A list of storage intensive sources or habits:
- High mega pixel cameras
- HD video camcorders
- Large Multimedia Libraries (itunes, etc)
- Backup of purchased DVD's
- HD video/audio editing
- backups of 1 or more personal computers
- backups of purchased software (OS, applications, games)
- P2P activity (movies, music, PRON, TV episodes)
- Preference for redundant capabilities such as flavors of Raid mirroring or Raid 5
Don't forget porn!
1. Mini-ITX offers no advantages
Mini-ITX is a great form-factor, and while it consumes less power compared to high end desktops, when comparing it to frugal and more capable AMD or mobile CPU solutions it becomes unattractive very quickly. An EPIA 800mhz C3 board uses about 35W which is 5W less than a 1.8ghz Corel Solo on a MSI 945GT speedster (which has 4xsata on board negating the need to purchase additional cards to increase mini-itx storage capabilities).
This is very true. You could probably bring things down even more with the use of a DC-DC PSU and careful choice of minimalist board, combined with turning off everything you don't need (like USB, serial/parallel ports etc). A board without IGP, or with IGP which can be disabled would be good too. Once the OS is installed there is no need for any graphics at all... although, I wonder how many boards would boot with no graphics card?
2. DVD's are acceptable for backups, but not for storage
Indeed... they are a pain the ass to organise and take too long to burn. Plus, unless you buy good ones they don't last. By "good ones", I mean Taiyo Yuden which are generally about Â£40 per 100. 9.3p per gigabyte, probably more as it's hard to fill DVDs exactly. HDDs are around 15p/gig but a lot easier to use. Reliability is still an issue.
3. External HDD solutions cause more problems than they solve
Perhaps... if you watch media on your PC, or streaming from your PC, there is no reason why you can't just use an external drive. You can even share external drives for access from media centres.
Also, one major advantage of external HDDs is immunity to electrical damage. Assuming you totally disconnect the drives when not in use, power spikes won't be able to hurt the drive.
#1 Recycle any old components that make sense
This is one major goal for me. Sure, HDDs are cheap, but why not recycle old 40/80GB HDDs as well? If they are still perfectly operational, there is no reason not to use them. Putting them in the main PC does not make sense - more heat and space taken up. But having them external for archive use or on a NAS tucked away somewhere would be OK.