I wanted a BUDGET FRIENDLY HTPC / media rig that was small and could handle mid-range games at 1080p on mid settings. All of my prices include 10% tax in the US unless I bought it used. I found the AMD 5350 2.05 Ghz Quad-Core with built in GPU getting mad good reviews, I knew it wouldn't carry the games I wanted it to but it sipped power and would handle the media part fine if I decided not to slap a honking graphics card in. I had an old XFX Radeon HD 6870 hanging around that I could install for the games so I slapped that in. The build was fun and I'm so impressed with the Corsair 250D case. Very well built and still small while maintaining adequate room for cable management.
AMD 5350 2.05Ghz Quad-Core Processor
Paid $54.86 tax and all in the US. For a quad-core 2 Ghz with integrated AMD Radeon HD 8400 graphics you can't beat it. It met my needs entirely.
ASRock AM1H-ITX Mini ITX AM1 Motherboard
I've always used ASUS mobo's on my computers and used ASRock on budget computers I've built for others. This thing cost me $53.54 tax and all and has went above and beyond my expectations as a mobo. Bios are easy to navigate and had 0 problem identifying anything. Great mobo and I may consider ASRock in some of my own rigs now after using it extensively.
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
I wanted more than 4GB, I know it's a tad overkill but getting 8 gb of G.Skill CAS 9 @ 1600 for under $50 I just had to go for it.
Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Supah fast boot times for less than $100 tax and all? Yes please. I use a 500gb 850 EVO in my main rig and am sold on samsung's reliability and quality in their SSDs.
Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Tons of storage from a VERY reliable brand at a budget price? Bought this off of /r/hardwareswap for $42.50 shipped. Did a DBAN D.O.D. pass on it and checked drive reliability and it scored a solid 0 errors. Still has almost 3 years left on WD warrant.
XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card
Old 1GB card from my main rig many moons ago. Served me well so I slapped it in here. You can buy them used for anywhere from $30-$40 shipped so I priced it at $35.
Corsair 250D Mini ITX Tower Case
Want a bread box sized case that can hold a full length graphics card and still provide plenty of case storage? This is it. It's a VERY well built and good looking case. Can't brag on it enough.
Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
It's a Corsair semi-modular power supply, overkill for my system needs but it never hurts to get a larger PSU imo, I only need ~650W in my main rig but I run a 1000W Corsair RM just so the PSU stays chill and hardly ever has to spin its fan up.
Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer
Went on a gamble with this one.... and lost. It's honestly probably the loudest optical drive I've ever owned. Just stick with an ASUS or LG optical drive. Stay away from Samsung's.
Top notch for the price and quality. Does EXACTLY what you want it to do for an HTPC or just casual "grandparents" computer.
This is the first ASRock mobo I built with, I've always used ASUS. I couldn't be more pleased with the quality and BIOS. Really great mobo with the bells and whistles for the price.
It's RAM, it's G. Skill, it's CAS 9 at 1600, and it's budget friends for 8 gigs. A+!
I own several Samsung SSDs and have built several computers with them and I've had 0 issues. They are lighting fast and very reliable.
I bought mine used and couldn't be happier with the read and write speeds. Also the 5 year warranty is a huge plus!
I've had this card for 5 years and gamed at least 300 days of the year on it. It will play most demanding games even now in 2015 on mid settings, 1080p, at 30fps.
This is the mini-ITX everyone needs. It's small, good air flow, well built, and everything's location is VERY sensible for it. Great for an HTPC, homemade NAS, or main rig. It has the room for any graphics card 10.75 inches and under.
Great PSU, disappointed by the amount of 6-pin cables included.
This has to be the LOUDEST Optical drive I have EVER owned. I always go with LG and was disappointed by the built quality and excessive noise from Samsung.