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New virtualization server / HTPC machine

on in Linux, Other

I was thinking about putting together a new low-energy VT-enabled HTPC. So I can use it to watch video’s, play my music on it, use it for testing purposes, put freebsd on it and a lot more. That’s why I want the VT extension. So I can install KVM/Xen with all the goodies :)

But, the trick question: what components? Pffff, I don’t know anything about hardware anymore so I had to brush-up my knowledge about this stuff. After reading a lot of forum posts, reviews and the lot, I came up with the following hardware components:

Case: Antec Fusion case

A nice looking case with a lcd display with Linux drivers for it available (I think). And also an infrared receiver. And the price is not too high like some other cases.

Motherboard: Gigabyte vs. Asus

I’ve got two options: The Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H or the Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI. I also thought about a similar Asrock motherboard. Because they use very little energy (so I’ve read). But it’s a bit of a hassle to find a dealer who sells these boards. So I think I’ll stick with the former two.

Why one of these? They both have the new AMD 780G/SB700 chipset which supports full HD hardware encoding. So if I’m gonna us it as a HTPC it does it work descent.

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4450e

Low power usage and only a couple of euro’s more than it’s brother the 4050. I think it supports amd-v/svm, but it’s not too obvious if you read the AMD site. So I hope I got it right :)

Cooler: Scythe Ninja mini

I want the system to be passively cooled. And this is the best small heatsink I could find.

Memory: 2 x 2GB

I don’t care what kind of memory goes into it. As long if it’s enough to support a couple of VM’s.

Hard disk: 32GB SSD

This one is hard! Is this worth the 160 euro’s? Well it is fast, silent and reliable! And it’s enough for DomU + some VM’s. All my  data is gonna be saved on another (network) diskdrive. But still….