Budget HTPC Build - First Build

This is the parts list for a budget level HTPC that will do some moonlighting as a video encoder and possibly some print work (photoshop cs3). I'm hoping I won't have a problem running XP but I intend to move on up to Windows 7 in April. I'm also hoping I can fit my 2 old IDE drives in here (I checked the manual and it says it has 1 IDE cable so I'm good)

My current rig had a horrible mobo failure after 6 years and sadly, it happens a couple of months after the birth of my first born son so money is tiiiiiiiiight.


CPU -AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor

PSU-OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC

Optical Drive-Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail

Altogether it's $258.00 including shipping and I intend to breadbox it make sure it's in working order then ordering an HTPC case or one of the nicer Coolermaster Micro ATX cases.

I've never built a completely new rig before but I've Frankenstein'd many old ones so I'm not expecting too much hassle, I'm just concerned about compatibility and whether or not this is a good build for ~$250.

I just wanted to add, that I am not going to buy a video card at this time, and I while I expect to add a nice mid/top tier card later I don't expect to be running dual cards at all.
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  1. Best answer
    Looks pretty good, however I'd highly suggest going to 2 or more GB of ram (it is fairly cheap these days). Win7 does not run well at all on 1GB.
  2. Hmm if u starting afresh why not go with an AM3/DDR3 build cos the sun is going down on DDR2 platforms and for your uses i'd hit at least 2GB RAM 1st
  3. Thanks for the advice guys and I've gone ahead and added a 2gb dual channel kit to that because it really does seem like the best way to go for now.

    The only real excuse I have for starting so far down is budget. All the parts above cost me $258 US including shipping. I couldn't find a better combination of parts for that price.

    It will probably go down like this, if I need more power, I can try unlocking that last core which isn't a given, but the board can still support a quad core cpu, so that would probably be the first upgrade, then the mobo and ram I can upgrade for about $150.

    But since I won't stabilize financially til after the summer, this is probably as nice as it's gonna get til then. Having a new kid is totally not good for your bank account lol.
  4. Yep, I figured you had reasons not to spend a ton. That now looks like a pretty balanced build.
  5. Best answer selected by shadowclown.
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