Before striking off into a MP3 box for my car I want to build one for the house to interface with my stereo. I would also like this box to be able to play DVD's to the TV.
Any recommendations on MB's? cpu? any other necessary hardware?
Obviously I would like to build this as cheaply as possible.
Personally, I've seen people talk about the issues with the K6 series processors, so I would recommend the Celeron Chips. Since it's in the house and heat is not a issue, the AMD duron's might be a option since they are pretty darn cheap right now.
I do not recommend intergrated video motherboards unless you are going to use a DVD decoder card, other wise the ATI line of cards seem to do DVD quite nicely.
Soundblaster Live card are a nice choice for indoors, since you might actaully get the benefits of 4 speaker output. However, in the interest of cost, you might be better off with a nice SB16. Power's not issue in the house, so any old power supply will do.
DVD drives, the pioneer line seems to be the most popular. I have a SCSI model of their's, and it's nice. I hear good things about the IDE drives.
That's really about it. Throw a Hard Drive at it, maybe ethernet, and you're good to go. :)
Take a look at this discussion about the Blaster PC at TigerDirect. For $149 (case & MB with intergrated SB Live), it's a great deal. It also comes with a remote control and a volume control dial on the from of the case - perfect for a home stereo setup. The MB is a slot 1, so you could use a celeron using a socket 370 -> slot 1 adapter, or you could pick up a slot 1 P2/P3 on E-Bay for cheap.
ckeck out also the BookPCs at www.directron.com. They are listed under Think-box computers/Bare-Bone Series and they are pretty small, optionaly black in color, with TVout, 4ch audio and much cheaper than buying components (MB, sound card, DVD decoder,case etc) and build such a PC by yourself!
For the price that might be the answer. Now which one?
Also, it appears that these BookPC's will work using Linux - any experience?