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I'm thinking about having my home server do double duty as an always-on HTPC/music server/home automation controller. The machine in question has the following configuration:

Asus P2B-DS motherboard (onboard SCSI)

Intel PII-400 x 2 (I could upgrade to PIII processors if necessary)

512Mb RAM

10,000 RPM SCSI drive for system data

IDE Raid 0 (using a Promise Fastrack 66) for music files, etc.

Creative SB Live Value sound card with SPDIF out

Win XP Pro (the machine is currently running Win 2000 Server)

Some questions:

1) I would like to add a ATI Radeon 7500 dual-monitor card so that the primary head can be used for driving my JVC G11 D-ILA projector and the secondary head can be used for regular stuff. Has anyone had problems with this card using Win XP or with dual processor setups?

2) This machine is LOUD so I'd like to keep it in my equipment room and use a SCSI DVD drive (about 6 feet of cable). I've been looking into a Pioneer 305S (I'll have to put this into a 3rd party case to convert it into an external drive). Again, anyone out there encountered problems with this drive on a dual processor machine with XP?

3) I plan to use WinDVD/ATI DVD/Zoom player for DVD playback, dScaler for scaling my DirecTivo & VCR output, and Girder/Nirvis Slink-e for IR control. Again, any known problems with these on dual processor machines?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My current Intel-based HTPC works great but I need another machine somewhere else in the house and it sure would be nice to have the server do double duty.


- Narendra
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