Help:Building a new HTPC

Hi guys,
I'm thinking about putting together a new HTPC to replace my existing one(Intel ASUS->S478->3.4GHz<->Nvidia6600GT->Modded X-meridian)

I need your help selecting the motherboard the video card and the memory.

I don't play any game at all, I simply use my computer for music playback (70%), SD/HD sattelite TV(20%) and DVDs (10%). My musics library is a combination of FLAC and APE files.

My DVDs are backed up into my HDD with no compression whatsoever.
The PC will be dual connected to a Dell 2005 20'LCD monitor via DVI for regular music (music playback and SD TV), and also to a high definition 720P front projector via DVI and component for DVD and HD viewing.

-The CPU: I thinking about the Intel C2D 6600 (2.4GHz) - Is it ok?
-The mobo: That's where I need your help the most, I'm not sure whether I should go with an Intel or Nvidia chipset. While I don't like overclocking, but I need to at least overclock the CPU to 3GHz. I never use any other brand other than Asus, but I'm open to all ideas.

- Video: I'm thinking either the Nvidia 8xxxGT series or ATI 2xxx series, please, suggest.

Memory: My local computer shop has a dual ch kit 2GB OCZ (OCZ2P800R22GK) DDR2 PC2-6400 800MHz Platinum XTC Revision 2 for $89Canadian (after $50 rebate). IS that good, or I need faster memory?

OS: Should I go with vista ultimate, premium or XP pro?
If vista, 64-bit or 32-bit?
Do the Intel Core 2 Duo processors supports 64-bit?

By the way, I forgot to mention that money is not an issue. So don't hold back on your sugesstions. However, there is no point paying for features I won't use or need.

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More about help building htpc
  1. Quote:
    I don't play any game at all, I simply use my computer for music playback (70%), SD/HD sattelite TV(20%) and DVDs (10%). My musics library is a combination of FLAC and APE files.

    Well for a HTPC build, I just completed one, and here is what I did for my setup..
    Unlike you, money was an issue for me, but for what you are looking for, I think you are looking for more than you need..

    here is what I did for my setup..

    $65.99 Case = IN WIN Black Steel IW-BL631.300BLP Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
    $49.99 Motherboard = ECS Geforce6100PM-M2 AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX
    $56.99 CPU = AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor
    $43.99 Memory = A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
    $89.99 Harddrive = Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA
    $26.99 DVD = Sony NEC Optiarc Black 20X DVD±R DVD Burner
    $38.99 Remote = Microsoft MediaCenter Remote

    and I use Windows XP Media Center, not Vista media center..

    All above are listing from NewEgg.. You may find these items cheaper elsewhere, but I used one source for convenience.....

    Total cost = $372.93

    Just a thought, if you only are going to use the pc for a HTPC..
    The price can even be lower if you find items with rebates or on sale.. Or even better yet, if you have any old spare parts to add to the build, so you wouldn't have to buy those....

  2. Max has good suggestions, but certainly stay away from low-quality MBs like the ECS. He's right that you don't need a fancy graphics card, since you are not gaming. Just get a modern sub-$100 DX10 card that has some HD playback features.
    A core2duo is a good choice for CPU, but why do you "need" to OC it? It'll be fine at normal speed. I'd go with an Intel chipset, the P35 in particular, since nVidia chipsets tend to run hotter, be less stable, and have more driver issues.
  3. I had a spare ECS motherboard from a previous build, and so that is why I used it.. I used this ECS board for over 1 year, with no problems.. I upgraded to my ASUS board and the ECS had been collecting dust..
    But for another $40-$45 you could upgrade the cost from the ECS to a AM2+ 780G motherboard.. This would allow great HD playback, if you ever decided to get a blue ray drive.....

    As it stands.. the setup I have right now. plays all my divx/xvids, x264/h264, mp3/ogg.. Without any problems.. That was my main purpose of my
    build.. The one pythagore was wanting to build, seemed to kinda fit what I'd just built.....
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