After struggling between a roku and a wimpy HP laptop, my mom decided she would use an HTPC. I was very excited to build it and I think it turned out very well. There were a few hiccups along the way, but in the end, she will be very happy with it.
All it is going to have to do is stream media, maybe download a few shows, and browse the internet to shop/check email. Basic stuff. The hardest thing it will ever have to do is watch Netflix and maybe have another browser open at the same time. the Pentium-AE would be perfect for this. In search of a silent low profile cooler, the NH-L9 fit the bill perfectly. I really love this CPU cooler.
The reason I didn't get a HDD is because 99% of the time all of our media will be streamed. The SSD makes it silent, and blazing-fast.
The other parts mostly speak for themselves as to why I chose them. I think I will mess around with OCing on the H81 board a little, but for its purpose, the PC doesn't really need it.
As I mentioned, the computer is actually silent from a foot away. Also, at 100% load in Prime95, the CPU's max temp was 47C. NH-L9 is doing its job very VERY well.
-Case has USB 3.0 headers, mobo does not. I might find an adapter, but at least the mobo as 3.0 on the rear.
-Mobo has no HDMI out, TV has VGA, but we have no speakers(just use the TV's speakers). Found a audio-in for the VGA on our TV, so it worked out, but I wish it had HDMI to simplify it all.
Overall, it turned out really well. I know the cable management could look a little cleaner, but the airflow to the important stuff is unobstructed and it all works well.
I'd love to hear what you all think, this is my first HTPC build.
If you want to see my gaming build: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/MxWXsY