First time builder, suggestions welcome!


This is my first time building a PC and I just wanted to make sure I didnt forget anything before I put any money down. I thought hearing a few suggestions would be great before buying anything either!

I am trying to build a low power HTPC that may serve as a secondary computer if needed. I didnt want an ATOM system because I wanted the ability to upgrade the CPU and the option of extra umph if needed later.

Let me know what you think of the choices, it is only around $440 together.

I may underclock the cpu for some lower power (and less heat). I was thinking mini itx because of its lower power and small form factor, thats why I didnt go micro ATX. I also was considering an Intel Build, those parts are listed below too if you think that build may be better!

Motherboard: $132
ASUS M4A88T-I Deluxe AM3 AMD 880G------ [...] 6813131659

Processor: $63
AMD Athlon II X2 250------ [...] -_-Product

RAM: $84
Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066------ [...] 6820148191

Hard Drive: Bought it for $99!
WD Green 2TB WD20EARS (the new format with 512 sectors)----- [...] tb&x=0&y=0

Case: $60
Foxconn RS233 Black+Light Silver------ [...] nn%20RS233

I REALLY wanted to go with the Antec MI-008 because it was so small and compact, but everyone was saying you have to buy a TERRIBLY slim aftermarket CPU fan and that it just gets too hot. I dont want my system to burn so I was too concerned to get it. [...] Tpk=mi-008 ($50)

Intel Build:

GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard $112

Intel i3-530 (2.93GHz) $109 (Newegg sale)
WD Green 2TB WD20EARS $99

OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 OCZ3BE1600C8LV4GK $67 (with processor)

Same two cases, except Id be even more worried about heat with the i3 since its 73 watts...

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  1. How badly do you want mITX over mATX? Or even full ATX?

    This mobo for 30$ less and USB/sata3.
  2. Ive essentially decided on mini ITX because I would really like the small form factor. The cases for mATX and full ATX are significantly larger.

    I would like this system to be small and dont need the extra PCI slots. There are some very cheap mini ITX boards too, but I chose these to help carry this PC further into the future. I also have a whole build planned out for mATX but moved to mini itx after really reviewing the sizes.

    The total cost of the mATX and mini ITX is roughly the same after everything is purchased. The mini ITX is actually a little cheaper.
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