Help building mini-ITX PC for HDTV

Hello Everyone,

I'm planning on building my grandparents a compact PC for them to connect to their TV for web-browsing, netflix, etc. I've built a couple gaming PCs for myself in the past, but never a mini PC. I've been doing some shopping around for different hardware, but these builds keep coming out a little more expensive then I expected. The main components that are a must are: HDMI port (obviously) and at least 60GB SSD for OS and storage (an extra bay for future storage is a plus).


Approximate Purchase Date: November

Budget Range: $300 - 350

System Usage from Most to Least Important: surfing the web and netflix.

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: Everything

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com and I normally go to microcenter for CPU deals.

Location: NJ

Parts Preferences: Intel i3 CPU (Pretty much set on getting this:Intel i3 2120

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Would be great to be able to watch 1920 x 1080 on the intel integrated graphics.

Additional Comments: In regards to the case, I'm looking for something compact and sleek. Something that would look nice next to a TV and low-cost.

Thanks in advance for the help and suggestions.
4 answers Last reply
More about help building mini hdtv
  1. I built this mini-itx system one week ago for my daughter at a cost of $350. It works very nicely and stays cool. Plenty of room for extra hard drives. The case was surprisingly roomy, sturdy and of high quality... a very quick and easy build.

    4 gig g-skill ram - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231396
    450watt Antec psu - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371045
    Pentium G860 cpu - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116405
    Cooler Master compact case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119261
    Samsung 320 gb hard drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152244
    Intel mini-ITX motherboard H-61 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121505
    LG combo DVD/CD burner - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136247
    Rosewill wireless adapter - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166047

    For the operating system I prefer Xubuntu 12.04 or XBMC (Linux) media center. No cost, quick and easy installation and setup.

    The one con: There is no internal header for plugging in the front connector for the usb3. But there are still two functional usb2 ports on the front and four usb ports on the rear, two of which are usb3.
  2. For a small case, look at the Antec ISK-300 which includes a psu:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129080

    I have used ECS motherboards before, and they are ok:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135323

    Your cpu does not need to be as strong as a i3-2100. Even a G530 would do at half the price:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116409
  3. I'd spend the extra $10 and get the Intel i3-2125 for $99.99: http://www.microcenter.com/product/376494/Core_i3_2125_33GHz_LGA_1155_Boxed_Processor because it has the HD3000 GPU which will help with deinterlacing performance for live TV.

    For the rest:

    Realan E-i5 mini-ITX HTPC case with 84W AC adapter $89.99 + shipping
    ASUS P8H61-I R2.0 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard $85.99
    Silverstone NT07-1156 low-profile heatsink/fan $24.50
    Crucial m4 64GB SSD $72.96
    Kingston Value 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 Desktop Memory Model KVR1066D3S8N7K2/4G $21.49

    Total: $394.92 (plus tax on the CPU and shipping for the case)



    If you want to cut back closer to budget, these CPUs will also do very well for HDTV:
    Pentium G645 2.9GHz LGA 1155 Boxed Processor $59.99
    Celeron G550 2.6GHz LGA 1155 Boxed Processor $34.99

    I have the system above with a G620 for my bedroom HTPC for watching 1080p video from my NAS, Netflix and live TV via CableCard tuner and it's great.
  4. Thanks everyone for all the feedback. This was EXTREMELY helpful. And I will definitely be going with Linux, running XBMC.
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