I found, ready for throwing away, an old PC with an ASUS A7V-E motherboard. It was in our trash area in our block of flats. It had a 30gb disc, a Geforce 2 MX 440 gfx card, a Soundblaster Audigy, not a bad little rig.
One of the RAM sticks was faulty, and this was quickly diagnosed by Memtest. Once removed the random crashes disappeared. (something its previous owner must have not known about :-))
So rescued, this thing has been living in my bedroom, awaiting its transformation into an Entertainment center PC. My good friend Andrew lent me an old Pinnacle TV card (which finding drivers for has been a bit of a pain) and I just bought some speakers for it today.
The great thing to know is that the motherboard supports over 138Gb Hard disks with the latest beta according to here.
The next step would be to get the Pinnacle working correctly and install a DVD drive in there. This can then serve as the media center for the home. Finally a use for that 40gb laptop drive thats been hanging about.