Help on htpc case or fanless mini pc


What's an ITX?
Original poster
Dec 6, 2018

First I would like to say Thank you to everyone. Nice community and information available.
I have been fallowing the website for about 3 years but never posted on the forum before today.

I am removing my gaming case in my living room and looking for something as simple and quiet as possible.
I need to run fanless on idle at least.

I have a evga z97 itx motherboard and g3258 cpu and atx powersupply laying around .

Use will be for netflix / plex / web browser and in home streaming from the gaming pc.
1080p until we replace the TV.

I am debatting on buying a fanless mini pc / nuc or buying a case (+ cooler / cpu, etc.) using the material I don't have. (I can may be resell them but don't think it's worth much now).

I need the case to be relatively small as possible (under 10 inch high), either to hide it or need to look good in living room.
To stay on all the time, it need to be totally silent and no light on idle. (doesn't mean there can't be a fan when running more important stuff and temperature is hot in summer). Otherwise my wife will shut it down.
Any suggestion ?

Would a mini pc or nuc be cheaper and do the job ?
Any recommendations, I think Zota is nearly the only one that is fanless / relatively cheap and reliable?

Thank you for your help
Last edited:


Spatial Philosopher
Mar 6, 2016
A pentium is relatively easy to cool.

It primarily depends on your budget. A small cooler and a cheap case like the SG13 (less than 8in) will allow you to reuse your components. A passive case will require you to go with a custom PSU and a fairly expensive case.

Fanless is mostly good for set it up and forget it. In most environments, a pentium is practically silent with a small cooler.


King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
May 17, 2016
I am not familiar with Plex or Netflix, but I guess there are a lot of android boxes for cheap on aliexpress that could do the job.

There are also mini pcs with i3 to i7 if you want something more beefy.
For instance:

i5 / 4GB RAM / 60GB SSD -> $198