OK, most, if not all me reading is done on high end components, and my personal experiances in PC buiding are all in 775, so I'm not up on Intel chipsets. My cousin is looking for a "dose what I tell it to" desktop. He is not majorly into gaming (though I may talk him into MS flight sim, but nothing like Battlefeild). He dose though want the PC to be a part of his home theater (blu-ray and music). He already has a 42" TV, and wants to put in a surround (probably a seperate unit), but he has a guy for that.
My question is what mother board?
I have chosen the i5 750 CPU for the build, and DDR3 1333 RAM. I am thinking something like a GTS 250, or a 450 for the GPU (Blu-ray and light gaming).
He wants to max the RAM supported by the motherboard, and I think the controller on the 750 can support 16 GB (unless I have made some horrible mistake, and that dosen't even make sense) so we'll shoot for that. Need atleast one PCIe 16 2.0, maybe 2 for an HD capture card for using the computer for a DVR (but I think the cards can be used in an X1 right?).
So basicallt thats it, I have an P5N-D that I use in mine, and it seems to fit the bill (minus the obvious). Basically I just wan't the its 1156 successor, or similar.
He'll want more than likely an HTPC case; so Asus P7P55D-E Pro or GA-P55A-UD4P. Both allow for USB 3, SATA3, CF and SLI. Also, if connecting to 42" LCD/Plasma you're limited to 1920 x 1080 so don't go nuts with a e.g. 2x GTX 480.
In addition, do some research with the "TV carrier" some are offering now, more than before, "PCI Tuner cards" of their own, and a HDTV tuner card may become an oops; check 1st!
No, he dosen't want an HTPC. He wan't a standard PC with HTPC capabilities so it can be his internet computer, and entertainment console. Kinda a business oriented computer with adequit power to double as a multi media PC in the evenings, if that makes sense. So because of that, I'm leaning toward an ATX board over a micro ATX for future upgrades as needed.
I'm also aware of the cealing for cards, like I said I read alot on performance parts, and know the Nvidia nomenclature. Still leaning toward a GTS 250, enough for Blu-ray, and maybe a flight sim, but not over the top.
Also, thanks for the tip on the tuner. Mostly its an idea I'm toying with as a "look what it can do" but I'm really not up on those things.
Oh... Well I look stupid now. I always imagined an HTPC as something about the size of a VCR. Looked at the P7P55D-E, and we may have a winner. The 4 SATA 3 and the 2 SATA 6s being in seperate places reminds me of my old PCChips P 23G, and thats alittle annoying (board was finicky) but I have had excellent service out of my ASUS, so It should work fine. Looks like a P5N-D too.
If the LCD/Plasma is either 1920 x 1080 or less, most are, ANY $150+ GPU is more than enough and the P7P55D-E Pro is a great combo. The GTS 250 is on the fence okay but not stellar, and I 100% agree with tecmo34 either the ~$125 GTS 450 or the ~ $170 GTX 460.