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.
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.
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.