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Newbie Wanting Advice on New Buy/Build System

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December 9, 2008 2:37:55 PM

I am looking to build or buy (yes, buy) an HTPC (non-gaming) for my home. I have detailed what features I'd like for my system below. I intend for this to be a system for running applications and file management, not file storage.

If anyone with more experience can recommend better features, where to buy or build, or such, I'd appreciate it. If there is a good "first link" on this site to start at and then broaden my research from there, please let me know.

I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to computers designed for entertainment purposes, so all advice is welcome.

Case: Something slim that can lie horizontally
CPU: Dual-core
Operating System: Vista or Linux/Ubuntu/Wine
System Drive: 128 GB SSD for applications
Tuner: HD Capable
Video Card: HDMI/HDCP Output
Sound Card: 7.1 Surround Sound
Disc Drive: DVD/CD/Blu-Ray
Network Card: 10/100/1000
Wireless Card: g/N network and Bluetooth
Controls: Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Software to run: iTunes, Boxee, WinAmp, Netflix, Blockbuster, Firefox, Internet Explorer

Television Source: DirecTV
Television/Monitor: Samsung 50" DLP with HDMI input

File Drive: I am purchasing 1 TB NAS system for the media storage and network from the office to living room.
December 9, 2008 2:55:12 PM

im not sure about the 7.1 sound, but a mATX mainboard with the ati HD3200 should suit you for the rest, in an antec minuet case.. also i like your choice of using a SSD drive for maximum silence :) 

as for CPU, the HD3200 which is with the 790G chipset(iirc) is an AM2 platform, i'd take a amd x2 4450e or something.. an energy efficient CPU which you can attach a very small/silent cooler to, and there you go, a silent an capable HTPC :p 

toms did a comparison on the nvidia platform and the 790g chipset a couple of months ago.. you can probably find it in the mainboard news archive.. somewhere :) 
!