silent, so I loaded up on them. The BitFenix fan and the SP120s are leftovers from previous builds.
Fan Controller: NZXT Sentry 3
Just enough channels and power handling, short internal depth and the ability to turn off all of the lighting make this perfect for my application. I needed a fan controller in this build, since I wanted to load up all six fan mounts and be able to tune the speed of the SP120s on the radiator - they're pretty loud when running full-tilt.
Total cost for this respiff was ~$310.
UPDATE: Replaced GPU with the GTX970 that was in my other build.
Good cooling performance that's reasonably priced and easy to install. The included fan is a bit loud at full blast, but a couple of undervolted SP120s nullify my only complaint about the cooler.
It's huge as mITX cases go, but that makes it super easy to build in. No PSU length restrictions, a removable motherboard tray, tons of cooling options and room for the largest GPUs and CPU coolers, including 120, 140, 240 and 280mm radiator options. Clean, understated appearance that blends in nicely in both the office and the living room while providing plenty of filtered ventilation for your parts. Having both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on the front panel is a nice bonus that we don't see enough of.
Pretty decent (if pricey) fans. Very loud at their full ~2350 RPM - I highly recommend running them at half-speed.
Looks great, easy to install and use and the price is tough to beat. Easily handled the seven fans I hooked up to it (via fan splitters) and offers nice configuration options, including the ability to link channels and disable the screen's backlighting altogether. Very shallow part depth means it won't interfere with other parts like the roof-mounted 140mm fans in my case.