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Old 10-18-2011, 08:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building An Entertainment System

I began a thread in the Linux section because it started with wondering what software Linux users are using on their HTPCs, but quickly morphed into a hardware parts buying fiasco with me not sure what to do. That said, I decided to relocate to the proper section now that the topic is based on hardware.

My goal is to have a solid system which performs HTPC tasks easily by providing completely seamless 1080 playback if at all possible. Extensive research has suggested the Intel Sandy Bridge is not what I want due to their continued issues with the 23.976 bug in regard to their IGP setup with their integrated graphics. So if I go with the Intel SB setup, I'll be getting a dedicated video card - likely a GT 430.

I will not be gaming on this device. I just want solid HD playback without any bog down as well as HD audio via HDMI.

The build ideas are this:

Intel G620T (2.2ghz 35w dual core)
H61 Motherboard of some sort
4gb DDR3 RAM
GT 430 GFX

AMD Athlon X2 AM3 (3.1ghz Regor 65w dual core)
AM3 Motherboard of some sort
4gb DDR3 RAM
GT 430 GFX

AMD A6 Llano (2.1ghz triple core 65w)
FM1 Motherboard of some sort
4gb DDR3 RAM
(I'd be using the integrated IGP system since this setup was proven to not have the 23.976 bug Intel's SB has)

Whatever gear I go with above will be coupled with a SATA HDD, SATA DVD (eventually BluRay drive), and Micro ATX case.

Someone also suggested to me instead of using the G620T in the first build to use a Celeron, as there's a Celeron that's cheaper yet has more power @ 2.5ghz dual core. This link: Pentium and Celeron LGA 1155 on the way - BeHardware suggests that there might be some truth to the matter, being that the G540 seems to have identical spec (besides having a faster clock rate) to the G620T (aside from being 65w instead of 35w). Likewise, the Celeron is cheaper too. Also note, I believe the 2nd G620T is a typo for the G620, as I didn't see the G620 listed there.

It's very likely this setup will turn into a ripping/burning media center over time, so I don't want to get an Intel Atom and be longing for more power. At the same token, I don't need a rip to complete in a matter of seconds. I just don't want it to take years. On TOP of it all I would like a rather quiet system if at all possible.

What do you guys suggest?

To recap - Requirements:
- Solid 1080 playback
- Decent rip/burn capability
- Trying not to drain the wallet

Suggestions? Fire away!
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