If your not an audiophile the X-fi is probably overkill. It's really nice, but if you just want to for your home theater surround sound, a lot motherboards can do 5.1 with onboard audio and *most* people won't notice the difference.
Well the be-2350 is more expensive compared to the e2140 and wont outperform the e2140. Saving 25$ on the cheaper Celeron doesn't seem like a good trade.
The money i would save getting a cheaper AM2 motherboard would only go to pay the more expensive be-2350.
Ya i know i can use the stock fan, but i want a quiet system
Will it really make that big of a difference if i get a 2400pro compared to
an integrated GPU?
Well those CPUs WILL struggle while decoding HD content, this is where the HD2400 Pro will shine. That's why I was trying telling you not to worry too much on the CPU front, I suggested the BE-2350 because you seemed power conscious more than anything. In fact there's the possibility you can passively cool the BE-2350/Celeron with a Tuniq Tower 120... At least I'd like to think so.
emp is right, for $50 you almost have to pick up the HD2400PRO and his suggestion of a power conscious CPU would also allow you choose a heatsink for its low noise rather then its cooling. Also with the GPU you can *probably* cut your RAM down to 1gig. I don't have much experience decoding HD but I know the rest of the stuff you want to use the PC for won't need much ram at all.
As you can see the 6300 with L2 doesn't consume more power compared 2 the be-2350. I don't think that the e2140 will consumer more power compared 2 the 6300. Also the e2140 will complete the tasks faster and return to idle faster then the be-2350.
Well, the conclusions of that article is:
"From a cost and an energy efficiency standpoint, the 45 W Athlon X2 BE clearly is the best choice today, ..."
But I've heard that the 2140 is a pretty good HTPC CPU, so it'll probably be a fine choice.
As far as extra power usage from the 2400, remember that it will be handling the HD decoding so your CPU won't be running under such a heavy load.
Getting a dedicated card to offload video decoding will reduce the chances of getting dropped frames or video stutters. Below is a link to an Anandtech article that talks about HD video playback with and without hardware decoding using a C2D E6320 (1.86GHz) :
Note:I believe nVidia's HD decoding only works with Windows Vista. Also, over the last 3 generations (if not more) nVidia video cards generally consumes less power than their ATI counterparts.
Do you already have a power supply? If not then you should look for the most energy efficient one you can afford. The PSU's efficiency governs how much power your system will ultimately consume. A medium end system with an efficient power supply can draw less power than an entry level system with a non-efficient power supply.
I just wanted to point out that Saving 1-5W buy changing to a BE-2350 and getting a CPU that is often hotter and takes longer time to complete tasks is not a good trade. It will need better cooling and will be going at full power more often compared to the e2140. So I'm thinking is a better choice after all.
If i get the 2400pro to handle the HD material. I would probably only use it for watching movies 2-4hours a day TOPS. While the rest of the day the 2400pro will draw power anyway. So if i offload power from the CPU 2-4 hours a day just to save power, I still lose the rest of the other hours on the day.
So now that i read the article above about 85-8600 and 24-2600 I'm starting to think that i need the Dx10 decoding so i don't lose video quality. Guess that either i go for the External GPU or i'l have 2 w8 for the g35 and se how well it performs.