Honestly, it was a extremely difficult to find one of the PCI-Cards here in Europe. Nearly everything you find is PCIe. I live in Germany and the only shops I could find which sell those cards were from the US, but they wouldn't ship this item to Europe for some reason. (NewEgg, Tigerdirect and even Amazon.com)
Finally I came across a German Onlineshop which sells one of the Sparcle-cards for € 60, which is about $ 76. Crap! I believe, there is a very small market for PCI-cards here in EU.
I'd like to reproduce the original results using existing parts where possible. It looks like the cheapest option is
- Nvidia GeForce 210 fanless low profile GPU (512MB): $40
- AMD Sempron 140 Sargas: $36
- Suitable micro-ATX motherboard (sadly, with integrated GPU): $50
- 2GB DDR2/800 RAM: $50
At these prices, cutting from 2GB RAM to 1GB RAM would save significantly on the price (my wife is indulging me). But I would like to be able to play h.264 encoded 1080p content, since my TV supports 1080p. Should I pay $50 for a full 2GB RAM, or will $25 for 1GB RAM suffice? Getting the full cost under $150 would be a bonus.
(I have a case already paid for and can repurpose optical drive and hard drives from existing systems that have reached retirement age.)
For simple movie playback with linux 2 gb are not necessary - in case you will upgrade to bluray and then need sometimes win 2 gb would be better.
Thanks for the advice. It sounds like a plan is to go with one stick of 1GB RAM and then add a second stick if/when I upgrade the optical drive to a Blu-ray player. My main concern at this point is high-definition H.264.Quote:
For simple playback 2GB are not necessary.