New SFF PC - Opinions/Suggestions

Here's the deal, my old PC is getting long in the tooth. It's not even that it's very slow, it's an original A64 3200+, socket 754. I built it in my younger years not caring how loud it was (this thing screams) and not worrying how hard it was it set up. One problem is that the mobo (K8V) doesn't offer IDE compatibility for SATA drives and I can't get the RAID working consistently in Ubuntu and Windows requires a 15 year old floppy drive to install on any SATA hard disk. After a scare of a random Dell HD deleting my main drives MBR's and Linux Partition Table (50/50 blame between Dell and I) and a bad floppy drive, I've had enough of it.

My main uses are video editing, music editing, 2D/3D CAD, Media Center-esque apps and Pirating. I'll be using Windows XP Pro, Ubuntu and Leopard. Leopard compatibility is something I'll be looking for also.

What I'm looking to build is a quasi-quiet SFF PC with some gusto. My budget can vary but I'm looking at $1000 dollars now.

Here's what I want, I am open to suggestions:

Shuttle SG33G5M-Deluxe -
I know, it's a barebones. I love shuttle cases and I like this one for the built in wireless, bluetooth, a remote and thumbprint reader. I'm worried about expansion slots and with one PCI slot, I don't want to waste it with a Wireless NIC card. I also hate having a million wires coming out the back and value empty USB Ports. Integration is the name of the game.

Intel Core 2 Duo E6650 Conroe
Should I opt for a quad core? The cheapest Quad is 100 dollars more then the E6650 and 330mhz slower. I do a lot of video editing, music editing and possibly some gaming. Should I Just leave this as a future update and get a cheaper processor now?

Corsair XMS2 2GB (2x 1GB)
Debating on 2GB or 4GB. Windows XP is my main OS, would it be worth it to get 2x 2GB sticks. I'll never move to Vista and Ubuntu is only used when I'm bored.

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 1101WB NSTC/ATSC/QAM/FM Tuner -
I want a HD Tuner that can pick up signals through an antenna. I would also like an NTSC tuner and with the future approaching, an ATSC tuner. If there is something better, please suggest.

Graphics, Audio, NIC, Etc. -
Built in the mobo. I plan on getting a PCI Express card eventually but not right now. I want a single card solution that will play Crysis at 1080p that doesn't cost $600. I'll be waiting awhile. I'll upgrade my processor at that point also. I'm fine with onboard sound for good quality 2.1 sound. Wireless is built in the case/mobo.

Speakers -
Any suggestions for nice looking/sounding 2.1 speakers?

Monitor -
For now I'll continue my use of my 20.1" Acer Flat Screen

Hard drives/Disk Drives -
I'll re-use my drives. Probably a 36GB raptor as my main drive and a 250GB for my documents. Maybe I'll get something larger, I don't know yet. I'll re-use my disk drives with the possibility of an HD drive in the future.


I believe that's it. Lets here what everyone thinks.
4 answers Last reply
More about opinions suggestions
  1. Let me get this straight. You want a single GPU, that runs crysis @ 1080p? - and you want it in a SFF? Not only that but a raptor as well?

    How cute...
  2. If you read it, I'm looking towards the future as far as a single GPU solution goes. This may be one or two generations in the future. Plus I'm not getting a Raptor, I have a spare one that will be used for this.

    I don't necessarily need an extremely quiet machine. From my experience, cooling in the Shuttle PC efficient enough to even worry about a hard drive heating up.
    How cute...

    I don't believe that was warranted or necessary.
  3. In retrospect, I did ask for an opinion. Cute would be an opinion so it is an acceptable response.
  4. My cute reference was actually not just to heat, but PSU concerns. Unless of course you plan on throwing something else in. However who knows what we'll be seeing in two generations; - but a raptor is just fast, hot and noisy. Not my first recommendation for a SFF rig, but its your machine.
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