This is the system without the cover on, showing the motherboard in all its tiny glory.
Another angle, with a DVD for scale.
Notice that the DVD drive takes up about 1/6th of the case's total volume.
It's about the size of a shoebox, all told.
There's a spring-loaded door concealing the DVD drive. In the first picture of these two you can see the button on the outside that actuates the eject button on the drive. No modification of the drive is necessary, and as long as its button is in the usual place it'll work fine.
The front audio and USB connectors are hidden behind another door, as is access to the 3.5" drive bay. I've got nothing in there right now so there's just a blanking plate back there.
The front panel is reflective. The rest of the case is gloss black.
The most time-consuming thing about tonight's festivities? Waiting for Windows Update. I was playing WoW on the main desktop (Cephiro) so the torrent box (El Hazard) had to share the pipe to the Intartubzorz. And in fact, while it was downloading an endless parade of patches I had it playing anime on the blab slab, and it looked good.
It's a pity this system can only handle 2 GB of RAM. Once Vista was installed, I ran the Windows Performance index program and discovered that--other than the video interface--the computer turns in a solid 4.2 across the board. Hard drive access is a bit faster, but the video interface only scores a 2.0. The 2 GB limit means Windows does a lot swapping to and from virtual memory. (No idea if Win 7 would be a better OS for this machine; it can handle it, though.) 4 GB would be better--but once everything is running, it's plenty powerful.
In short, this machine could run WoW, if it had a better video card in it. It would chunk a bit when there were a lot of players around (like when you visit a city, for example) but otherwise it'd be just fine and dandy.
For the time being I've put the old wireless card in (the MIMO one that was originally in Cephiro) but eventually I'll get the switch hooked up and run it that way, instead.
I could 86 the DVD drive and run another hard drive for more storage. More SATA ports would have been nice, but what do I expect for $40?
So: counting only the components I had to buy to build the machine and get it functional, I got myself a new computer for $136, and it's a new computer that can do nearly anything I'd want it to. It's a video card upgrade away from being able to play WoW--and it doesn't even need a really expensive video card to do that!
Damn, this is cool.