Monday, November 07, 2005

Which Hardware?

Lots of choices and lots of info for those new to setting up a system.

First thing: Do you have an existing computer? If not, or like me, if you want to set up a separate dedicated system, your choices include:

MAC Mini: http://www.apple.com/macmini/

Other resources to learn about MAC Mini
http://www.123macmini.com/ (good reviews of external drives)
http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2328 (great review of the guts of a Mini)

PRO: Complete, compact, reasonably quiet, good value, very user friendly, can use Itunes playing .WAV or Apple Lossless files, easy to burn to external drives.
CON: Accessories add to price, people claim Foobar playing .WAC or FLAC is better, can't use EAC to rip.

Linux
PC: Mini ITX system. Fanless, No hard drive; boots off a 1gb CF card: (~$450)

http://damnsmalllinux.org/store/Mini_ITX_Systems/Damn_Small_Machine
PRO: No hard drive, small and very dedicated, can use FLAC files.
CON: OS is not newbie friendly, still have to figure out how to burn to the external hard drives.

Windows
Lots of choices for small ITX cases. The key is to find a quiet, preferably fanless system. The best site for review of cases and systems is www.silentpcreview.com

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