Originally Posted by nicros
Interesting suggestion for the AMD. Got any suggestions on a micro atx mobo cheaper than $69? And a recommended processor for under $119? These are the prices I have for those components, with the additional $85 for the graphics card.
I actually cannot play back HD content (a 23gig file) with an AMD 3200+ with a x800pro 256m ATI card. But I can with a better system, I tried. Im not sure onboard video can handle that.
Alrighty, here's what I've found for you:
$89.99Gigabyte 780g motherboard (MicroATX)
$69.99 Athlon X2 BE 2350 (45w CPU)
RAM of choice
Use onboard graphics (ATI HD 3200).
And yes, the onboard video with the 780g will handle ANY high definition content you can throw at it. It is absolutely THE BEST HTPC platform you can get (can be argued of course). I'm not saying this because I'm an ATI / AMD fanboy...because I'm not. Core 2 Duo is a great platform. But AMD / ATI has the best out there for HTPC use. If I were to build a new gaming rig, I'd go C2D, Nvidia all the way. But HTPC use, what I suggested above is absolutely THE BEST bang per buck you're going to get.
It also supports hybrid Crossfire, so you can add another ATI video card in the future for Crossfire if you wanted to game on it.
And I'm also suggesting this because 99% of the more common HTPC's I see built, are actually underclocked and undervolted Athlon X2's. Because of the fact that HTPC use, does NOT require a heavy CPU. It just requires a good GPU that can play HD content (such as the onboard HD 3200).
You will be very pleased with this build, and it will save you over $100 off your original build plans. And also, the HD 3200 can also game decently. Don't expect all high on Crysis, but I'm sure it can game pretty darn well (better than the 8600GT you had configured already, I'm 100% sure on that).