***? Your build is like a gaming build, except for a mid-range graphics card. I would recommend SFF as well as quiet, because there is no need for a non-gaming home PC to be huge these days, plus most non-techies like smaller computers.Antec ISK 300-65
is a nice small case capable of being really quiet after swapping out the single 80mm fan with a quieter one. Once Sandy Bridge gets back in wider availability, here's one suggested build:
H67 chipset ITX motherboard $140
Core i3 2100T $150
(CPU is special low power version, here's a comparison
between the normal version and a Phenom II)
retail box HSF $included
4GB dual channel low voltage (1.35v) DDR3 kit $50
slim SATA optical drive with desktop adapter $40
Intel 510 120GB SATA 6G SSD $320
random 7200RPM notebook HDD for My Documents/etc. $50
Windows 7 Pro $140
Antek ISK 300-65 $70
Nexus SP802512L-03 80mm fan $10
Total $970 +tax/shipping
This kind of setup would idle probably around 25W and full load probably around 50W, and has the potential to be quieter than the build you listed. Speaking of the build you listed, let me point out what is wrong with it:
CASE is too big. Seriously, a tiny silent computer that performs real well is much more impressive than a ginormous case.
MOTHERBOARD is too expensive. What will it give your mother that an $80 board can't?
GRAPHICS CARD is completely unnecessary. It just serves to eat electricity, produce heat and produce a little bit of fan noise.
PSU is overkill. Heck the Seasonic X400 is cheaper. You will save a LOT more electricity by ditching the graphics card versus getting the more expensive PSU.
Hex core CPU is completely overkill. For "Word processing,streaming Netflix,web browsing" a decent dual core would suffice.
SSD is not the best choice. For SATA 6G (that is available today) go with the Intel 510 120GB for $320. It is faster overall than anything except for the upcoming (but not yet available) Vertex 3. A cheaper alternative is the Intel G2 120GB for around $220. While it benchmarks a lot slower than the Intel 510 SSD, in real world performance most people won't know a difference.
RAM is a bit overkill too. If you want to spend a lot on RAM, look for some low voltage modules that need less than
1.5v. Alternately just get the cheapest stuff. Seriously, fancy heatsinks add zero to performance if not overclocking. If you want RAM to run cool, get lower voltage stuff.
HDD is the noisiest desktop drive on the market. Funny you should pick that for a "silent build." If you want performance and low noise, get the Samsung F3 1TB. Otherwise, just get one of the "green" drives.
ZALMAN HSF is also a bad choice. Here's a review of it
that concluded "we can't recommend it." If you want an expensive HSF that is super quiet, get the Scythe Ninja or Thermalright HR-02. Those let you use your own fans plus they are designed for "quiet" operation due to more space between fins. Alternately just use the retail box HSF for free, and enable Smart Fan in BIOS/UEFI. You'd be surprised at how quiet such a setup can be (if not running stability testing).
THERMAL COMPOUND is overkill for a non-overclocked system. Just use whatever comes with the heatsink.
Seriously though, I am 100% positive that my SFF build listed above would do "Word processing,streaming Netflix,web browsing" every bit as well as the build you listed for the upcoming years, plus be quieter, draw less power and create less heat. Oh yeah, and it costs less too. Heck, if you want to go wild with the performance, add $150 and get the Antec ISK 300-150 (150W PSU versus 65W) and a Core i5 2500K (higher MHz, true quad core, Turbo mode, double the graphics cores) and double the RAM.