I am new to htpc and looking at building an all-round htpc to record tv shows from cable, store and play music files, surf web and play mame, genesis, nintendo 64 emulator/games on it. I have been looking at the asus m3a78-em motherboard. Will this board on board graphics handle what i am wanting to do? The chipset is 780g. ati radeon hd 32000 gpu on board. I will be using MS vista 64 bit home prem, am2 2.66 processor, 4g ram
Yes, the 780G is a great foundation for a HTPC. It has enough power to display Blu-Ray, so it should do everything you intend. You can always add a more powerful GPU later if you need to. If you haven't decided on a TV-Tuner card, I recommend Hauppauge. I have two of their tuners in my HTPC (the HVR-1600 and HVR-2250) and they work great.
If your case allows a full size ATX motherboard, you might want to consider it to allow more expansion slots for TV tuner cards and stuff.
GIGABYTE GA-MA78G-DS3HP AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail