Hello I am considering building a 3-In-One gaming box/home server/media center. Because of its 3 purposes, it has a strange list of hardware. Here is what I have picked out so far (note that I may not buy all of the hardware from Newegg due to pricing or availability.)
Probably run the newest Microsoft server OS, i don't even know which one that is lol.
The main reason i listed the hardware was to see if there would be any compatibility concerns. The main one I see is with the Xeon processor and Zotac ITX board. It is listed as supported C2Duo and quad intel socket 775 but makes no mention of xeon. I am interested in xeon because of the increased reliability and comparable price to the desktop flavor. Another issue i see is whether or not 300watts would be enough for this setup. I believe if it is 300 watts continuous then yes, but if peak then no.
Please PLEASE help me and list any issues you see with this build. Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to seeing some valuable feedback.
First of all, what I know about ITX systems wouldn't fill a page in 20pt type. But, I'm not sure that many would put "gaming box" and ITX in the same sentence. By their nature, ITX systems have very limited expansion.
Well, I'd say that the processor not working with the motherboard is putting your system build off to a bad start. I recommend buying a motherboard that does support the CPU you wish to buy. Or the other way around.
The Xeon cpu, from what I understand, is the non-consumer version of their popular CPUs for the consumer market. Because it's designed for servers however, it's aimed towards high-volume network traffic and multi-processing. I don't see how these functions would be utilized in a home network/home theatre computer.
Most likely, any motherboard compatible with Intel's Core2quad is compatible with the Xeon you picked. And might be a good choice for someone with great experience in custom-building servers, enthusiast computers and dealing with the headaches of a CPU with no consumer documentation or support.
If you want a core2quad cpu, I recommend you get one.
I'm assuming that your home networks isn't going to have 50 workstations attached to it? Will it be sharing 1000s of files per hour? If it's a normal home network, you're going to share your internet connection, possibly a printer and occasionally a few files. That's a home network. This function doesn't need a Server OS - any normal version of consumer version of Windows should handle these tasks.
It's my understanding that while a 300W power supply might be fine for a low-end 775 chip, it's not enough for a core2quad. Think bigger!
I recommend more research. Decide if you really want a ITX system. The functions you describe would seem to be well-suited to a nice normal micro-ATX with normal expansion and storage options.
i have that zotac board with a core 2 e 8400 installed and a mini itx power supply rated at 150 peak watts. the board idles at 30 watts and plays dvds and cod4 at middles settings at 55 watts. thats using the onboard 9300 gpu. the thing plays movies awesome. and during movie play the dual core is putting along at like 17 to 21% usage. the server quad is OVERKILL! plus anything more than 65 watt cpu will be hard to cool with low profile cooler and small boxes run hot. but i highly recommend the board.5850 is overkill too. if you want more than the onboard video get a 4670 with 1 gig of gddr3 memory and hdmi native. thats the pimp setup. save your money from the card and buy a big hardrive for all your movies and music. i have almost the same setup and its sweet on my panisonic 42 in. lcd tv.
I think the problem is in trying to put together a nice ITX home theatre system and then deciding to make it a gaming platform also. There's no doubt that a gaming platform, based upon a standard case, PSU and motherboard, will serve really well for home theatre. But not the other way around - ITX isn't designed for the needs of gaming.