Approximate Purchase Date: Before Christmas (so about 5 weeks)
Budget Range: £300+- a bit (cheaper the better though)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Server for 720p video, music server (squeezeboxs), general office use (ms office, zune, audio cd ripping)
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference as long as they have a UK business (as im in the UK and dont want to have to have it shipped overseas)
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Parts Preferences: No preferences but would like it to be as small as possible and quite and low power. Have atleast 1 optical drive and 2/3 hard drive spaces is fine.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: Dont need anything super so around 1024 x X (needs widescreen),
Additional Comments: Below is my a small essay on what Im trying to achieve.
Normally I don't post questions but I after reading for quite a while I still cant seem to come to a clear conclusion on what to do. So hopefully someone here could help me out.
So heres what im trying to do.
Theres 4 PCs and a laptop in our house, and one PC is the parents, its pretty old but all they use it for is Internet, eMail, Office, Photos and simple tasks like that, also ripping music for their Zune aswell. Its also on pretty much all day and off at night. Its an old HP desktop, big and loud and old.
We have 100s of CDs in the house and they never get used as its all away and forgot about almost, I told them about Squeezeboxs and thats what we are going to get. So we can easily access the music and move the CDs out of sight.
But my Dad has an aversion to using the "office" pc for new things like this, installing squeeze center and keeping music on it. So I was looking in to building a small Atom server just to host the music on, it would be ripped on the office pc and saved on the server using mounted network drives on the Atom server.
But then they also said they want to get a new PC as their one is old loud bla bla bla. So I thought perfect thing for them...one of the new Atoms, a Nettop.
So then I thought what about just getting one Atom get a couple of hard drives and a mini server / NAS case. So it will be a normal desktop computer and have storage for the music and have squeeze server on it. As it on all the time its fine. And for the times where the computer is off I can just set it so it will wake on lan, if the squeezebox is trying to access it.
The second part of all this is that when ever we watch films etc I always plug in the laptop to our TV to play rips, for youtube etc.
I have been planing for a while now to get an Atom nettop for a HTPC, (probably the Astock Ion 330BD).
SO NOW I thought.
Could I use the office pc to store my rips on aswell and then have XBMC or whatever stream the files over the network and play.
So what im wondering is. If I have an Atom HTPC would having an Atom nettop be good enough to be used as an Office PC, run squeezeserver and store 720p movie files and stream to the HTPC?
I dont think any transcoding will need to be done as all the files that will be stored on the server will be playable on the HTPC anyway so its not like the server needs to process the video first.
So all in all, is this an ok plan? What kind of specs am I looking for or just Dual Core atom, 2GB+ and a couple of TB green hard drives.
the server would need to be small and quite and low power. Im planning on installing windows 7 on the server / office box, and probably xbmc live on the HTPC box but this is mainly about the server / office box.
..and no I cant have 1 pc and have them use the pc on the TV haha.
What ever you go with, check the number of SATA ports. On the Atom boards you may be limited to 2 internal and 1 eSATA or just 2 internal. SOME boards have 4+ internal SATA ports and support more than 4GB of memory, but you are paying more for those options.
The Atom's are not "fast", but fine for light office use and file hosting as you laid out. An entry level i3 system would be a very nice fit also for additional money. Idle power consumption is similar between the two, but when processing high loads the i3 is more hungry. Check out the article here for that comparison... http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/d510mo-intel-atom,2...