I’ve been running an Intel P4 Shuttle and it’s served me well. But mind full of it’s fairly hefty power consumption (around 140W in idle) and being a bit noisey as it’s got 5 fans. I’ve decided to treat myself to something a little more energy friendly and up to date. Any way after a bit of luck on ebay? I’ve picked up an ASUS  P5B-MX micro ATX motherboard and Intel E2160 cpu. With some extra new bits I’ve assembled  a dual core machine that idles at about 60W, it’s quieter too. In my haste to put this all together I’ve bought a nice In Win media centre PC case.

bt 553 case

bt 553 case

Here’s the warning though. I need a couple of PCI cards, one for a couple of extra usb ports the other for a sound card (as there seems to be a fault with the on board) solution. (The latter is the only component without warranty! ) Trawling around for low profile PCI cards I’m staggered to find that (a) there’s hardly any choice and (b) the few options are very expensive. Dare I say I assumed there would be plenty, but I’m wrong 😦  So unless you desperately need a low profile case or money is no object I’d say avoid. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

As to choice of O/S I’ve stuck with XP Pro for now, the main reason being I’ve a modest on board graphics card. Probably not good enough to do Vista justice.

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