Thanks for the responses! I'm no hardware guru so I really appreciate all your input.
What would the benefit be for choosing Q57 over H57? Is the i5 661 a good choice for what I have planned?
I was planning on using onboard hardward RAID if possible as I didn't want to shell out on an expensive RAID controller. Does the Marvell Sata Controller support RAID? Asus didn't list the RAID options on their website.
I was thinking RAID 10. Are you not a fan of Windows for RAID 5?
I'm experienced with Microsoft systems so I was leaning towards Server 2008 64bit. It will be used 90% of the time as a file server. Accessed via terminal server or Logmein and FTP. Never to play games, rarely to convert a video, and regularly to stream to a laptop or Xbox. So I guess HDD read/write speed and network throughput would be the biggest consideration (aside from power and noise).
I was thinking a 400ish W PSU as I had read that they reach maximum efficiency at around 40-60% load.
File serving and media streaming is the full-time job for this box. I don't believe I'll require a better GPU.
Do you think I would be much better off with ECC for this machine? Obviously I'll have to wait til I pick a board first before I choose (and check RAM power usage).
Would a Mini ITX or Micro ATX be much more energy enfficient than a uATX board?
I translated your website from German and it made some sense, but your graphs confused the crap out of me.
If the X-400 or X-460 isn't too expensive then I can wait a few weeks to purchase the PSU. How is the noise-level on the Enermax? What do you think about the Seasonic S12II?
I have newborn twins, my sleep is limited so the less noise the better!
Something basic without the bells and whistles to reduce power consumption sounds perfect (although I'm liking the EVO) as long as it 's not at the expense of performance. If that's the case with the Intel H57 MB you listed then that could be a great option, although I'd have to purchase a RAID or HBA card.
Is that the average price I'm looking at for a good RAID card or HBA? I was hoping for $200 max if I had to buy one. Maybe I'll go the SuperMicro option as I'll be running Windows 2008. How do you rate the performance of Server 2008 software RAID as opposed to spending $500-600 on a hardware RAID card?