HTPC Cooling v2.0
Update: The fan died some time in January 2019. Boo-hiss.
The HTPC is meant to be used and not heard; because who wants a noisy computer buzzing away while you’re watching a quiet movie? I took quiet a few steps to get mine running quietly inside a Silverstone GD04 case. I under-volted the three 120mm case fans and used a nearly silent Antec power supply. Everything was going great until I swapped in an AMD Phenom II X4 965 CPU. The new heat sink fan was terribly loud and constantly spinning at 5000+ RPM. Something had to be done!
Enter the Scythe SCBSK-2100 BIG Shuriken 2 Rev. B. I dug around on the web and found that this cooler would, in fact, work with the ASUS M4A88T-M LE motherboard. It fits nicely in the case, allows room for my full-size optical drive, and leaves just enough room for my memory + heat spreaders. When I turned on the system after install, I had to do a double-take to make sure the thing was actually running. It’s essentially silent with normal room noise. Amazing!
As a bonus, the CPU now runs 4 degrees (C) cooler. I used Arctic Silver Ceramique 2… so hopefully I’ll see a few more degrees drop after break-in.