I always blog about each pc I build as a way of remembering the bits that I purchased. My machine is left on 24/7 so I'm in the market for a pc that does not use much power when idle. This makes both cooling easy and my electricity bill lower. The total cost of this box including VAT came out at £530.
I have not measured the power consumption at idle but reading reviews of the cpu and motherboard it should be less than 15w. The case only has one 60mm fan but feels cool so it seems adequate. The fan is a little bit noisy especially as this is an HTPC case but I might be able to tweak the fan speed to make it quieter.
Putting it all together was easy as this type of case makes access simple. I fitted all components and cables before inserting the CPU and cooler. I installed Ubuntu 11.04 from a USB flash drive without any problems. The whole process took about 4 hours and my system building skills are very rusty as I built my last one five years ago.
I have split the drive into two partitions in case I need to dual boot Ubuntu and windows 7, i'm starting with Ubuntu and seeing how it goes. Ubuntu boots very fast from cold in only 22 secs from pressing the power button. I'm a Ubuntu noob so have nothing but windows 7 for comparison but this machine feels faster than my Acer 3810tz laptop (with SSD upgrade) but it is early days and I have not thrown anything heavy at it yet.
One issue I had during the build was that the media card reader USB cable would not reach the connection on the motherboard so is not operational at the moment. This does not bother me as I have an external one.
Intel i3-2100T 2nd Gen Core 2.5GHz 35W TDP £92.00 ex vat
128GB Crucial m4 SSD 2.5" £122.00 ex vat
DDR3 1333 DIMM £30.00 ex vat
Silverstone LC19B htpc Case £99. ex vat
Zotac H67-ITX-C-E Mini-ITX Motherboard £99.00 ex vat