This is a build I made for my girlfriend for our 7th anniversary. Her laptop from university was in the way out, so I asked her what she would want from a pc if she had one, and all she specified was 'pink' and small.
Taking this on board, I added a few other ideas of my own to try and make it suit her. I tried to keep the costs down, and also to make sure that the build was good for browsing and medium quality gaming. I also tried to make it efficient whilst doing this.
With this in mind I have built a mini-itx with quad core kabini paired with the lovely 750ti.
CPU: AMD 5350, I chose this cpu because it seemed to have a good performance per watt, and is relatively cheap. It seems to keep up well with all the tasks that have been thrown at it so far.
Motherboard: This seemed like a great motherboard, more expensive than a lot of the other AM1 motherboards, but with the full length PCIE and 4 SATA ports whilst still being mini-itx, this one seemed like the only choice for this build. Another thing which is interesting about this board is that if a graphics card is not used, it can run off a laptop power supply from a socket at the back, with the SATA power coming from a connector on the board itself (which I used in this case for the DVD drive and 3.5" hard drive.
RAM: 8gb should be plenty for the missus. The reason I chose a single stick is mainly because at the time it was cheaper than a 2x4gb set, and the kabini processors only support single channel ram anyway, so the second slot on the board is free if it is ever needed anyway.
Drives: 64GB SSD, 1TB Hard Drive. Got pretty good deals on the SSD and HDD, HDD for storage, SSD for boot. They both seem to be pretty good drives.
GPU: 750ti Chosen because according to the reviews has a great performance per watt. With the games my girlfriend has played so far, it seems to be very good. It has mostly been L4D2 and some of the Lego games (the Lego games are great for co-op support with a controller!).
CASE: Wanted a Mini-ITX case which supported a full sized graphics card and a full sized PSU. This case seemed to fir the bill well. The reason I chose the white version is to make it easier to spray paint.
PSU: Made sure I got a 80+ bronze PSU from a good brand, with a low power ceiling, to improve its efficiency when using the low wattage parts.
DVD Drive: It was the cheapest one, took the front off and sprayed it pink.
OS: Windows, since she probably wouldn't like a linux OS (I have Ubuntu on my own secondary PC).
Wifi Adapter: This adapter looked like a pretty good one, a USB dongle with a proper directional antenna, it seems to work very well.
Build: No real problems on the build, the spray painting required several coats, the particular paint was chosen as it can apparently cope very well with high temperatures. Anyone in the UK who is interested, I bought it from Wilkinsons, although I'm sure for anyone else there must be equally appropriate paints.
I also had to use a hair-dryer to melt the cooler master logo off the front. there is a small hole behind the logo, and once the glue holding it on has melted, you can push it out with a screwdriver.
Other than this, I don't think I would use a non-modular power supply on a Mini-ITX case again, as tying the cables back was quite difficult, and as the 750ti has no extra power connectors, and none of the molex connectors (or floppy connector...sigh) were connected either, there was plenty to tie back.
All in all, I am happy with this build. I just have to upload my others now!
Please leave any comments or criticisms below.