I am in the process of researching how to build an HTPC for the first time, I built a gaming computer about 5 years ago and haven't really kept up to date with all the new technology that has came out since then.
What I am looking to do:
Build an HTPC that I can incorporate nvidia 3d vision with as I plan on getting a 3d HDTV in the future.
Be able to play the latest games and watch movies using the 3d vision on the samsung 3d monitor.
Also, I already have a stand with 3 screens across, going to get rid of the middle one and mount the new samsung, and hopefully mount a 3d television above it as soon as I can afford one.
I really want to use a remote to control everything as I see there are some cases with that function.
I want to be able to record movies, tv, and store a large quantity of music.
Is there a way I can incorporate SLI into this as well as connect this to a televison I have in another room and still be able to use the remote(RF?).
8gb of ram minimum, and probably 2tb of hard disk space.
Basically I want to be able to use this HTPC with 5 monitors (3 PC, 2 HDTV)
I think using an intel I7 would be optimal for as much work as I want this to do.
Able to connect to the internet wirelessly.
I'm really excited about this build and I have already been looking for about a week, I just keep changing my mind because there are too many unreal possibilities. If you have any other cool ideas for me i'm definitely interested in hearing them as I am trying to make this HTPC as awesome as possible.
First, getting a 3D vision card right now is pointless. Wait until you acutally get a 3D TV and there is actual programming/games for it. The cards will either be cheaper or more powerful, likely both.
Second, at this time, you cannot record movies/TV with cards you buy on the market. At least, not from premium channels. You will need to talk to your cable/sat. provider about how to set that up.
Third, 8 GB is way overkill. Actually, 4 GB is overkill for an HTPC. You only need that much memory if you're planning on doing heavy calculations (encoding and such).
Fourth, you don't need an i7. HTPCs don't use a lot of processing power. You really don't even need an i5 for this.
Fifth, if you really want to run 5 screens off of this, you will have to wait to see if that's supported by the new cards. No one can say for sure what the Fermis can do yet, as nVidia has basically keep them in a dark room on Mars to keep anyone from knowing how bad they'll suck.
I really think you need to consider what exactly you want this build to do. You've said gaming, movies, and storage, but hinted at needing a lot of processing power. That's basically saying that you need it to do everything. Right now, you're easily looking at having to spend a good $3,000 on it (i7, 2x high end GPUs, huge storage, TV tuners)...