I enjoy speccing out new PC builds; it gives me an opportunity to learn and keep in touch with the latest trends. Lately, I’ve been working on a Home Theater PC build for my girlfriend.
Her criteria was simple: it had to be around $300 and fit underneath a TV stand.
I clarified and fleshed out some criteria into this list:
- Under $400 including shipping & taxes
- M-ITX form factor
- Low power consumption
- Allowed to use existing parts
This was going to be quite the challenge but I was up for it. After a day or so if tinkering, this is what I’ve come up with:
CPU: AMD Athlon 5350 @ $69.99
Motherboard: ASRock AM1B-ITX @ $49.99 or ASUS AM1I-A @ $59.99
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 4GB – $44.99
Case: Silverstone Milo ML05B @ $54.99 (CanadaComputers) or Silverstone Milo ML06B @ $69.99 (NewEgg.ca)
PSU: FSP Group FSP300-60GHS @ $54.99 (NewEgg.ca)
Wireless Card: Rosewill N600PCE Wireless (Dual band) @ $34.99
Total (w/ taxes): $361.60
I chose the AMD Kabini platform because it appears to be that ideal balance of CPU and GPU performance in a lower power package. It’s also very cheap. I haven’t narrowed down the motherboard or case selection yet but I will leave that to availability and shipping costs.
The only missing components are: an optical drive, storage and operating system. I have a spare 60GB SSD, so that shouldn’t be a problem. I can get a Windows 8 license on the cheap. And as for the optical drive, I need to find out if it’s required.
I haven’t built a small computer like this before and not for under $400. I hope it comes into fruition because I’m very curious how well it will perform.