So, I should be getting around $5,500 in a subsidized tuition loan that I do not need. I was thinking about selling my current (highly outdated) HTPC and building a new one when the money comes in. I can't really reuse any of my current parts other than my PCI Wireless-G card. I also will be moving my RAID drives from my main PC to the HTPC (5 Seagate ES 320GB 16GB Cache SATA-II drives). I plan on getting 5 Seagate 1TB SATA-II drives and keeping my current LSI RAID controller with my main PC and using the second one I have for the HTPC, if I build a RAID. If I can find a setting for the RAID to initialize as the computer boots, not before, I will use the RAID controller... otherwise the RAMDisk is pointless. I am out of space on my main PC's RAID so I will be getting the 1TB drives either way. I may sell a few of the 320's though, haven't decided. So, my current list-o-crap to buy: - Intel Q6600 > $209.99 - GigaByte GA-EP45-Extreme > $239.99 **FIXED 7/14 4:41PM CST - Corsair XMS2 2x1GB DDR2 6400 > $58.00 - Corsair 620-HX > $164.99 **CHANGED 7/14 5:23PM CST - Asus HD3870 512MB GDDR4 PCI-Ex16 2.0 HDCP > $145.99 - Some optical drive > ~$30 - Arctic Cooling MX-2 > $7 - Haven't decided on the case (not a HTPC case) > ~$100 - Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE > on its way... **ADDED 7/14 4:41PM CST This next section will be for my OS. I will run a mobo based RAID-0 to increase the capacity to 8GB... data loss is irrelavent and the logical drive will be imaged for fast/easy reload if necessary. - 2x GigaByte RamDisk r1.3 i-RAM > $149.99 ea = $299.98 - 4x Corsaif XMS 2x1GB DDR 400 for the RamDisk > $94.00 ea = $376.00 This next section will be my storage. Will be RAID-5 if I do it, otherwise just a few 320s. - 5x Seagate ES 320GB 16GB Cache SATA-II drives > already have - LSI MegaRAID SAS 8408E PCI-Ex8 > already have Then in order to steal my RAID drives from my main PC I need to replace them with: - 5x Seagate ES 1TB 32GB Cache SATA-II drives > $239.99 ea > $1,199.95 TOTAL COST ~ $2,800 The computer will be required to do video compressing, video playback, and act as a DVR. Fast boot time and cpu power is what I care most about with this one.. well, faster and more powerful than my P4 1.8GHz. Thoughts? Opinions? Degree of overkill statements?