I'm looking for some feedback on an HTPC I'm about ready to pull the trigger on:
PURPOSE, in decreasing order of importance: OTA HD DVR, Blu-Ray, Streaming (Netflix, mkv, etc.), dual monitor (HDTV & DSUB or LCD), browsing, occasional transcoding, maybe some light gaming (after a dedicated GPU upgrade)
Timing: W/in the next week
Budget: < $800
Parts not required: PSU. I have a 450 watt Antec modular I'll pull from an older system; Windows 7
Preferred websites: Any but I usually shop Amazon & Newegg
Monitor res: 1920 x 1080, 67" DLP HDTV, primary; 1280 x 1024 old school CRT, secondary
SLI / crossfire: no
Additional comments: I'm looking for budget but with decent performance and the capability to upgrade. I'm unsure if the i3 is powerful enough since I haven't built a system in 5 years but I'm fine upgrading it later if it's just "ok" for now. I multitask a fair amount and will do some Java development (Eclipse, etc.) as well as VPN / work from home occasionally so I've went a little overboard on the RAM but that's cheap anyway.
Thoughts, suggestions? The i3 is my biggest concern at the moment but I'm really liking that price. I could lose a HDD, fork over a little more, and go to an i5 2500 but most of my apps aren't optimized for more than one core anyway and I know how quick I can fill a TB. Plus, I saw an article here on Tom's that suggested there isn't that much bang for the buck with the extra cores even vs. an i7. I could move on up to an i3 2120 and get 3.3 gHz instead of the 2.5 if that clock speed will make much difference. I just picked the 2100T for the power consumption benefits (heat & noise). I didn't list TMT5 because I'll add that later & use the PS3 for now. Will it do what I'm asking it to?
Thanks Geek. I realize the 2100T is low power and I'm certainly not against a 2100 or 2120. I do wonder if I'm going to have heat issues because the entertainment center I'll be using doesn't have great airflow and the 360 & PS3 heat it up pretty well themselves if they're going. That's the only reason I was thinking the T version, assuming it'd still perform ok. How well does your 2100 do? Do you ever feel like it's taxed? Part of me thinks I should just give up a hdd and get the i5 2500k for the HD 3000 but then I think if the 21** will do what I want and I need better 3d at some point, I can just add a discrete gpu for that $100 price difference in processors.