Ok, slightly frustrated with this, any help at all will be imeasurably appreciated. I've done ALOT of research and I just can't decide.
What am I buying?
1) Hard disk Caddy(s)
2) PC Speaker System
3) PC Workstation+Storage Unit
4) DVI Cable
5) Xbox Modchip for XBMC (Xbox Media Centre)
Specific Details of each item(s)
1) [u Hard disk caddy(s) http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=25887428266&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X3NwZWNpZmljYXRpb25z&product_uid=110269
I have 2 x Western Digital 320gb SATAII HD's . I need a HDD Caddy for them. I'm clueless in this area, however through intense research it would seem I have alot of options. Problem is I'm unsure what options are ideal for myself. I also have a few old HDD's which I'd like a caddy for as well, ATA33 and possibly older generations.
c) Fan/No Fan/Dual Fans
d) Optical Display
e) Hot Swappable
What I want from my Caddy
I'm leaning towards an external setup with USB/FIREWIRE. It has to be hot swappable with a single drive slot. I don't care for optical accessories such as temperature display. Cooling is obviously essential but I'm unsure on whether fan based or case based cooling is better, noise isn't really an issue baring extremes.
I need either a single external caddy that can support my SATAII 320gb drives AND the older HDD's or 2 caddies which can individually support both types. All the drives are 3.5".
Icybox seems to be the brand to go with, something like this seems ideal for the SATAii drives but I'm unsure if it would support older drives as well?http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150094077365&ssPageName=MERC_VI_RUPX_Pr4_PcY_BIN_Stores_IT&refitem=150094077394&itemcount=4&refwidgetloc=active_view_item&usedrule1=UpSell_LogicX&refwidgettype=cross_promot_widget
External Icybox Caddy Example
The above example also has unlimited capatcity, meaning it would accept larger size hard drives, so a 500gb drive would work if I ever upgraded for example.
Prices seem to vary from £2x-£3x for these types of drives.
An internal drive seems to price around £1x-£2x.
I still think the external option is the best. I have no real preference on colour, although this could effect cooling ability, black or aluminium is fine.
The drives will all be used for storage/backup purposes so I'm not worried about RAID which is out of my depth anyway.
*** PLEASE READ END NOTE ***
2) [u Speaker System
I'm currently using a wired Cambridge works 2.1 setup with SUB and separate volume control. I'd like to upgrade to a 4/5 speaker 5.1 system. A wired system with 4/5 speakers/satellites/sub and remote is a bonus versus volume control on speaker.
I was originally looking at a couple of deals suggested on these forums
Labtec Arena 685 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers - 26W RMS
These were what I was originally going to get, problem was it didn't seem such a bargain when adding in the shipping from ebuyer.
Logitech X-530 5.1 Speaker System - 70W RMS
These logitech 530 were then suggested to me and looked ideal. I then did a price check and found them cheapest at amazon for £39.
The main reason I've held off buying them is because of the other items I'm trying to purchase, it maybe potentially cheaper to get them elsewhere if I'm buying something else from my shopping list.
3) [u PC Workstation+Storage
This one is my major headache. I'm very very picky and just can not find my ideal piece that's reasonably priced.
Closest match was this: http://www.euroffice.co.uk/itm_show.asp?G18630=Trexus-Launch-Corner-Desk#head
with the over desk hutch. At the time it still seemed a little steep for me at £95. Having looked further it's probably somewhat of a bargain?
I originally posted this here http://www.hotukdeals.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52147
That's what I'm looking for. To update, I'm leaning more towards a corner unit or possibly a workstation+storage separately, one running along each wall towards the corner.
The problem with the above unit, just to show how picky I am, the keyboard desk is too small, it'll hold a keyboard but not the mouse and I'd like for them to be on the same level, whereas there doesn't appear to be enough desk space for the keyboard+mouse if I didn't use the actual keyboard tray. And of course, the price. i'm setting £100 as my limit but I'd like to see if there's any bargains out there.
Now something like this really is IDEALhttp://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Computer-Corner-Desk-Workstation-in-Beech_W0QQitemZ290090389095QQihZ019QQcategoryZ88057QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
2 Problems with the above, it's retail price is £2xx-£3xx from what i've seen. Also I can do pickups, the locations for this particular piece is too far away. I'm south-east
Again price is the major issue here, just giving you an idea.
and this i really like but again price...http://www.furnitureatwork.co.uk/WebConnect/MainServlet?storeId=FaW&catalogId=webconnect&langId=en_GB&action=ProductDisplay&screenlabel=index&route=000120.000142.010805&productId=73060
Preferably in beech/pine effect but open to offers/suggestions.
4) [u DVI Cable
This is for the recent bargain purchase of http://www.hotukdeals.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49206&highlight=L2045
I'm clueless on this purchase but this was suggested in the threadhttp://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=2SZB&SearchType=1&SearchTerms=dvi+cable&PageMode=3&SearchKey=All&SearchMode=All&NavigationKey=0
DVI Cable Basically tells me I need an 18pin male to male DVI cable.
I know what I want but I'm posting this here in the hopes I can perhaps tie it into a package deal along with something else from my shopping list. Also any links to other options here, price wise (especially postage costs) appreciated.
5) [u Xbox modchip for XBMC
The XBMC has been discussed in good detail a few times, I've looked into it and have a few handy guides and my xbox, now I need the components. First up is the modchip.
I'm following this particular guide http://www.waltercedric.com/content/view/58/40/1/3/
However I can't find any pointers as to where to actually get a modchip, I need a non-soldering option. So if anyone here has done this before and can point me to a seller, I'd be indebted.
That's about it.
The NOTE was that, as well as all this, if any of it can be tied in, e.g. buy 2 or more items from an individual store to cut cost/delivery etc.. again, appreciated.
I'll keep digging away but I really am in need of a few pointers. I rarely shop for myself but when I do I tend to be very picky (: