Case: With 275W PSU, should be enough to power an i3. A reviewer said that you can put another HDD besides an SSD in the floppy disk bay. He also said you can get an HD5450 in using the 275W PSU. Consider an HD5570 for better performance if you see fit.
CPU: Even the cheapest is an overkill for an HTPC. But it has lower power consumption than the older LGA775 platform, which makes it a reasonable option. Plus, its IGP is equal, if not better, to AMD HD4250 IGP. You may not need a graphic card if its performance meets your standards.
The HTPC might be "on" all the time but it's usually sleeping. I find that since I swapped out my HDD for a SSD it's much quicker to come back from sleep. It also launches a lot of media-related apps a lot faster. Overall, the experience is just better with the SSD compared to the HDD. It was definitely a bigger bottleneck than I thought.
Watch out for no-name or 2nd-tier cases with built-in PSUs. The only case manufacturer I'd buy a case that came with a PSU from is Antec.
really....i didn't know people keep htpc on at all times...i was thinking only turn it on when i need it....
i wonder if the power consumption would be a lot if i leave it on all the time.
Your #1 priority was torrents. I would assume then you'd have it on all the time for that?
A low-wattage highly efficient power supply and quality low-power parts will certainly help with the power consumption. The lowest power-consuming parts that are decent for your usage would be Core i3 / H55.
Looking an NCIX something like this would work (sorry for the lack of links & prices -- I have to do this quickly but these are all on the NCIX site):
nMediaPC 5000b case
Core i3-540 CPU / Seasonic 400W PSU combo
ASUS P7H55-M Pro mATX H55 LGA1156 motherboard
OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Sandforce 60GB 2.5IN SATA2 Solid State Disk Flash Drive SSD (boot)
Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2TB SATA2 3GBPS 64MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM (data)
Kingston ValueRAM KVR1333D3N9K2/4G PC3-10666 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1333 CL9 240PIN DIMM Memory Kit
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer OEM Black
IOGEAR Wireless 2.4GHZ Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel (GKM561R) / Win7 x64 combo
Pcusa Vista Remote Control with IR Receiver Silver
i have bought all the stuff now with the help of your guys and my little knowledge about computers.
I went with AMD build instead just to save a few bucks.
AMD Athlon II x3 445
Gigabyte GA 880GM UD2H
Silverstone Lascala HTPC case (like the black alluminum look)
Western Digital Black 1TB (don't think i'll need 2TB of storage, as i don't really rewatch movies)
Antec 550W truepower supply (pick this one b/c it was on sale and i will be putting in a videocard in the future)
OCZ vertex 2 60G SSD
I-Rock RF-6572L Nano wireless keyboard and mouse combo
Window 7 64bit premium edition
Creative labs sount blaster (for my 5.1 speaker setup)
Total with tax is 860 CAD