I would like to possibly convert it to a HTPC when I get a HDTV. Ideally, I would like to run maybe a fileserver/apache/do development stuff off of it and maybe do some video encoding (where I think the quad core would really shine).
1) Considering right now I have an E2150 (1.8? dual core, not c2d) with a Radeon 2600hd pro, would you think that it would be a pretty exceptional upgrade for gaming? Also do you think it would be overkill for HTPC?
2) Can you recommend a video card to pair with it that will provide a decent gaming experience and not be overkill for a HTPC? I was thinking maybe a 4850 or a 9800GT. Is there a specific manu that is more quiet or would you suggest a lower end, passive card along the lines of a 3850?
3) What would be a nice quiet fan to use for the processor? Are the passive sinks worth looking into for an HTPC?
Thanks for any help as I am a bit lost when it comes to HTPCs!
**EDIT: Jeeze, sorry for the terrible formatting!**
Ok, seriously for a HTPC you need to get a TV Tuner . (Btw, the CPU you have is a E2180, and it IS based on the C2D Architecture). As far as GPUs go you should be able to find passively cooled 9600GT/9800GT/4850s.
4850 Passively cooled: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
All of the above mentioned cards a a LOT better than your 2600HD.
If you are encoding videos seriously consider 640GB WD AAKS drives in RAID or your current drives in RAID.
For quiet cooling fans look in to Scythe and Yate Loon.
Also be careful with the 60i chipset, it is old and may not work with the Q6700. Get a P35/P45. You'll also need a HSF for that OEM CPU.
+1 the gigabyte 4850 with passive cooling looks great just dont leave the case open for too long when your tinkering, that card needs to be in negative case pressure or itll explode!!! . im actually looking to buy that card down the road....4850 also has native hdmi audio, it helps cut down on potential audio and video sync issues...and you dont have to splice it in from the sound card....
You may also want to consider one of the HIS 4850 vid cards that have the IceQ4 cooler to push hot air out of the case. They are known to be very quiet at fan speeds <50%.
I used to run a passive 7600GT in my HTPC and had to change it out because it was putting off too much heat inside the case. Of course you could add more fans to the case to improve airflow, but that defeats the purpose of a passive vid card, right?
I'll put in another vote for the HVR-2250. It has a built in splitter so you can watch and record TV at the same time from a single antenna input.