TV Computer Build

by havoc

If assembling a system from parts, it looks better to get a somewhat
larger case with a case fan, rather than a tiny case with a CPU
fan. A maybe-working example of this could be:

Total hypothetical cost: $750

This has case fans, but with the slow CPU and notebook drive it may be
possible to turn them off or dial them way down. The fanless power
supply is expensive; the Nexus
quiet power supply fan
in my development system is pretty
inaudible, so perhaps that is a better option, saving $70 or so and
bringing total cost to only $680. A power supply fan could
reduce the need to run the case fans. Scrounging for stuff on sale
could save a few more dollars no doubt.

These built-from-parts systems always run over budget when it turns
out some part doesn’t work with some other part.

An expensive version could have instead:

Total extra cost +$255 so the “deluxe” approach is $1005.

Though larger and uglier, this system would be roughly comparable in
cost to the Mac Mini, despite much better hardware specs. However, if
a next-generation Mac Mini ever came out, I’d expect it to have specs
and cost similar to the above. It would quite possibly use the X4500HD
chipset, even.

Looks like nobody sells the X4500HD Intel motherboards until late August,
so I’m not going to run out and buy anything. Maybe better
options will come along in the meantime.

Updates

Suggestions people have sent in:

  • Several people would save money by using fewer magic-special quiet
    parts, regular parts aren’t that loud anyway if you pick the right
    ones.
  • 2G is too much RAM (though only $50 anyway).
  • Use an AMD motherboard, like GA-MA78GPM-DS2H
    or GA-MA78GM-S2H
    to get more for less.

Could take another $200-300 off the price most likely messing with the
tradeoffs and shopping around for best prices.

(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2008-07.html#27)

My Twitter account is @havocp.
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