Of course there will be more boards, the FM1 socket is about a year old whereas the AM3 socket is three and even then, it is only an evolution of previous sockets. Ratings on most consumer sites are very hit or miss on most things unless you get a large number of reviews. With motherboards, the rating doesn't matter in terms of the socket, so get a good board for the socket you want. Quality, however, does range from good to poor with motherboard manufacturers and then on individual models themselves. By the way, the 880G chipset is also old and even though the 880G motherboard can take AM3+ CPU's, it isn't officially supported by AMD and should you decide to upgrade to an FX CPU later, only a 900 series chipset can use all the features. Additionally, 900 series boards are almost guaranteed to be able to use upcoming FX/Bulldozer II/Piledriver/whatever-AMD-calls-it CPU's whereas previous chipsets may not be able to.
Since this isn't a gaming PC and you're going with an integrated graphics solution, the APU still wins with being more practical and more powerful in the GPU department. Here's
a page on applying thermal compound to an HDT cooler. In short, with an HDT, you will want to put two small lines on the non-copper portion.
I'm in the process of picking out parts for a relative who will be needing a similar PC later this year. The below build can give a few ideas.
Case: Antec New Solution NSK2480
- The relative moves about once every year or so, so a small case does the trick. The integrated power supply is sufficient given that no add-in graphics card will be used. The downside to this case is that every add-in card will need to be low-profile. $117
Motherboard: BIOSTAR A75MH FM1 AMD A75
- This is the same one as above, it has the better of the FM1 chipsets, the A75. It's up-to-date and is on par with the 970 chipset, only this one allows for FM1, not AM3+. The on-board sound is good enough for most users. Unless you have really good speakers or headphones, along with all your music being ripped in Lossless, you should not tell the difference. The only time you will is if the motherboard is cheap and the components interfere. Even then, there are options with inexpensive sound cards. I stay away from Creative but like cards based on the C-Media chips, like Asus' Xonar line. Note: AMD should be releasing FM2 CPU's later this year, sometime around August, and there is no guarantee they will be backwards compatible with FM1. $69
CPU/APU: AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1
- This is the least expensive APU that has a Radeon 6550 GPU, which is pretty good. This is all my relative needs, even then, it is still probably overkill. $109
RAM: AMD Entertainment Edition 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
- I'm getting two of these. Although a QVL is nice for RAM, almost no one uses it. If the RAM you get meets the specifications for the motherboard, the RAM should work. All a QVL does is say from the manufacturer, "This motherboard was tested with this specific hardware," that's it. I always put the RAM through a memory diagnostic overnight just to be safe. $25 per stick.
HDD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III
- My relative will not be filling up the drive with tons of games and movies, so this is enough. The fast speed of an SSD (Especially with SATA 6), combined with no moving parts, make this a durable component. I will recheck closer to build time to see if a larger drive can be had for just a little bit more. $168
ODD: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B
- I did consider getting a Blu-Ray drive, but this PC will most likely not be near a TV and besides, until you get a screen about 46 inches or larger in size, you really cannot tell much of a difference with 1080p content. $18
Other Hardware I: Nippon Labs SATA Adpater Molex 4-Pin PC power cable
- Given what I read about the case's power supply and SATA connections, I'm not sure if I will be able to connect two SATA devices without this. At such a low price, it isn't a big deal if I don't need it. $5
Other Hardware II: BYTECC Bracket-35225 2.5 Inch HDD/SSD Mounting Kit For 3.5" Drive Bay or Enclosure
- Most SSD's are of the 2.5-inch size so this is needed to put them into desktop PC's if the SSD doesn't already come with one. $5
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM
- This is just a placeholder for Windows 8 as I will be building this after launch. I'm going to enjoy watching my relative learn W8 after coming from XP, it should be quite entertaining! $99