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There are some AMD based offerings which give you a whole lot more for $30 or $40 bucks more.


There's actually an E-350 board from Foxconn for about $5 less than that VIA board. It's not what I would call full-featured, but I've been using it to test OpenElec over the last couple days and I've been very happy with it for the "appliance-style" HTPC use case.


To the fan concern, which I echo (stupid loud Atom 330 board), this one is fanless. It does warm up a bit, so I'm still working on a good cooling solution for the box.


If there's interest I can dig up the link (it's available on both Amazon and Newegg).

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The Foxconn looks pretty nice for the price.


As for the fan comment - each person is different. I've seen posts many in the HTPC section of the AVS Forums describing HTPC builds and it seems most people don't let the noise bother them or in denial about how loud their HTPC is or are deaf from listening to movies on 11 every night. I've read about many builds with a CPU fan, 2 or 3 case fans, a PS fan, 2 or 3 3.5" HDD's spinning and yet "it can't be heard from more than 3 or 4 feet away". My first HTPC build that was actually quiet enough to suit me has a single 120mm, 1200rpm Scythe fan being speed controlled by the motherboard with no other moving parts in the case. I can still hear the fan running from my seated position about 7' away when no media is playing, but it's a quality fan and the sound is not obtrusive at all.


For the most part, I just wouldn't buy a HTPC motherboard with a 40mm fan. It would have to be a good deal and the only similarily featured one available so I had reason to be spending the time and money removing the fan and using some other means of cooling.



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I completely agree with that.


I'm guessing my ION with the way its built and packaged since it runs the fan so slow and only ramps up when its needed is hardly heard. However I've heard some loud beats and like you said most CPU fans sound like leaf blowers when they spin up.

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