Good config for mini PC

Hi,
I want to assemble a mini PC, please help me choosing the optimized configuration, my budget is not high, I just need a core i3 3rd generation / equally good AMD processor and a compatible motherboard with wi-fi and HDMI. Of course, a good GPU and sound are welcome. Kindly help.

Regards,
practitionerAsked:
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oleggoldCommented:
do a search at walmart.com
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oleggoldCommented:
you can find pretty good refurbished PCs
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oleggoldCommented:
i bought a few month ago a dell mini/compact configuration of 64bit double cpu with 4gb ram for $165
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oleggoldCommented:
i think you can find your config lower then $200 there for sure
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oleggoldCommented:
the only problem may be an hdmi as those refurbished older pcs generally don't come with hdmi port builtin but there're so many options like rgb to hdmi and usb to hdmi adapters ,also really low cost $30 -$50
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oleggoldCommented:
try cellphone.com for the hdmi adapters ,that where i bought my last one , prices started from $15
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practitionerAuthor Commented:
@oleggold, thanks, what is the model number of the Dell Mini you bought?
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
What is your budget?  I could try to give some suggestions if I knew how much money you are playing with.

For example I designed and built a pretty good mini-pc for my wife's business for around $500.  Of course I gave her an SSD, and 8 gig of memroy.  

I could probably design something for around $4-500.

Do you have any parts that won't need to be purchased?  HD, optical drive, etc...
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practitionerAuthor Commented:
@ScottCha, below $400 suits me, I already have a 500 GB Sata and a 1 TB HDD Sata HDD, a TFT monitor and a wireless Keyboard + Mouse.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Case $35:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811235042

MotherBoard $55:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135341

4 Gig Memory $35:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135341

Intel CPU $80:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116397

Power Supply $30:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371003

Optical Drive $20:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136259

Graphics Card $90:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102950

For a Grand Total of $345.

The cool thing about this motherboard is that it has HDMI built in so you may not need the graphics card which will bring the price down to $255.

Hope this helps you out.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Forgot the wireless adapter:

http://www.newegg.com/Wireless-Adapters/SubCategory/ID-31

You can pick one from here that fits your budget.  Be sure to get one with good reviews.
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practitionerAuthor Commented:
That's a great help Scott, Thanks.

I need a real mini cabinet, probably a 8" x 8" or less, something like following:

http://www.ebay.in/itm/Mini-Itx-cabinet-for-Mini-PC-Desktop-Computer-Thin-client-/121140624739?pt=IN_Computer_Components&hash=item1c348b3d63
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
That cabinet will indeed work nicely with a mini-ITX motherboard ... however, the power supply in that is a DC-DC unit with an external 12v "brick" => that's fine, but it also means you're limited in total power availability ... it's likely a clone of a Pico PSU, and the highest capacity Pico unit is 160w.    It's also not clear what internal and external drives it may support (if any).

My favorite mini-ITX cases are the Lian-Li aluminum units.    For what you want to build, this would be a good choice:    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112372     It will accept a smallish standard ATX power supply [this JUST fits:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026 ... a good deal at $20]   ... but it's much better to use an SFX unit like this:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256063

Comments on the other components suggested above:

=>  You don't need a video card as long as you use a CPU with integrated graphics

=>  I'd use an i3-3225  [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116774 ]  instead of the  G850 suggested above ... it's a FAR better CPU [about 70% more CPU "horsepower"] and has MUCH better integrated graphics [HD4000 vs. the older HD2000 in the Pentium G850]

=>  I doubt you need an optical drive for this (perhaps an external unit for the initial install; but not one to install in the case ... although the Lian-Li case I suggested will support a slim-line optical drive if you choose).

=>  The component list above does not include a hard drive -- unless you're planning to run a flash-drive-installable OS, you'll probably want one.    A small laptop drive would be the most economical;  but an SSD would give far better performance.   You indicated you have a couple hard drives -- but didn't note whether these are 2.5" or 3.5" drives => if you plan to use them, you clearly need a case with space for them !!

=>  The motherboard suggested is okay; but I'd be inclined to use one that either has WiFi integrated; or comes with a mini-PCIe slot for WiFi -- there's no need to use an external WiFi adapter.    By the way, the motherboard above does NOT "... have HDMI built-in ...".    That's simply a connection that allows the on-chip graphics to be brought out to the ATX panel -- if you installed one of the Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPUs that do not have integrated graphics, it would not have any video capabilities.     But both the Pentium CPU suggested earlier, and the i3 I suggested, DO have on-chip graphics (as I already noted, the i3's is much better).
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... if your current hard drives are 3.5" units, this case will let you use both of them, and still have an external 5.25" bay that you could use for an optical drive if desired.   It's a bit taller than the case I suggested above, but does have more space for drives.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112400
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
garycase...the reason I didn't list a HD was that the author said he already had two he could use.
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practitionerAuthor Commented:
Hi Gary and Scott,

Here it is what I've finalized:
The cabinet from ebay a 8" x 8" mini cabinet

GIGABYTE GA-H77N-WIFI LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i3-3220 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637i33220

Corsair 8 GB 1600 RAM

My desktop HDD can not be fit into this case so I'm buying a WD 1 TB 3.5" HDD (laptop)

If everything seems fine please let me know and I'll place the order :-)
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Looks good, the only thing I'd change is the CPU.  I'd get the one garycase suggested:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116923

So you will have the Intel 4000 graphics.  The prices are the same.
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practitionerAuthor Commented:
Yup, thanks Scott.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
You are welcome.  Enjoy your new computer.
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practitionerAuthor Commented:
Okay, so just to correct what I'm finally going to order:


The cabinet from ebay a 8" x 8" mini cabinet

GIGABYTE GA-H77N-WIFI LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I33225

Corsair 8 GB 1600 RAM

My desktop HDD can not be fit into this case so I'm buying a WD 1 TB 3.5" HDD (laptop)
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Looks like you have a winner there.  Everything looks great.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Your configuration looks very good, but just to be sure ...  your last comment says "... My desktop HDD can not be fit into this case so I'm buying a WD 1 TB 3.5" HDD (laptop)  "

I presume you're buying a 2.5" laptop drive -- NOT a 3.5" drive -- correct?
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practitionerAuthor Commented:
@Gary, yeah, I ordered for a laptop HDD, a 2.5" one, thanks.

One final thing since I've not used HDMI output from a PC / laptop to a HDTV, will this carry the audio also to the High Definition TV?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Yes, an HDMI connection will include the audio
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practitionerAuthor Commented:
Thanks Gary, thanks Scott, I've placed the order. One final thing since I've not used HDMI output from a PC / laptop to a HDTV, will this carry the audio also to the High Definition TV?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Yes, the HDMI output includes the audio.
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