I'm looking at building an HTPC for my parents' 55" Mitsubishi LCD, but I have a few questions. Keep in mind that it will not be used for games but more for entertainment purposes (Youtube videos, watching programs off internet, backing up DVR files, etc).
The first is that I am heavily researching AMD's new APU and I'm weighing the pros and cons of using this as the basis for the CPU, and the nice thing about it is that it doesn't require use of a central graphics card which will heavily cut down on the power consumption - and that's always a good thing. But the hard part of this build is finding a decent power supply - the only one I could go with was an Ultra (blech) modular power supply, are there any others that would be capable of handing a micro-ATX based system like this? Most of the ones I've found off Newegg are fairly cheaply made (and reading the article here on cheap PSUs has made me want to stay away from them), and I want a somewhat decent PSU for this system since it's one everyone will be using.
The second is the case. Because of the limitations of the PSU this is why I'm considering going ITX, but the problem with the ITX builds that I see at least, is that the cases are so small there's no room for internal storage, nor is there room to put a full 3.5" blu-ray burner. On the upside the ITX builds consume very little power. But are there any other upsides / downsides to building ITX over the Micro-ATX and AMD's APU?
I don't think a SSD is worth getting unless you really want your HTPC to boot up as fast as possible. A typical 7200RPM HDD should be able to boot to the login screen in around 50 seconds. A SSD will probably get you there in 20 seconds.
Yeah, sure your programs will load a little faster, but unless they are really large programs the difference in speed would be marginal at best.
I would go with a micro-ATX case. ITX puts severe limitations on options in my opinion.