I've never built an entire computer before, though I've done a variety of typical upgrades - adding PCI cards, CPU & HD upgrades.
I'd like to build a semi-HTPC. That is, my primary goal is to have a small, quiet machine that I can connect to my A/V Receiver via HDMI to store and play music. The TV connected to the the AV receiver will serve as the monitor. Perhaps someday I'll add a (low-profile) HDTV tuner card so I can record QAM off of cable for when my two tuner Dish DVR just isn't enough.
But this is only a secondary consideration and may never come about.
Anyway, I've picked out some hardware and I'd appreciate any comments, specifically regarding suitability for my needs, potential heat issues (it will be going in a closed cabinet with speaker cloth at the front and only a few vent holes at the back), and bang-for-the-buck (I don't want cost to escalate much, but I know sometimes a few dollars extra can be money well spent). I've been using Newegg
as my primary resource....
Case: APEX DM-387 Black Steel MicroATX Slim Case Computer Case 275W Power Supply - Retail ($48.99)
Motherboard: BIOSTAR TForce TF7050-M2 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 7050PV HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail ($74.99 - $10 MIR)
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 LE-1620 2.4GHz Socket AM2 45W Single-Core Processor Model ADH1620DHBOX - Retail ($46.99)
- or -
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Brisbane 2.3GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO4400DOBOX - Retail ($69.99)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX6400D2LLK2/2GR - Retail ($49.99 - $10MIR)\
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM ($179.99)
Optical Drive: I have a couple of spares around
OS: Ubuntu 7.10
So, questions that come to mind are:
1) Does Biostar make decent motherboards?
2) Which processor? I know my primary mission will not tax the 45W single core, but if the X2 65W CPU won't run that much hotter, I'd be inclined to go with that. There's a chance this could run Vista at some point.
3) Will that 750GB Barracuda be too hot for this slim case?
4) Will I want to replace the stock 80mm fan in this case with a quieter one?
5) To save money on an OS, I plan on using EAC to rip my CD's to FLAC files on a separate Windows machine and then use Ubuntu and Rhythmbox on this machine. Does this seam unreasonable or silly? Is there any reason I might want to bite the bullet and just install Vista on this machine?
6) Are there any unknown unknowns that I should worry about?