Suggestions for Low Power Media Center PC/server with no video display required on box
Posted on 2007-10-08
I have been running MS Media Center for many years now, my 'home server' current setup is Vista Ultimate on custom built P4/prescott 3ghz, 2gig ram, gigabyte mobo, 2 HDD, 1 ODD, dual DVB-t tuner and various quiet fans from Zalman etc plus a 600w PSU. I have been reasonably happy with it apart from power consumption and noise (it is a prescott processor afterall, and Im looking for silence).
With the new media center extenders hitting the market soon (i already use two xbox 360's) i am thinking about rebuilding my 'home server' so that it does not actually act as a media center directly at all, but simply acts as a device which receieves the extenders remote desktop connections, manages the tuners, and is a glorified NAS.
With this build I am looking for MINIMUM power usage and as close to silence as I can get.
Here is where I am looking for advice....
I think i have narrowed down my mobo/cpu to either a Intel Core 2 Duo, a Pentium M or a completley different Via chipset. Best power performance seems to be with the Via, but I have concerns about Vista Ultimate on say a 1 or 1.5ghz mini-itx setup. Does it matter though, it wont actually be doing any video on the box itself?
I would like a small box but equally I have 2 3.5" HDD which I would prefer to reuse....even though I am prepared for somebody to advise me to ditch and use 2.5" instead.
Anybody have any experience of using external power bricks with various ATX, BTX, Mini ITX mobos...and some thoughts on rating for my setup would be handy.
All I want this box to do is store, have tuners, and receieve upto 5 Media Center extender remote desktop connections. Reliablility must come first....but after that suggestions most welcome!