Originally Posted by rs350z
i would not recommend a laptop for a music server. laptops are not meant to be kept on all the time. they get pretty hot and they don't dissipate heat very well. try using your laptop on your legs for a couple of hours straight and see if it gets very warm. i use a mac mini, quiet, cool running, the best Operating system, and itunes is a nice interface. i use this as my server to a whole house music system. i use airport express devices using wired or wireless connections. i have jitter reduction devices after the airport express devices. huge difference. from the jitter devices, i go into external dacs, then into my preamps. i have $2000 and $3500 external dacs and they make the sound very musical, and easily compares to my multi thousand $$$ cd player.
The reason I prefer a lap top is its size. With just 3 connections (A.C. adapter, digital audio and USB) I can move it in and out of my system easily. It isn't an iPod, but it is somewhat portable.
I'm currently using a Dell Precision M90 w/120GB HD running Vista Ultimate. Graphics is handled by an NVIDIA Quadro FX 2500M. Audio is SigmaTel High Definition Audio Codec.
When I'm entertaining, or not really interested in serious listening, I use Media Server with remote control to access my music library. With this combination of hardware/software the lap top doesn't need to be open. The M90 even has volume and player control buttons which are functional and accessible without opening the lid!
As far as heat is concerned, I don't rest it in my lap and when its not in use it goes into hibernation. In this standby mode it generates little, if any heat. Also duo core seems to generate far less heat than single core machines, especially when running from the A.C. adapter.