I’ve long wanted to set up my idea of the trinity of home computer hardware, and I finally got around to doing it a couple of months ago. I previously posted about procuring a small server for NAS/backup purposes and mentioned that I had a new mac laptop for general use, and this “steambox” was the final piece of the puzzle.
I already had an Acer Revo that I was using for XBMC purposes, and after enjoying playing a few lightweight games on it I thought a more powerful (but still small and quiet) box would be a great way to play controller-compatible Steam games in its “Big Picture Mode”, as well as using it for XBMC, Netflix, and AFLTV.
I chose the Silverstone SG05 case because it was the smallest case I could find that would fit a full-sized GPU card. The other components were just whatever I thought were the best bang for buck at the time. I didn’t bother with an optical drive (installed Windows via USB stick) and I took the GPU card out of my old desktop.
There’s not a lot else to say about this except that I’ve been using it for two months, and it works beyond my expectations. It was a bit fiddly to get everything in, but not as bad as I thought it’d be. I shouldn’t need to open it again until I upgrade the video card in the next year or two. Its best feature is that it’s incredibly quiet, I can barely hear a thing from it. Just out of the box it’s quieter than my fan-modified NAS, and it’s much, much quieter than my PS3. This is one of the many reasons I can’t see myself buying a console again. I’m loving playing Steam games from the comfort of my couch.