Dell help needed

I hope u guys can help me coz I'm a bit lost..
I used to watch online tv shows and 1080p movies on my laptop.
Then, using a hdmi cable I started watching it on my HDTV.
It was extremely good however I had to constantly go to the laptop for operating the system.
I later got splash top app on my iPad and was able to control all that I wanted comfortably from my couch.
But now my wife wants to use the laptop to study so I decided to build myself a htpc. Unfortunately I'm almost broke, so I'm trying to get it done as cheap as possible.
A couple of days back I bought the remains of a dell 755 optiplex SFF for $20 from some guy. It only had the motherboard and case without psu.
Since then I've come to regret it as after 2 days of research I found out this:

1. I had borrowed a CPU, ram and psu and tried to start the pc but all I could see was an amber light on the mother. I couldn't see or hear any beeping or fan sound. I then had to return the parts I borrowed.
2. The dell case seems to be a DTX.

Now my questions are these:

1. Should I buy a dell psu (which costs between $60-30)? Will it work on other motherboards if this ones fried? If a buy a non dell psu will it work on the dell mobo without harming it?
2. After buying the psu (dell or non dell) can I test if the mobo is working without buying CPU and ram? Since If I buy those and the mobo doesn't work, my choice of mobo will be slim.
3. After trying to check (if it's possible) and the dell mobo doesn't work, I was planning to buy a cheap mobo. If the mobo had a processor and hdmi on it would be great(like the atom). I was planning to take the back panel off the case and use an atom based mobo. Is that viable?

My primary objective was to have a cheap pc temporarily to watch stuff on the tv (even if it's VGA) and in the future buy a good GPA with hdmi out and upgrade it.

Any info/suggestion would be great

4 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Since you dont seem to have any legit info on this system trying to fix it would be trial and error, which can be very costly.

    $100 for an APU computer is a safe bet

    if thats too big you can go with a mini computer system which a halfway decent one will cost you ~$150 also not bad
  2. i dont think that case will support that form factor, they only come in mini itx and micro atx. i am pretty sure 755's are atx.

    what is your budget we can probably save you time, money and frustration if you let us suggest a build within your budget.
  3. Thanks for the response guys..
    The case is a Dell 755 optiplex small form factor. The dimensions are appx 14x4x14.
    Since it's dell the case has the I/o on the right side. So I was gonna take the back panel off. Now I m thinking of taking apart my old xbox and putting a mini atom mono in it. Think it might look cool as an htpc :) what do y'all think??
  4. Best answer selected by Scorpiorising.
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