Hi, I have never built a computer before but have been researching the prospect for the past few years. I have finally decided what i want to build. I want a small computer with a large amount of storage which i can use as a HTPC. I would NOT be using this computer for gaming and WOULD largely be using it to run media portal, watch/record tv and movies - including ISO's of DVD's and potentially blurays in the the future.

My specs are as follows

Case: Lian Li PC-Q08B USB3.0 Mini-ITX Case
MOBO: Zotac H55ITX-A-E
Processor: Intel Core i5 661
RAM: Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB
PSU:Novatech 750W ATX Power Supply
CPU FAN: Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro Ultra Intel 775/1155/1156

I also have other HDD's (2xgreen, 2 old standard HDD's) and an existing TV card which i would use.

I am wondering what people think of these specs? whether the integrated graphics should be enough for my needs? if the increased graphics capabilities on the 661 are worth paying the extra for? if the PSU is way too overkill and a good idea to not go for a well known brand? In the future i would like to upgvrade my tv card to a good quality HD dual tuner, any good recommendations?

Many thanks
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  1. Yeah, for this application that PSU is probably a bad idea. Also I imagine with a mini itx case it wouldn't fit a standard power supply anyway. But this could generate a lot more heat than one would like in a tiny case.

    I like the core i5 CPU, and the integrated graphics should be fine for your purposes. I would add a video card if you are interested in gaming only.

    You mentioned having some other HDD's, I would consider that space requirements may limit you to one large hard drive. The price of 1.5 and 2TB drives have really come down recently. That's what I would look at.

    Here's a page of mini itx power supplies, but you should check which type of supplies your case can handle.

    None of these are brands that I trust, but it appears the Apevia supply is the best o that bunch.

    As far as the tuner goes, I think hauppage generally has the best tuner cards but I also believe it is model specific. Check reviews and do a little research before purchasing.

    This one looks nice but I don't know your specific needs/budget.
  2. The Lian-Li PC-Q08 fits a standard ATX power supply and 6 x 3.5" HDDs. However, a 750W PSU is going to be overkill. At the very low loads you'll be pulling with that system, a 750W PSU is not going to be very efficient.

    One of these would be a better choice: (modular) (modular)

    Since you'll only have one slot, you'll need to use the IGP since you're going to use your tuner card. The Clarkdale IGPs are supposed to be very good for HD video and HD audio.

    The PC-Q08 has USB3.0 ports. Have you considered the USB3.0 version of that Zotac board? It also has 6 x SATAII.
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