I'm currently working on a website that is based around webcams. I will need to build a machine that will be exclusively used for broadcasting a webcam. It won't be used for developing spreadsheets or photoshop or anything other then broadcasting the cam. One exception, a tiny, self made exe file will be periodically executed and needs to be done so quickly. I'm certain I can build a great machine but I don't want to build more then I have to. If all goes well, I'll be building several of these so I want a great machine with the money going to the right things.
Any suggestions on what components are important, which are not? Processor type, speed etc.?
Any cheaper alternatives to Windows 7 that will support a new webcam?