Seeing as I'm going to have some spare parts kicking around when my Phenom comes next week, I'm really thinking about building a decent HTPC for movies, recording shows, pumping music through the stereo, and some light gaming (ie - NHL '09, Bionic Commando Re-Armed, etc).
Here are some of the parts I have for it right now.
- Athlon64 5000+ X2 Black Edition with and AC Freezer64 Pro
- Diamond HD3870.
- ATi Theater 650 Pro PCIe x1 dual tuner card with remote for Media Center
I still need a case, PSU, hard drive, and maybe one optical drive. I plan on upgrading the ram in my gaming rig to 1066mhz stuff so the 800mhz ram in it will be handed down to this machine.
I'm in no rush to build this just yet. But I'm making plans for it now and I have no clue as to what the best board for this type of setup would be. I'd prefer a mATX solution so I can use a small case (which I have to pick out still). Good overclocking isn't a priority, but keeping the 5000+ at 3ghz would be nice. Oh, and really good onboard sound is a must since I don't really want to get a sound card for it.
Like 3.0Chalie said, at that price point the combo can't be beat. A 780G -based HTPC setup can even play a few older games using the onboard graphics chip (HD3200), more so than any other onboard graphics I've seen to date.
Well since I'm going to stick my 3870 in it I'm not too concerned with onboard video performance. But having onboard video as a good backup is definitely a plus 'cause if ATi happens to follow Nvidia and do the physics thing, this card will be going back in my main rig.
The cooler on the 3870 I have isn't the reference cooler either. So it's nice and quiet compared to the original.
I have the GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard and X2 4600+ and it works great. Plays 1080p perfectly fine using the onboard though its only over VGA because my TV doesn't seem to like the HDMI port. There is no need for anything more powerful than the onboard for just watching movies. Even the HD3200 is good enough for playing Quake 3 and Audiosurf (the only games I have tried on my HTPC) at 1080p. I've also got a RAID card in the PCI-E slot and it works flawlessly. I'd say drop the 3870 and go with just the onboard as its plenty powerful enough and it'll reduce noise and power consumption. The case/PSU I use is the Antec Sonata III 500. Its a great case that has room for 4 hard drives which are mounted using Antec's system to make them super quiet (and it works, 3 x 500GB and 1 x 80GB and its dead silent). The PSU is extremely good, especially for being included with a $100 case. It is the Earthwatts 500W PSU if you want to look for a review for it. I've done a number of builds with that case/PSU combo and I've never had any problems at all.
Project: Black and White i7 920 D0 | 3 x 2GB DDR3 | EVGA X58 SLI LE
XFX 4890 | Corsair HX750 | Corsair Obsidian