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Analysis Paralysis Reached! My travels for noob Server.

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Ok, So I already wrote up a whole two pages about what I have, what I want, how I had intended to get there, and then I just spent an hour reading every comment on the C.A.P.S. article, I am completely and totally Brain Fried! Thank god I have my basic simple, integrated audio output playing some soothing internet radio lounge music on my office PC!


So, yes I am an NOOB here, and my current system is ancient, but it is time to go digital. I’ll try to keep this short, but I keep getting “winded”…..


My current system is 10-25 years old, with an NAD 7400pe (integrated amp), a Sony ES series CD player, Techniques Turntable, Definitive Tech BP10s and B&W 601s, along with an active crossover, Crown amp powering some home 'grown' 15” subs when I want to feel the music (ok its house music – I used to DJ, and I used to run lights in NYC Night clubs with truly amazing sound systems - so a good thump is needed sometimes.)


This all started when I read about the Habey fanless PCs and I thought, $400, use my “spare” touch-screen monitor and I’m good to go. I can add a 1TB mirrored NAS to the network and then be able to access the music from all the computers in the house/office.

Ok, so that’s just using the crappy integrated Audio – bad choice, but a start. I could add a USB->DAC later, after research. ( I can say that I don’t see being able to pursue a $600 Lynx card at this stage)


But this only goes so far. Option 2, was to build a full blown HTPC, with HD video, surround, the works. I could even use my “old” P4 mobo for the initial build, and invest in a good quiet case with a good audio card. Or even go the S/PDIF ->DAC route. Again use my existing Touch-screen monitor. This case could also house the first couple of 1Tb drives to get me started on my FLAC library and also house a Blu-Ray player for Ripping.


Option 3, is to go for the MSI Wind “all-in-one” touch-screen (AE2220), with an integrated S/PDIF TOS link. It is a very new idea. $800 including Win7 and monitor. Or go a bit smaller with, XP and an ATOM processor for $425.

It would require an external DAC and NAS for storage. Also not sure about how noisy the unit is, both from a FAN and electrical/power supply/integral wireless standpoint. I have searched for reviews and applications for this, but only found one post and no replies yet.


Based on what I have read here, I am wondering if I can find a happy medium between Option 1 & 2. I am interested to hear more about the systems that hubsand outlines as being able to handle video. I looked at the Zotac Site, but there seem to be many similar options.


One thing to note is that the touch-screen monitor will require a USB to Com port adaptor, so the reason I like the idea of the Zotac MB is that I can use the dedicated S/PDIF TOS/COAX for the audio without interrupting the USB bus. It also has Raid 1 built in, so I can mirror the HD.


Other equipment, on my investigate list are the Nova or the Xonar Essence depending on the particular implementation – actually I am thinking, if the Essence fits on the Zotac board, I might go that route to start and then move it to an office PC once I move the main system over to an external DAC.


Any Advice will be absorbed with greedy haste! Hopefully my paralysis will subside and I’ll be able to swipe my CC in a vendors slot sometime soon.

Till then I'll keep reading, and reading and reading and reading and reading......





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