I built a 1TB home server, operating system is XP Professional SP3 configured to work as a server. It is probably by far from silent as you guys think, but it is pretty quiet. Here is a quick list of specifications:
> Foxconn ATX case with 2 120mm fan ports (front is installed with a Nexus 120mm fan and the rear is a Arctic Cooling F12 Pro temperature controlled fan.)
> AMD Sempron 3800+ 1.8GHz cooled by a Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 GT cooler and Cool 'n' Quiet enabled and installed
> 2x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ hard disks running in RAID 1 mirror (they are sort of quiet, but the vibration lets them down, may use rubber mounting or something)
> MSI K9MM-V motherboard with VIA chipset
> Sony Optiarc AD7200A IDE DVDRW
> ThermalTake 430w PSU, very quiet
Just about most of these parts are from ebay, and so was rather cheap to make. The only brand new items I actually used was the CPU (stock cooler was noisy), Samsung HDDs (got them as a deal) MSI board only cost $20 and was rarely used, the case was new and the Optiarc drive was also brand new. It probably only cost around $300 or so to make this server. Here are the pics:
The front, excuse the mess beside the server, I haven't organised the cables yet.http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad11 ... inside.jpg
Inside the server, neatness isn't exactly my strong points (although I did build a computer 4 years ago for a friend and the cabling was a lot worse then as it was an early attempt and that PC is still going strong for him)
CPU fan, rear fan and PSU fan. A lot of airflow here and the CPU idles around 33 degrees C or so. It's all quiet here as well which is good.
Nexus 120mm fan for intake. I decided to install this as it is a quiet fan and it pushes out a good airflow. If I disconnect this fan, the Samsungs get rather warm near 39C. Plugged in, they get to about 34C. The fan is also to induce a bit of airflow into the case.
The ThermalTake PSU label. It is more than capable of supplying the power to all the components in the server.
The rear of the server, showing the connections. The only real connections I need here is the ethernet to hook up to the network, the USB to share the Brother printer across the network and the power. I use remote desktop to connect to the server with a strong password required to log onto the desktop.
Photography isn't my strong point.
Anyway, this acts mostly as a file server and a print server. I can also use this as a media server for my PS3 which is very handy. I have tried sleeping in the room the server is based, and when it is quiet at night, all you can hear is a faint air moving noise, and the noisy vibration from the Samsung HDD's. Before I had the Samsung hard disks, I had a 500GB Barracuda 7200.10 installed which was quieter idling. I am considering using rubber mounts on the HDD.
The CPU fan connector on the board is 3 pin while the Arctic Cooling cooler is a 4 pin. The BIOS runs the fan at a low speed when temps are below the setting you make in BIOS. It runs to full speed when temperature rises above the BIOS setting. When it is at full speed, it is noticable but not loud. I have never heard it go loud unless I did a benchmark test as I have it set to 40 C.
I have more builds coming in the future including a new PC, and a HTPC, so watch out.