I'm in the initial stages of planning out the HTPC/Media server I'll be building come the summer, and I've run into a bit of a conundrum. My rack currently has 1U left free, and part of the appeal of an HTPC is the aesthetics of being able to fit exactly as much hardware as one needs into as small a space as possible, while still managing heat buildup and the like. I'd like it to replace my old DVD player, and I'd like to include a remote control, so I was looking at 1U chassis with a 5.25" and a 3.5" front external slots, as well as USB.
Newegg only has a half-dozen, though, and each review comments on the loudness of the chassis (since they can't fit 60mm fans into 1U). I generally need the thing to be quiet, as putting it into a server closet isn't an option - it will be sitting in the rack with my amp, audio interface, etc - right under the TV. Will noise control be a problem for any 1U I purchase?
If necessary, I can remove my hardware EQ/Crossover for the extra 1U, and simulate that piece of the chain with my amp. I'm just don't think I need an extra 1U of space for the components necessary to build the HTPC/server, and I'd like to keep the hardware EQ/crossover in my rack if possible.
Am I out of luck? Do I need to spring for the 2U chassis to keep the noise levels at an acceptable level?