First, the background:
I'd like to have a machine at my apartment that I can leave on all the time, running IMs and a few school-related servers, and that I can Remote Desktop to in order to access all my email, documents, source code, etc. But my current machine runs WAY too hot to leave on all day during the hot Florida summer (which I believe is 11 months a year) without keeping the AC really low (which neither my g/f nor roommate could stand). Plus, I do record financial information in Quicken, and keep passwords and such, so I'm not sure I want my main machine to be public. Finally, I have an AIW and like to record and encode shows at night, but my machine is loud and it's nearly impossible to sleep with it going.
So, I figured I would build a second machine to be a dedicated, low(er) power, cool and quiet server. And here's where I could use some help with the following questions:
1- Is there a full-ATX desktop-style case that looks nice (HTPC-ish) that can fit 3 or 4 internal 3.5" drives? Since it's going to be my central storage for all TV shows, music, documents, and source code, it needs to hold several HDs (2 or 3 Samsungs, with space between). Larger should also mean better airflow. The Silverstone LC01 and LC03 look pretty nice, but could be cramped. And something closer to $100 would be better.
Or, since my main goal for this server is quietness, is it foolish to look for a desktop case?
2- I originally thought that this would be a VIA C3 machine, but now I'm doubting if that would be enough power for all the applications of a server (especially the realtime MPEG2 encoding for TV recording/compressing/networking). Would a Mobile Athlon (XP or 64) or P-M be better? What about the next-generation VIA (if that's even going to be out anytime soon) x86 CPU?
3- Taking #2 into consideration, any mobo recommendations? Passively cooled NB (if applicable), onboard gigabit ethernet, undervolting support, and lots of SATA connections would be nice.
4- PSU recommendations? I figure 200 or 250W should be enough for the above system, with a (passively cooled) AIW 9200, DVD-ROM, and cheap sound card (since this machine may part-time as a HTPC).
One possible complication to my plan is that I will give my current machine to my parents if their flakey computer continues acting up. Then I'd build another one for myself, still quite powerful but with more thought to quiet operation ([Mobile] Athlon 64 instead of P4, WD drive instead of 15K SCSIs, etc.). Then the occasional late-night recording or encoding on it would be acceptable, and I wouldn't need as much computing power on the server.
I'd really appreciate any answers from you insightful folks here. Other comments and suggestions about the systems or the plan in general would be welcome.
Edit: VIA C3, not Epia.
Last edited by Nice Marmot on Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.