I recently built a small computer because I wanted to make my own wireless AP and I needed more horsepower than the old WRT54GL could provide. I put together a new system using an Intel D510MO motherboard/cpu combo. Then I started doing the math about what this little system cost me. Here is how it works out.
- Intel D510MO – $80
- Minibox M350 – $60
- Pico PSU – $60
- 1GB RAM – $30
- 160GB HD – $60
- Decent minipci-e wireless card – $40
- Odds and ends – $20
The total here is about $350. What I ended up with is a cute little underpowered PC that, according to my Kill-A-Watt, draws “only” 19W at idle. Compare this to a Dell Mini 10 which hardware-wise is very similar, but includes a built in UPS (battery), keyboard and monitor for about the same price. I could have saved about $50 if I would have just used a cheap case instead of the minibox/picopsu combo, but then it would have been ugly.