Budget Range: $500-$700 But willing to go higher with excellent suggestions
System Usage from Most to Least Important: World of Warcraft, Netflix Streaming, DVD/DIVX Playing
Parts Not Required: OS, Monitor (Will be using the HDTV as the screen)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Don't care, like NewEgg.com for prior builds
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: Have had bad luck with MSI. Anything else is probably ok.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I'm looking for a Small Form Factor build that is quiet to act as a HTPC. But we are a BIG World of Warcraft household so it has to be able to keep up with running WoW with good quality. That means I assume I need to still consider a discrete graphics solution (Currently using a GTX460 on my regular computer) I have concerns about cooling especially in a SFF. Willing to break the budget a little if the components safeguard cooling and make the solution very quiet, (i.e. SSD) I saw NewEgg SFF Combo Deal as an example but this particular combo seems a little overkill. I don't think I need that much CPU. Don't need or want BluRay, and can get by with a less expensive video card. But maybe I'm wrong, that's why I'm looking for suggestions.
This is a low-profile HTPC, so the video card is not as powerful as Batchuka's, but it is less expensive, and includes an HDTV tuner, HUGE hard drive, and a Blu-Ray Burner. I'll do 720p gaming at high, and 1080p gaming at medium for most games. For Wow, it should handle medium-to-high settings at 1080p at 30-40 fps. This is more of an HTPC that games than a small gaming PC.
Palit GTS 450 low profile video card $129.99 w/ $15 MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a powerful card for being so small. It will handle not only your HD video at 1080P, including HD audio bitstreaming, it can handle games at 1366x768 (720p) at high details, or 1080p at medium details
Samsung Spinpoint F4 2 TB Hard drive: $89.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
don't let the 5400 RPM fool you, its dense platters make data access comparable to 7200 rpm drives. Since this system has room for only 1 3.5" drive, we might as well make it the biggest we can.
WoW is surprisingly cpu intensive. I updated my Q6600 build recently to a GTX 460 w/ 4 gigs of RAM and the bottleneck is definitely the CPU. I was able to run max settings at great framerate (except in org, obviously) with a mild OC at 1080 resolution.
With WoW one of the biggest things to consider is the next expansion. My 1.5 GHz 12" Powerbook played Vanilla WoW at max settings back in early 2005. When BC hit I had to upgrade. The next xpac will bump it up considerably. If you go with the bare minimum right now you leave no headroom. This is especially true if you are going to be playing on multiple computers (PC/HTPC/Laptop.) You can't upgrade every xpac, so build something to last 3 years.
For AM3 the sweet spot is actually PhenomII X3 but since they are no longer available for high res/settings any Deneb X4 would do and this is one game where L3 cache nets real gains but for budget bozes i dun see why Rana X3 and $60 HD 4830 would not a good choice ^^