Questions about parts for an HTPC

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week or two BUDGET RANGE: Between $250-$400


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: hard drive (will boot OS off flash drive)



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Want a small footprint, quiet and cool.

Ok, so here is my question... I'm building an HTPC and want to stay with a mini-ITX motherboard and form factor for size reasons. But I don't want to go with an Intel Atom processor, I'd rather go with something more powerful for futureproofing and for more functionality should I decide to go that route. Here is what I had in mind for my build. The motorboard has a built in Nvidia geforce 9300 video card, so that'll handle my video needs. Mostly, I want a beefier processor than the atom for things the Nvidia can't process (flash video) and if i ever decide to throw windows on it, i'll be ready for it

My questions are - do I need the 250W case, or is 150W sufficient? What will I need fan wise for cooling? Is it not a good idea to pair the Zotac mobo with the E5300? I haven't seen much talk of people doing it, but it seems as though it should work. Basically, does this build make sense? I'm willing to spend more money than listed here, but again, would really like to keep the mini ITX form factor. Am also open to other case ideas

Case -
APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply - - $39.99
Rosewill RC-SIX-01 BK Glossy & Hair-line brushed Black Steel Slim Mini-ITX Computer Case with 150W Power Supply and 1x 40mm Fan - - $49.99

Zotac GeForce 9300 HDMI Wi-Fi Mini ITX Intel Motherboard GF9300-D-E -

Intel Pentium E5300 2.6GHZ 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual Core - $70

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model CM2X2048-6400C5 - - $35

I'll also buy a flash drive, optical drive and have a MCE remote to use with it.

5 answers Last reply
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  1. You need a quality PSU, not any of the ones that come with those cases. However, there is a rather adequate FSP unit in this Sugo... it's nothing stellar but will work:
    Obviously, the case is very high quality too.

    That board is going to pull a good amount of juice also... so I would say at least a PSU rated for 250W continuous (Not MAX as that one is). Yes you will only pull around 100W. you need margin with PSUs for safety and efficiency. Don't save a penny here and spend it in next months power bill.

    BTW your links are broken :)
  2. Hm, alright. Thanks for the info. Definitely makes sense about spending more on a PSU/Case now than paying for it later in power usage. Cases and PSUs is definitely my weak link as far as my knowledge on building a computer goes. I guess having a 300W efficient PSU is better than a 150-200W non efficient PSU, as far as power bill costs and all go...

    I do like that case you posted.

    Thanks for the advice
  3. We are pretty fanatical about quality power around here. If I could find a good ITX case without a PSU and a good PSU from say Seasonic that would fit it, I would point you to that. There isn't anything quite like that though. Probably will be in a year or so.
  4. Ok, lemme throw a curveball in...

    My reason for going ITX was not only size, but also for low heat output and power consumption. Could I get a more efficient power supply and a machine that wont' create as much heat if I went with microATX instead? From what it sounds like you're saying, ITX limits me from the best build.

    What would you recommend if I went with...

    Mobo: ASUS P5N7A VM

    Processor: Intel E5300


    So basically, the same components, but with a micro ATX board. Can you recommend a power supply and case? Case wise, I'd like it to be as small as possible and still efficient
  5. That would be better, and a study was done last year that concluded just as you have... there aren't really any major powers savings with the ITX build, perhaps in part because of the PSUs. (it was done here at TH, I think, if you want to search for it.)

    I would use AMD however. There would be less heat with the new 785G chipset and good performance, about equal to the 9300.

    Asus 785G
    The AM3 version would use lower voltage DDR3, but that's not a big thing... up to you)

    Low power Athlon:
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