My current computer is inadequate for playing hi quality video. It's an Athlon 1700+ on an nForce 2 M/B, 2 GB of RAM, and a Radeon 9800 video card. It can't play Hulu full screen with out stuttering, and playing a 1080p mkv file is completely out of the question.
So now I'm looking into building a dedicated HTPC. I'm going to end up buying a laptop for my other computing needs so this computer is really only going to be used for playing videos, music, and web browsing.
Where I'm really lost is trying to figure out what CPU/MB/Video card combo will be the best value for reliably playing HD video. How much is dependent on the video card vs the CPU? Are there any integrated graphics available these days that can actually play HD video, or would I be better off getting a dedicated card? If so what?
An AMD mobo with integrated GPU - 785G, 790G, 880G is very good for HD movies. Any AM3 CPU, a dual core is enough. First choose the case then the mobo, mATX or ATX, for whatever case you want to use. You also need 2G of RAM (DDR3).