let’s try this again

  • Antec NSK3300 MicroATX tower [~$100 w/shipping]
  • Gigabyte GA-8I945GMMFY-RH (Mobile on Desktop motherboard) [~$165]
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 1.83Ghz CPU [$250]
  • 1 GB super-fast RAM [$170]
  • 2 new 200GB SATA drives [2x$70 = $140]
  • Reuse my current DVD writer

Total moneys: $825

This is a real computer. Unlike the VIA stuff, it can actually compute. Plus, if I wanted, I could put a real video card in it someday.

Granted, it’s not as small as mini-itx, but it’s still way smaller than my current setup. And the power usage rivals mini-itx setups (I expect the setup to use well under 100W, probably around 50W).

The catch? The NSK3300 doesn’t really have room for two well-cooled soft-mounted HDDs. So I’ll have to hack up my own HDD suspension mount, something like this (but with two drives):

hdd suspension mount

One minor downside is that because there’s only a single IDE channel, I have to buy two new SATA drives. This isn’s strictly true, but I think with the drives being so far from the DVD burner, one IDE cable probably won’t reach. On the other hand, it might, which would allow me to use one of my current drives. I could also look into getting one of these nifty devices.

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