OK guys, if we could get back to the original topic for just a minute. After reading up and thinking about it over the past few days, I think I'm going to try to fix my computer instead of starting all over and buying all new components. Since I don't use MadVR, I don't think I am going to see any improvements in picture quality over what I already have in the AMD 5450. I already have a decent case, 4GB ram, SSD, and a working motherboard (presumably) so it just kind of feels like I'm throwing $200 at a problem that costs $30 to fix with a new power supply.
They don't sell this OEM mini ITX/Flex ATX replacement power supply anywhere, so aftermarket is all I'm going to get. I found some on ebay from a powerseller, $30 for a 250 watt replacement. Newegg has some but the reviews are pretty inconsistent on the cheaper models. Lots of complaints of fan noise and the PSU going bad. These little models have a 40mm fan cooling them, so it's never going to be dead silent, but neither was my original. I just wish there were some better options for PSU replacement. I could try a Pico-PSU for silence and heat saving, but I'd risk it not working if I don't get a higher watt model (more expensive).
If the power supply fix works out, I could always just look to upgrade the CPU to it's max allowed for this motherboard, which is an AM2 65 watt X2 processor according to the motherboard specs. That would probably put me at an X2 5200+ at 2.7 Ghz. Passmark score would increase from the BE-2300 at 944 to 5200+ at 1342. A 30% increase for $10-20 off ebay. Would it even be worth it? It would cost $40-50 for the power supply and processor upgrade vs. $200 for a new setup that will be 2x as fast in cpu performance but graphics wise the same. Basically all I do is browse the web and use XBMC/WMC. The 1.9 Ghz BE-2300 has never really felt fast or slow, just kind of "gets the job done". The biggest performance improvement I had was upgrading to an SSD, and it was huge.
I would like to buy a new power supply by early afternoon so that I can get it shipped out before the weekend. I've been without my HTPC for a week and I just need to make a decision one way or another. Thoughts on my game plan? (quickly please).Edited by StinDaWg - 6/14/13 at 4:25am