Build Your Own Silent HTPC – Blu-ray, HD DVD and HDTV Combined

Power Supply – Silverstone Nightjar ST30NF

Silent HTPC Blu-ray HD-DVD DVB-S2 Most power supplies possess a fan, adding them to the list of noise sources found inside a PC. Passively cooled power supplies, on the other hand, are silent, but rare, expensive and offer only limited power output. We chose the Silverstone Nightjar ST30NF, which is rated at 300 Watts but still remains silent. As we can see, we need to take the limited power output into consideration when we choose the remaining components for the HTPC.

Platform – AMD or Intel?

Unquestionably, Intel is the current performance leader in almost every category. Still, while we were assembling the components for the our platform, our focus lay on HDMI connectivity, the platform’s overall power consumption, and the value for money with regard to the system’s tasks – Blu-ray, HD DVD and HDTV.

Currently, Intel does not offer a single chipset that supports HDMI with HDCP – but AMD does. Since we’re aiming to build a home-theatre PC with Full-HD support and not a hardcore gaming system, we don’t need to use the fastest CPU. For our purposes, AMD offers the best value for money. In preparation for this project we compared several Intel and AMD platforms with one another, measuring their power consumption. We came to the conclusion that in the low-cost segment with HD support, the AMD platform has the lowest power consumption at the system level (CPU, graphics card, and motherboard combined).