DIY HD HTPC Extravaganza- Part 2: Mobos, CPUs, Memory

Part 2 of our build-your-own HTPC series surveys the wide world of motherboards, CPUs, memory and power supplies and comes up with the picks to match our chosen case.
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  1. *This was a reply more for Part 2 than Part 1.*


    I looked at these two articles and saw a few neat features1 on a couple of motherboards. I've been building PCs and doing specialty projects for years, so these kind of articles interest me. However I, as I'm sure others who read this series are, the type who enjoy a challenge when building something from scratch, and using parts that aren't necessarily stock or of a generic nature. I realize that what you have chosen so far is not exactly generic, such as the i-Ram, but it would be nice to see more of that kind of variety in temrs of alternate methods to reach the same goal.

    I'm curious as to why no mini-itx boards have been selected. Recently, one or two manufacturers have successfully made a motherboard capable of handling a Pentium M CPU. The foot prints of the board are much smaller than MicroATX. Further, they have all what could be needed on board in terms of networking sound, video etc. Some even have a PCI for add-on cards. These boards aren't too hard to acquire, if one is willing to buy online. Many models are also fanless, thus cutting the need to worry about fan noise. shows what kind of boards are available on the market and how these boards can be put in almost anything, rather than just an ATX case.

    Also, as for power supplies, there is something called a picoPSU-120.
    This is a solid state PSU that runs up to 120W. If careful, a slimline optical drive and 2.5" laptop drive can run off this unit. Again, this is a space saver and fanless. If more hard drive space is required, then an external drive or NAS could be used in cases where a massive amount of space is required.

    I am curious to know as to what OS will be used for this project.
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