I'm considering building a for my mum to put in the front room next to the HDTV she just bought. And I want to know if the onboard graphics solution to this mobo, will be powerfull enough to give me good quality HD playback
My primary HTPC has an Intel E6600 on a Gigabyte motherboard and an HD2600 Pro graphics card. My secondary HTPC (bedroom) has an AMD X2-3800+ on an ASUS (s939) mothboard and an ATI All-In-Wonder X1800XL.
For an HTPC, ATI is the better way to go. If you go with onboard gpu then I recommend either the 780G or the 790GX chipsets and you will be guarenteed smooth HD playback.
ASRock makes excellent mobos. ASRock mobos are competitively priced, solid, stable, and offer a number of features for the price. I highly recommend ASRock for an HTPC build. The ASRock A790GMH/128M is a really nice mATX mobo just screaming to made into an HTPC.
Some may say otherwise, but avoid Intel onboard gpu's...
The GeForce 9300 is one of the IGP's that can support ful HD playback. The E5200 is a great CPU and will easily be enough for HD. If you find it lags its a great overclocker as well.
AMD has great boards for HTPC's as mentioned above. The 780G and 790GX chipset boards have the HD3200 and the HD3300 ATI IGP's which can support Blu-ray/HD DVD, and DXVA. If you do go AMD, and choose a AM2/AM2+ board I'd reccomend a CPU like a AMD Athlon x2 4850e or a 5050e. Both are 45nm and have a TDP of 45W, IIRC. It'll run cooler than the e5200.
The 9300 IGP on that motherboard is good enough. While you won't be playing any recent games on it above low/medium quality, it's proven faster than the IGP in the AMD 700 series boards. The E5200 should also prove to be more than good enough for an HTPC. Even so, an AMD based build will often do just as good for less with a decent 780G based board.
Thank for the replies guys I guess i've got alot more to look at, after all the comments i'm now definately considering switching to an AMD based platform especially after seeing the price of the AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz & AMD Athlon x2 4850e compared to the E5200 I was considering.
Also gunna look into some 780G and 790GX chipset boards. Will comeback with what I find.