Originally Posted by Capwn
Building my first HTPC, Tell me what you guys think?
CPU ( still undecided ) Looking at the Athlon II x2 250. Good?
Mobo- Asus M3A78-EM ( got for free )
Case- Foxconn TW-082 ( got for free )
GPU- Onboard ATI 4200
Ram- Miscellaneous DDR2 ( got for free )
Tuner- Hauppauge 1250 ($50 on sale at Microcenter)
PSU- Sparkle 300 watt ATX-300PN ( got for free )
HDD- ( undecided ) Looking for suggestions, Don't need a ton of space really..
TV- 40" Sony ( Gonna trade my Alpine 12"s for it ).
Something about Sempron 140 vs. Athlon II....
Something about the F3 1TB....
1) I'd go ahead and get an Athlon II x2. It wouldn't HURT anything to have the extra power. If you can get one on the cheap, even an Athlon II x4. Why not? The Sempron 140 will be sufficient for general HTPC use. So no matter what chip you go with, it'll work fine. Especially with your planned cooling you told me via Steam.
2) PSU, not sure about Sparkle. Check into that. It'd be fine for now, but I'd be worried about long term use. Look into a replacement LATER. Something with the Seasonic 350w internals would be nice, or even the 380w internals.
3) HDD, Samsung F3 is still the best bang for your buck 1TB drive. They're ALWAYS on sale for around $50-60. They are a little tiny bit noisy though. The WD Green drives are definitely more quiet. BUT, they cost a lot more too. There's nothing at all wrong with running a Green drive in an HTPC. So ignore that. You'll very likely never be that worried about the speed of it, especially if its always on.
4) Everything else looks solid, and should be a great HTPC build. Since you're looking for the cheapest, bang for your buck stuff, get the Sempron 140, F3 1TB, and keep your current PSU for a while. Replace things as needed, or once you have more funds. You could then jump into say a 2TB storage drive (keep the F3 for main use), an Athlon dual or quad, and the better PSU at that point. Maybe even a second tuner card for "TiVo" effects.