[Windows] Cheap MicroATX Build
#1
I am looking to build a cheap XBMC with a little more power and flexibility than the nettops afford. So far I have been scanning the forums and I think I have a good idea for all the components except for the case. Some of the posts I have read the cases are no longer in stock and there seems to be an abundance of choices. I prefer something that will blend in with my black Onkyo receiver and Samsung Blu Ray player.

So far I have
[Mobo] Foxconn A76ML-K AM3 Ready / AM2+ / AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $45 + FS
[CPU] AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX250OCGMBOX $60 + FS
[Memory] G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) 6 Purchased last year
[GPU] ASUS ENGT430/DI/1GD3(LP) GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 $75 + $4 ($60 after MIR)
[HD] Eventually a SSD but will use an available 3.5" sata for the meantime
[Case] Foxconn DH153C-CF300K Steel MicroATX Slim Desktop Computer Case 300W Power Supply $45 + $10

Total of $236 before rebates. If someone has a better case/psu combo or a better deal I'm all ears.
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#2
You could knock off $30 and get a Sempron. You'd still be miles above a nettop.
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#3
Would a sempron handle blu ray playback if I add a player at a later date? I went with this video card particularly because of the HD audio bitstreaming support.
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#4
looks alot like some of my suggested AMD micro-ATX builds --> Here!

but uhm, your mobo, just make sure it has a PCI-EXPRESS 2.0 x 16 slot
because if not, the GT430 card will operate at half the speed it could....
[mobo] Foxconn A76ML-K AM3 Micro-ATX ($45 + $0)
$8 more then the Foxconn A74ML-K & it'll work with your DDR2-1066 sticks...
not bad at all Smile

and if your really on an extreme tight budget,
i guess you could go for the SEMPRON 140 SingleCore CPU...
$38 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...-_-Product

and yes, with all of those parts, you'll be able to play anything 100%!
including Blurays...
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#5
Good catch I didn't realize there were newer PCI express x16 standards...it's been a few years since my last PC build.

It looks like Foxconn A76ML-K AM3 Ready / AM2+ / AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard has support for PCI Express x16 2.0 and is only $8 more while still supporting my ddr2 memory.
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#6
http://forum.xbmc.org/showpost.php?p=714763&postcount=4

also, a mobo you could buy is the ASRock A780LM-S ($50 + $0)
because for an extra $5,
you get a shot at unlocking the second Core of the SEMPRON 140 Smile

see video tutorial --> http://ow.ly/1s19bR
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#7
The only issue I have with that board is that it is lacking in Gige support. At this point i'm trying to find a cheap micro atx board that'll potentially unlock a sempron core, have pcie x16 2.0, and have integrated gig e.
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#8
[MOBO] ASRock K10N78M-PRO AM3/AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 Micro ATX ($52 + $3)

Features:
Integrated NVIDIA GeForce 8200 graphics, DX10 VGA, Pixel Shader 4.0, Max. shared memory 512MB
Supports NVIDIA Hybrid SLI
Supports HDCP function with DVI-D port
Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) / HD-DVD playback with DVI-D port
NVIDIA PureVideo HD Ready
Supports ASRock Instant Boot, Instant Flash
Supports Smart BIOS, ASRock OC Tuner, Intelligent Energy Saver
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#9
I read up and it looks like only the ATI chipset with a particular southbridge support unlocking the extra core(s). I think I'd rather spend the extra money and go with a stable processor and not deal with my wife when a dud core crashes on one of her TV shows Rolleyes

Here's a question though, is it worth the upgrade to ddr3, since i'll probably end up getting the 3ghz x2? I'm guessing it'd cost me an extra $30-50 dollars to go that route and I am not sure if the performance boost is worthwhile or not.
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#10
well, what can i say, DDR3 is slightly better of course...

Also, good idea about buying the Athlon X2 right away...

unlocking cores doesnt always work... at least now, your sure to have 2 cores!

at this point, you can choose these

[mobo] ASRock 880GM-LE AM3 Micro-ATX ($60 + $3)
[ram] G.SKILL 2 x 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 1066 CL7 Dual-Channel ($28 + $1)

So its not that bad huh! Smile
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#11
It looks like the memory I already have G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) has the same speed with lower latency than the ddr3 ram. I'd also have 4gb vs 2gb. My only concern would be overclocking to get up to the 1066 and heat in the micro atx case. I am thinking it will be more money than it's worth to buy ddr3 ram with low latency and high clock speed.
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#12
well going the ddr3 route will cost you $55 more....

and thats if your buying 1x2GB as i listed... 2Gb is enough tho!

***some infos on RAM***

he primary benefit of DDR3 SDRAM over its predecessor, DDR2 SDRAM,
is the ability to transfer at twice the data rate (8× the speed of its internal memory arrays), enabling higher bandwidth or peak data rates.

DDR3 memory provides a reduction in power consumption of 30% compared to DDR2..

DDR3 modules can transfer data at a rate up to 2133 MT/s.. (using a 400–1066 MHz I/O clock)
DDR2 modules can transfer data at a rate up to 1066 MT/s.. (using a 200–533 MHz I/O clock)
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#13
Well pleasant surprise my CPU has gone down $7 since last night. So the Foxconn A76ML-K board increase is a wash. I'm looking at $223 shipped for everything on a rock solid system. The computer I'm borrowing memory from currently has 8gigs so I can take 2 or 4 from it as needed. Now to decide on buying the Onyx Series OCZSSD2-1ONX32G 32GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) for $76 -$20 MIR.
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#14
cant go wrong with SSD!!
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#15
Question 
Back to my original question, do you have any suggestions for a case/psu combo available from Newegg or Amazonthat are in stock? The cheap cases on the suggested build post are out of stock, which is why I originally looked to google. I'm a little hesitant to buy from a website I haven't heard of with no clue how long it'll take to get here. Everything from Newegg will be here Monday if I buy it today and I would hate waiting a week or two to play with new my new toy! Laugh
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