UPDATES: Found an slim LG internal Blu-ray drive for 41.41 during Prime Day and on 7/29 the Low Profile 750ti dropped from $149 to $119. Slim HTPC V2 Coming soon!
I had a pre-built "gaming" pc at the time and wanted to upgrade to a real gaming pc, so I practiced by building my parents a HTPC to replace their fairly new lenovo, althought aesthetically pleasing, < rant > it used a ****** AMD E1 processor, the thing would have trouble on Youtube and scrolling on Facebook. Streaming was a big no-no, it had an HDMI port but streaming youtube at 1080p would stutter and the audio would go out of sync. We are talking about a PC manufactured and purchased in 2012 that had trouble opening youtube! "Yo do you want to open Microsoft Word? Ok just give me 5 ******* MINUTES TO OPEN IT,MAKE SURE YOU DON'T PRESS ANYTHING OR ELSE WORD WILL CRASH AND YOU WILL HAVE TO OPEN IT AGAIN! AHH BUT YOU GOTTA KILL WORD IN THE TASK MANAGER SO YOU WILL NEED TO FURIOUSLY PRESS "CTRL+ALT+SHIFT" A COUPLE TIMES TO OPEN TASK MANAGER OR RESTART ME HALF OF THE TIME!" </rant>
The build began in October 05, 2014; with the purchase of a MSI AM1I Mini ITX motherboard ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130759 [$37]) and a Rosewill FBM-02 Micro ATX case ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147167 [29.99]) and the AMD 5350 [61.29]
(I was going for a small form factor pc and accidentally purchased a large Micro ATX case, but we had it hidden so it wasn't a big deal.)
CPU: I went for the AMD 5350 because it was one of the cheapest on PcPartPicker and had fairly good reviews. Since this PC is for streaming and light gaming Overclocking is not in our minds (Purchased in Oct. 05. 2014)
CPU Cooler: It was running with the stock cooler but when I was swapping cases I realized how tiny the heatsink/fan were and loud. This was one very few AM1 coolers I could find and very
cheap affordable. I haven't checked temps but fan runs at very low RPM and is quiet, too quiet... (Purchased Jul. 05. 2015)
OLD: First MoBo was a MSI AM1I Mini ITX, it had USB 3.0 Ports in the back but no front panel connections had no problems, it was ok at the time since the old case didn't have USB 3.0 ports. (Purchased on Oct. 05. 2014)
NEW: New case has USB 3.0 ports so I went with the MSI AM1M Micro ATX, it also has 2 more USB ports and 2 PCI Express x1 Ports. It has been running for two days and has had no issues. (Purchased on Jul. 07. 2015)
Memory: For $37.99 it was one of the cheapest at the time (now about $25). Since its an HTPC, 4GB is enough. It has worked as expected, no issues. (might end up buying another 4GB since RAM prices have been dropping lately.) (Purchased on Oct. 06. 2014)
Storage: I could have saved myself $10 if I had purchased before online, but since I had $50 Best Buy credit I decided to skip the wait for delivery and just purchased it in store. It has a large capacity, and doesn't make any clicky sounds (Purchased on Oct. 18. 2014)
Power Supply: Although the HTPC, I might end up adding a cheapo vga so I went for this one so I wouldn't have to upgrade the PSU later. At first it didn't power on, I ran the PC on another PSU for a week and tried it again before I returned it and it worked. Hasn't had a problem since. (Purchased Oct. 12. 2014)
OLD: The first case was large, (fit a 120mm fan on the back), for $29.99 it was the cheapest I had found. I wouldn't recommend it. It is still $29.99, it doesn't have usb 3 support, uses a Military Grade LED that can project light about 70 feet and blind you. The fans are noisy and the case is fugly, for $5 more you can find something better. (Purchased on Oct. 05. 2014)
NEW: So after moving we needed a new case since we got rid of the old huge TV stand and we couldn't hide the Behemoth Fugly Rosewill after about 3 months of forgetting and procastinating I found a 22.99 case on Amazon with 4/5 stars reviews, slim, USB 3 Support, External bay and with a nice design. The case fits a Micro ATX board, it has one bay for the HDD and an external bay for a slim drive (will buy a bluray drive during prime day if I find any on sale), although it is compact it can fit a full size ATX PSU, the PSU is located in the front and it is a bit difficult to get the connection in and assembling the grille to cover it. It doesn't have cable management but there are other models that do and for the same price. (Purchased on Jul. 02. 2015)
FUTURE: I will buy a Blu-ray drive (maybe Prime Day Sale), also if I find a cheap GT 740 or something I might end up buying it. I was also thinking of replacing the internal HDD with a SSD, and buying a PCI Express x1 Sata Card so I could plug an External HDD in the back.
Cheap and works with no problems. AMD is going away with support for AM1 so you might want skip this and go for their budget line releasing in late 2015
Temps are similar to the stock AM1 cooler but it is x10 quieter. Also looks nice
Cheap and has USB 3 port for front panel. Would wait for the new line of budget processors released in late 2015 since AM1 will stop being supported.
Cheap RAM, doesn't have heatsink but its black not yucky green so that helps.
Have used 4 of these, none have failed, can be found very cheap during sales
great for a low budget HTPC!
Free upgrade to Win 10!