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Sub-500 dollar HTPC mini ITX build

Last response: in Systems
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October 26, 2011 8:22:11 PM

Approximate Purchase Date Christmas – New Years
Budget Range $300 - $500 USD after instant rebates but before mail in rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important Ability to run Windows 7 Professional, HD-videos, light online gaming, ability to have sound which does not break up have static and/or skip, has to be able to run Open Office and some kind of internet browser besides Internet explorer.
Parts Not Required Monitor
Preferred Wesite(s) for Parts http://www.newegg.com, http://www.tigerdirect.com, http://www.amazon.com
Country of Origin USA
Overclocking NO
SLI or Crossfire NO
Monitor Reslution 1080p on a 50” so what ever that translates to
Additional Comments
A mini-ITX board will be the best as there isn't a lot of room for it to be in other wise. If it can be from either ASUS or Intel that will be the best as I find ASUS system boards to be the easiest to hook up to power cables. I am building a computer for a friend who wants it to basicly be a computer but he will be putting it into basicly a auto repair shop and a carpentry shop. All the cases which i have found use a lot of fans for cooling and i do not think he has the money to keep up water cooling. So i am wondering what kind of case and power supply for 1 and/or all of the following builds:

Build 1

Motherboard- ASRock A75M-HVS FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157261
CPU-AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz 4MB L2 Cache Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU AD3650WNGXBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103943
RAM- G.SKILL ECO 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBECO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231403
Hard drive- Seagate Barracuda Green ST1500DL003 1.5TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148725
CD/DVD Drive- SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151233
Keyboard&Mouse-Logitech MK120 Black USB Wired Slim Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126097
Tool Kit- Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16899261003

Build 2

Motherboard- ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157268
CPU- Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115073
RAM- G.SKILL ECO 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBECO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231403
Hard drive- Seagate Barracuda Green ST1500DL003 1.5TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148725
CD/DVD Drive- SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151233
Keyboard&Mouse-Logitech MK120 Black USB Wired Slim Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126097
Tool Kit- Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16899261003

Build 3

[Motherboard/CPU combo] VIA EPIA-M900
http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/embedded/ProductDetail.jsp?productLine=1&id=1550&tabs=1
RAM- G.SKILL ECO 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBECO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231403
Hard drive- Seagate Barracuda Green ST1500DL003 1.5TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148725
CD/DVD Drive- SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151233
Keyboard&Mouse-Logitech MK120 Black USB Wired Slim Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126097
Tool Kit- Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16899261003

other build suggestion will be much welcomed if they stay within the budget and include a tool kit much alike to the one in all three of mine listed.
Also please leave a note of a small case which cools the inside enough for one of these builds to not go to high in the temps when under load. Also what kind of cooling will be best? I would want to stay away from liquid cooling but it is a dusty environment at times and i do not want the computer to overheat from dust.
If you can get a good case with the supply supply included while staying in budget that would be great if not um please don't find another as the $500 mark was hard to convince him to go up to.
October 26, 2011 8:49:58 PM

Build 3 definitely not

Build 2 is computationally the most powerful but has so little gaming potential it should rule itself out .

Build one . Get the A8 3850
And since the system RAM is also the graphics RAM it needs to be as fast as possible to avoid strangling video output . Replace the RAM with 1866 Mhz sticks at 1.5 volt

Ditch the tool kit . The only thing you need to build a pc is a screw driver
October 26, 2011 9:03:02 PM

what about a case and power supply? also i choose the RAM because we need to same on the energy cost of it because of the companies tools need it.
Related resources
October 26, 2011 10:41:29 PM

The lovo RAM will save you a very small amount of electricity . Way less than the power LED on the front of the case would use .
You need 1.5 volt or lower for Llano [and sandy bridge] but dont skimp on the MHz .1600 minimum and 1866 Mhz preferred .

Maybe this for $48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I just had a look at your A75 motherboard . There is a bit of confusion . mini ITX and micro ATX are different sizes of motherboard .
This
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
is the best price on an AMD ITX mb for that processor

Cases are personal choice , but if it was in the budget I'd choose
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
because I know it is great quality

Also check out , and read the reviews of
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have not actually seen either of these two cases , and am not recommending either of them , but they are going to be able to do the job .

If you could step up to m-ATX size cases then its hard to go past
Silverstones GD 05 which accepts an ATX power supply , has excellent cooling [ you could slow the fans down and cut noise if you wanted ] and will take a standard size DVD drive ..which mini-ITX cases will not .
The GD 05 has the huge advantage of looking like a piece of home electronic kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and this psu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 [ after rebate ]
October 26, 2011 10:47:10 PM

yumri said:
what about a case and power supply? also i choose the RAM because we need to same on the energy cost of it because of the companies tools need it.


Actually your RAM voltage is determined by your motherboard, some motherboards just plain wont accept low-voltage RAM. Whatever motherboard you're buying - most manufacturers usually have a list of compatible memory modules that you can get for the MB you're buying and you can base your decisions off that (most of the time there's way too many to list but you can generally get an idea of what's compatible and what isn't).

And then the PSU - that can be tricky buying a low-wattage PSU for the case you've chosen. Most ITX and Mini-ATX desktop cases require a full ATX PSU anyways, I just built a home theater PC and went with a Corsair CX430 - a bit of a tight fit but it's a great low wattage PSU.

And I agree - ditch the tool kit, don't include miscellaneous items like that - that you don't need and will never use again - in your PC budget - spend the money where it matters most.

October 27, 2011 12:51:20 AM

@Outlander_04 noise will not be a problem from the computer all the dust will be thus why i asked about the case and power supply what can i can that will not mess up. also thank you for pointing out that was not a AMD mini-ITX board as i thought it was.
@wiscracker thank you for the case/power supply suggestion'
@g-unit i did not know that not all RAM goes with all compatible DDR version motherboards.
@Outland_04 why is the best VIA board bad?

Too all others i am still looking for case and power supply suggestions
October 27, 2011 2:54:17 AM

The Via has the weakest processor of the three.

For that reason too I would avoid the AMD E series processors

Mb makers certify some RAM as compatible . That doesnt mean thats the only RAM that will run in their boards . I have never seen a situation where RAM was incompatible because it wasnt on the list .You are safe to buy any RAM that fits the cpu/mb's specification IMO

October 27, 2011 8:49:03 AM

With the RAM i was mainly looking at it was the best RAM which i could find with the lowest voltage which usually leads to a lower TCO cost thus better. From what i have build in the past like you i never had ran into a problem using ram made for the kind of ram slot on the board with any mother board. with that the reason why i only went with DDR3 at MHz 1333 is because all the Motherboards only claimed to go up to 1333 and i have no experience in OCing. Now with all of that how do i find out how much power i will need for this rig? because on most of the pieces and parts it doesn't list it in watts. CPUs list in Watts, RAM lists in Volts and some also list Amps on the manufacturer's website ( not sure if they do that anymore though ), i cannot find anything for the HDD and the CD/DVD drive though so how do i find out the total watt usage for the rig?

yes i have built computers before but i was able to go into the $800 range and get a nice power supply but i am on a tight budget and need to find out how much i actually need to have.

@Outlander_04 i looked at the motherboard which you recommended and if i can go with AMD i will use that one it is just a matter of how much i will have after the case and power supply for which i will use but AMD seems to have the best integrated GPU out of all of them even though VIA seems to have some good tech in the VIA nano X2 CPU but with very bad graphics thus it was listed for a non-company basis.
October 27, 2011 9:05:12 AM

I don't have time to read through all these but like the idea of the APU. You can always add a video card later for xfire albeit lower end cards only, but it does make for a decent "midrange" machine.

THE HARD DRIVE............. WHY DID YOU SELECT A 5900rpm DRIVE ? YOU ARE ALREADY SLOWING YOURSELF DOWN. LOOK FOR A 7200rpm DRIVE. IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
October 28, 2011 5:21:15 AM

@swifty_morgan may i ask what i can get at 7200rpm which isn't below 1TB of storage and stays within the budget while having everything else listed along with it?

PS it is a pain to find advice for budget builds as most of us are out for performance not cost per performance while having to stay below a certain price which makes everything have to be in balance so you do not have one part which out performs everything else thus not really that needed because the rest of the system is the bottle neck. Also i am not going for a high end and/or ethusist computer i am going for a mid end computer which can do simple stuff and play the following games which i know i should have listed up above. Nexon's Mabinogi at http://mabinogi.nexon.net/Support/client.aspx and Perfect World at http://pwi.perfectworld.com/download which are both played out of cleints I want to have them play at at minimum 20fps at medium settings as my friend does not do PvP but having 20fps will make it not jag around on the screen. The sites are of the download for the client and the system requirements which for mabinogi i think they are higher but never got updated on the page.
October 28, 2011 5:33:45 AM

the A8 build will run both of those games just fine at medium-high settings at 1680x1050, medium at 1920x1080, at 30-45 fps.
October 28, 2011 5:48:28 AM

yes but your prevois answer was about the hard drive so would i see any diference in performance from going from 5900rpm to a 7200rpm hard drive ?
October 28, 2011 12:21:14 PM

yes, mostly in load times
!