Approximate Purchase Date: Soon. As soon as I can get the best deals, but definitely before end of year.
Budget Range: Would like to stay in the range of $300 after rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: network storage, burn DVDs/Blurays, HTPC
Parts Not Required: Monitor, mouse
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or TigerDirect
Country: United States
Parts Preferences: AMD is my preference because it's cheaper. I've also never had a problem with AMD.
Overclocking: Not really, unless needed.
SLI or Crossfire: No.
Monitor Resolution: Going to be hooked up to 32 inch TV (if go HTPC)
Additional Comments: Looking for a quiet PC with enough horsepower to get done what needs to be done, but nothing flashy.
Here's my situation. I had a 6 year old HP laptop that died yesterday (motherboard). I still have an 11.6 inch computer that is my daily driver. Before my 6 year old comp died I was planning on building a NAS and using the old comp to burn my DVDs and store them on the NAS (to be streamed through my 11.6 comp via HDMI to TV). Now with the old comp dead, I can't burn DVDs currently (11.6 doesn't have a DVD drive). Therefore, I began to consider building an HTPC instead of a NAS. I only really have the money to build a NAS or an HTPC. In the future I could build the other, but for now I can't afford both.
I have a Belkin router with a USB/NAS functionality and a 500 GB drive hooked up now, but I'm not really happy with that (drive doesn't always reconnect). It could work in a pinch though. I have a 1 TB external on my Christmas list which would likely replace the 500 GB drive (or I can convince my parents to return/give me the cash to build NAS/HTPC). I also have a BluRay player that works just fine (but could be convinced to get rid of). Also for Christmas I'm hoping to get a Roku HD to stream content, and was looking into Roksbox to stream content from the NAS (originally).
So here are my options and I'm wondering what people think (or if they have other suggestions). Burning blurays would be a plus, but not an absolute requirement. What's most important to me is a place to store files, though having a slick interface like XBMC is certainly attractive as well.
I don't really need help on parts, just on the concept.
1) Build a NAS, get a USB DVD drive. Use either Roku (with Roksbox) or 11.6 comp to stream to TV from NAS.
Cons: Can't burn blurays, not as seamless/convenient as HTPC, PITA with USB DVD drive.
2) Build a HTPC with Bluray. Ditch Bluray player/Roku.
Pros: Nice interface, easily burn blurays/dvds, fewer devices attached to the TV.
Cons: More expensive (not terribly so, but a factor nonetheless), necessity?
3) Build HTPC/NAS combo
I know this isn't a good solution, but it's an option. I would probably build out a decent HTPC and have NAS running in background or something.
Here's my build. Currently thinking build a NAS/HTPC, with someday moving parts into a HTPC case (buy an SSD for HTPC and stream from NAS) and using case as NAS (buying new memory/cpu/mb). Thoughts? I have a 1.5 TB drive already on order.