Low Power Home Media Server

So far I have been using my big quadcore machine as a desktop and as a server at the same time. With the Q6600 processor with four cores, it was hardly doing anything for the vast majority of the time. As I also use it as my digital video recorder (thanks to MythTV) it has been running 24/7 using quite a bit of power. The latest energy bill and a recent discussion in my group of friends on how to reduce consumption of resources led me to change this setup.
Out of curiosity I had been looking into the Mini-ITX formfactor before and thought it would be the right way to go. After a few evenings of research I found the perfect mainboard for my needs. An Intel Atom based Mini-ITX board with integrated powersupply and completely passive cooling (Intel D945GSEJT). Combined with a slow spinning 1GB harddrive (Samsung EcoGreen HD103UI) this server would hardly emit any noise.

I ordered all components online and when I got the last part (the mainboard of course ­čśë ) putting everything together was just a thing of minutes. Installing a console Ubuntu system is quite a routine for me and only took a few moments. Of course installing all the services that had previously been running on my desktop took some more time:

So far everything proved to run reliable and best of all: The whole shebang only uses about 20W compared to 160W the desktop is using. The next thing I’ll have to do is to create a simple enclosure as I am not convinced by the Mini-ITX cases you can buy off the shelf.