Looking to buy within a week a home media server setup from scratch. Along with that functionality, I need it to directly run an outdoor speaker system amp. With that in mind, direct sound output is mandatory which is why I didn't run a Windows Media Server off the shelf. I also like the HDMI output of the listed MOBO but only really need it when I upgrade to Blueray in a year and run my kitchen HD panel directly from this unit (don't have that yet but I'm calling it a HKPC).
Wanted functions in order:
Remote backup location of multiple other PC's in house
Basic audio out to an amp is a must
Media storage that can be expanded with relative ease w/ some form of RAID.
Under $600 to my door not counting OS
1) Which OS exactly will suit me the best for the majority of the things listed with relative ease? I was assuming Windows 7 Ult 64
2) What hardware should I change out? I just whipped this up today so no sweat swapping out anything.
don't bother paying extra money for Ultimate, just get Vista Home Premium, and upgrade to windows 7 home premium. If you need some extra networking functionality like remote desktop to this machine, then just go up to Vista business with an upgrade path to windows 7 professional. The extras included in Ultimate are for enterprise level functionality like remote hosted applications, and booting off virtual drives. I'd switch out the Hitachi drives, they are a bit dated. Much better performance to be had with the WD Caviars, Seagate Baracudas (7200.12), or even Samsung F2s. Rosewill is pretty generic when it comes to cases, I find Antec or Coolermaster to be good ones to work with and not too expensive. Though if you want to get fancy, mod a toaster oven to be your computer case and you may have something for your "HKPC" concept