I am planning on building a HTPC for the enitre family, and would appercaite an feedback on the planned build. I already have a NAS which I plan on using to store recorded TV and Ripped Movies to, so I am thinking about running with just an SSD to reduce noise.
Approximate Purchase Date: End of January 2012
Budget Range: 650-850 After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Watching Bluray Movies, Recording TV, Watching Bluray rips stored on NAS, Surfing Internet
Overclocking: No, looking for a cool system to reduce fan noise
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 current (Prephaps 1920x1200 in the future)
Additional Comments: I am planning on storing most of my rips and recoreded TV on a 5TB NAS. I would like to be able to stream TV to the other Windows 7 computers on the Network as we only have one TV. I am looking to keep the htpc as queit and small as possible.
Get either 1333MHz or 1600MHz memory, get a cheaper motherboard (get H67 chipset, Z68 and P67 are for overclocking and H61 sucks), get a quiet after-market cooler for the CPU because the stock is probably loud, and you might want a different PSU because PSUs that come with cases are often pretty loud.
Make sure your Windows disc can install 64 bit windows because if not then you be stuck with 32 bit Windows which needs sloppy workarounds to use more than ~3.25GB of RAM.
I understand the desire to keep the HTPC small and quiet, but the plain and simple fact is, the Ceton InfiniTV4 card gets very warm (I have one). The last thing you want is for your system to over heat and, at best, shut down in the middle of recording or at worst, fry a component. I would definitely recommend a larger HTPC style case and a quality power supply.
You also mentioned wanting to watch 3D Blu-Ray. I seriously doubt that the on-chip graphics of the Core I3 would provide you with satisfying results. You may want to hold some cash in reserve for a discreet graphic card.
You certainly will not need 8GB of RAM for an HTPC. You can save $20 by going with just 4GB.
Just for reference, my HTPC is based on an AMD Athlon II X2-240, 4GB of RAM, HD4670 graphics card, Ceton InfiniTV4 TV Tuner, LG Blu-Ray drive, and Windows 7. I've had zero problems with this set up.