I want do build a unit that I can play and record blu-rays/dvd's, record programs from a tuner card, play games,(nothing hard core)a e-sata connector for a external hard drive, and the usual pc stuff,(e-mail,surfing,music,photos,) I plan on hooking this up to a digital T.V. via a HDMI cable and maybe to a receiver (sound only,if possible)via a optical or HDMI cable.this is not that important since I can go through the T.V. I already have a dual vision-tek tuner card, 1-1tb W/D hard drive,and a wireless keyboard/mouse. so what I need is a case, motherboard, CPU, Memory, and a Graphics card. I kinda like the Antec fusion remote because i can choose my own power supply(I was thinking about a 500Watt)and there cheap. It requries a micro ATX, 9.6 x 9.6. I"m assuming I would get better performace out of a graphics card than relying on the one on the motherboard. I'm not sure on the CPU, something fast. how much memory do you think I would need? my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks
^ This CPU is good for the price and vs the AMD 4850e for about the same price ($5.00 diff.) It'll handle Blu-ray and HD fine even without DXVA. The motherboard will support HDMI with sound, I'm pretty sure and will have a onboard GPU that'll decode the HD content.
Hmm first off is your LCD TV a HD Ready 1368 x 768 sort or the Full HD 1920 x 1200 type?
If the latter i suggest looking at shoe box casings - they still have small footprints but could fit in at least a single high end card instead of being limited to low profile ones in some purely HTPC/flatbed casings
Here's an application that AMD is better than Intel. The 780 and 790 chipsets are supposed to be powerful enough that an external graphics card is unneeded. Saves money and reduces heat and noise. Find a silent power supply. Underclock the CPU to where it's just powerful enough and you can get away with a passive CPU heatsink.
AKM880's list is good, though I would personally still go with 2 sticks of RAM for dual channel.
What will determine whether or not you need a discreet video card rather than use the onboard video is what kind of games you want to play and your TV's resolution. If you're running full HD 1920x1080 (1080p) and want to play reasonably demanding games, you will definitely need a separate card, maybe from the HD4XXX series. Onboard 780g/790GX will be sufficient for any media playback.
You also need a power supply. For micro-ATX definitely get a modular one. I recommend Seasonic, Corsair, or one of the Enermax Liberty/MODU82's. Something in the 380-450W range would be sufficient.