HTPC Mini-ITX Board

Hello,

For school I have a Senior Project I have to do based on a Jr. Research Paper I wrote about how computers work. I have decided to build a HTPC and have some questions about what Mini-ITX board I should put in. I am on a limited budget so I am wondering about a performance difference in two boards.

To start with I am going to be using these parts. I already have the HDD and the Windows 7 32-Bit.

Case: Sunbeam Acrylic Mini-ITX Case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811166050)
DVD: ASUS DVD Burner (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204)
HDD: Western Digital 2.5'' 160gb SATA Drive
OS: Windows 7 32-bit

Now I might upgrade to a Blu-Ray drive at a later date but because of money just using DVD drive.

The two boards I am looking at are as follows.

ASRock A330ION (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157194)
Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134785)
Total after shipping: (220.45)

OR

ASUS AT5IONT-I (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131663)
G.SKILL 2GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231212)
Total after shipping: ($286.28)

I know the ASUS board is faster but will it make a huge difference? The PC will be used for streaming Netflix, Hulu, MLB.TV and watching DVD's. Eventually when I get a Blu-Ray drive for watching Blu-Rays.

It's only a $66 difference but I am on an extremely tight budget as a high school student and don't have much extra money to spend after my car insurance. I will get some help from my parents but before making the case for the more expensive setup I want some more knowledge about if it is really worth the extra money. If I get the ASRock board I might also be able to get a Blu-Ray drive now instead of later.

So which PC should I make a case for?

Thanks!

Another option but I don't know if it will be as fast as graphics for the HTPC. I have an old Intel E4400 and I know there are some mini-ITX mobo's but are there any with comparable built in graphics?
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  1. I use MLB.TV and it puts more stress on the CPU than you would think. If I were you would definitely go with the ASUS board. I should have a better time playing MLB.TV and it should be more "future proof", if that is a real thing.

    As a side note, I don't know if you have already used MLB.TV, but I am not a big fan of it. Seems to be connectivity issues sometimes, and I don't know how the player works, but it really does require a a surprising amount of processing power.
  2. I live in North Carolina so to see my Red Sox I have to get MLB.TV. I have used it the past two seasons.

    I figured most will say the Asus I will just have to get a way to scrounge up the money.
  3. I think I am actually going to go in another direction now.

    I have an old Core 2 Duo E4400 and 2gb of DDR2 Ram in my old rig. I found a Zotac mini-ITX board and I am going to pair it with an ATI 5450. Since I already own the CPU and RAM it is actually cheaper than the Atom/ION board and it will be much more powerful.

    PowerColor Go! Green AX5450 512MK3-SH(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspxItem=N82E16814131339&Tpk=N82E16814131339)
    ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500042)
  4. Why not this cheaper one instead?:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121381

    Since you're gonna use a graphic card anyway, which will make the G43 chipset IGP pretty much useless.

    EDIT: It also says: "Out of Stock" :lol:

    Go for the Zotac then... :D
  5. That Zotac board was the cheapest I could find with a PCI-E slot. That Intel board is just PCI.
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