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So I'm looking to put what I currently have as a backend server into something smaller (myth server, but that isn't really relevant to the question). I'm looking to put it into something small, and it would be nice to have the option of putting it back in the media center as there is a chance we might move. Currently it sits in an Antec Fusion case that was originally supposed to go in the entertainment center. But the WAF on that case was, well, piss poor at best. I've since moved this computer and now have an Aspire Revomuch, much better WAFunder the TV but still get grief about the size of the server and so want to move to something smaller. What's important here: small size and relatively quiet, good looks which probably means black given my wife's preferences, and doesn't have to be silent but don't want something that sounds like a buzzsaw.


The system runs as a headless server and is hooked up to wired Ethernet. Uses (1) a micro ATX board with built in video; (2) Athlon x2 65W (socket AM2, stock fan); (3) 240-pin DDR2 and (4) 2 x 3.5 hard drives. There are no additional cards and I don't anticipate adding any. There is a 5.25 DVD but I'm willing to have that be a casualty.


I see three options:


1. Move to a smaller micro-ATX case with room for 2x3.5 hard drives. The advantage here is that I wouldn't really have to do anything besides move from one case to another. Here I'd like to find something pretty small, perhaps a cube form factor.


2. Move to a micro-ATX case that doesn't have room for 2x3.5 disks and get an external USB enclosure. I have an unused 2.5 inch drive around that I can stick in for the OS but it would be a of a pain as I'd have to move the OS to that new drive. I would get less grief for 2 smallish boxes than 1 bigger one, but it would have to be a really small micro-ATX case to make it worthwhile.


3. Move to a mini ITX board and case. Would I be able to get a board that can take that processor and that RAM? Though I run headless I'd like to have the option The disadvantage is that this is more of a pain since have to do even more of a rebuild. Plus would have the same issue in terms of moving the OS. Would there be any heat issues with the processor? Could also get something like a Dell Zino, but the cost difference relative to what I think I could get for the parts on ebay gives me pause.


Again, smaller is better. Simple and preferably all black for the caseWAF again. Ideal would be keeping all of the current equipment and dumping it into something like a 12x12x5-10 micro ATX case. In other words something that doesn't have room for any expansion cards. But I haven't seen one that seems to fit that bill.


Any suggestions/comments would be very welcome. Thanks.
 
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