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Old March 16, 2008, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, ON
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My System Specs

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Well I'd go with an AMD-based setup, as it's cheap, runs cool, and has plenty of power.

The new AMD 780G chipset is rather awesome for HTPCs as the onboard video comes with HDMI output and it only costs like $100. An AMD X2 is another $100 or so, 2GB of DDR2-800 is like $50 and then you'd have yourself a starting platform.

For the sound card, I think you'd want to look into something from Auzentech or HT OMEGA or anything based on CMedia chipsets as they mostly have Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect so all your audio would be upconverted.

I wouldn't really recommend building your own amp/speakers unless you are extremely knowledgeable in those areas. It would probably be cheaper (and easier) to pickup a 5.1 receiver (which is an amp and all), and a 5.1 set of speakers. I'd think it would sound better too, but again, if you are skilled in these areas then maybe not.

Some quick links:
CPU: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...anufacture=AMD
CPU Heatsink (depends how much space is in your case):
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...ctic%20Cooling
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...ctic%20Cooling
Motherboard: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...nufacture=ASUS
RAM: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...Z%20Technology
Power Supply: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...acture=CORSAIR
Sound Card: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...ure=HT%20Omega

Just an example of the stuff for the 5.1 setup (not saying to get this stuff, just so you have an idea of what I mean):
Receiver: Future Shop: Audio: Receivers & CD Players: Harman Kardon 5.1 Channel A/V Receiver With HDMI Switching (AVR 146)
Speakers: Future Shop: Audio: Home Speakers: Harman Kardon 5.1 Home Theatre Speaker System (HKTS11) - Silver
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