Low cost HTPC / Emulator box.

Well my modded xbox that I had running Xbox media center and some old school emulator games and roms broke, and I was looking into getting a new xbox 1 and realized I could probably build a low cost pc for pretty cheap and have it play my games and stream my videos.

So basically the goal of the computer would be to.
1.) Stream wireless movies, up to 720p quality
2.) Play old emulator games, possibly up to N64 level.
3.) Not sure how this works but a frontend that can connect to hulu or other streaming video sites..

Controllers: I was thinking of using an xbox 360 wireless controller adapter so I don't need more controllers laying around. Price is around $20

Front End: I was looking at GameEx http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Px3yKnTCEs as the front end, but I've also heard of Myth Tv being good. Or maybe i'd even stick with Xbox media center for pc...

Hard Drive: I have a 250gb IDE hard drive that I was going to put in my modded Xbox, but i would use it for this project.

Motherboard, Processor, Etc.. to be honest i'm not sure exactly how much power I would need for this thing. I was looking to make this a very small looking box I could put by my big screen tv and wouldn't be too loud... I was even considering using something like my xbox as the case but I'm not too sure how hard doing the wiring would be (I have a solder gun....)

*I don't care if it is Intel/Amd or whatever just whatever offers the best performance/$

Anyways just wondering if anyone had any advice... I've been looking for the past few days but I seem to be a little lost on exactly how much power I need with processor and integrated video to keep the cost down since I'm only looking to spend like $200 or a little more if it is worth the additional cost..... Thanks for any help or advice!
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  1. I threw this together, but am still not sure exactly how big this would be and what would be a good/cheap case/psu..

    Foxconn A7GM-S AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $66.99
    (I have a 42" tv with HDMI, but don't mind using component if i have to..)

    Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PSD22G800KH - Retail - $23.99

    AMD Athlon X2 BE-2400 Brisbane 2.3GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor Model ADH2400DOBOX - Retail - $49.99

    and I still couldn't find a cheap case and psu that looked small and quiet..
  2. That's not a bad plan at all.

    Don't skimp on PSU quality though.


  3. $230 w/o the HDD, PSU fine for an IGP rig
  4. http://www.warhammeralliance.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157231&highlight=beat
    There's a thread where I detail my build in trying to get absolute best $$/dollar. My core components are just $248. I'm totally against getting anything but the budget components since you can just upgrade again in 1.5 years to get a computer much faster than any bleeding edge $2k machine today.
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