I'm wanting to get a new desktop computer. I'm really after something for general home use, I'd like it reasonably quiet and fairly low on the power use as it will stay on most of the time. I will want to stream a lot of video/music to my media centre from this via ethernet. A bit of video and photo editing, and some low-mid level game playing now and again.
I'm not really too fussed about price, don't want to go overboard, but don't mind spending a bit more if it will help my cause. I'm wondering if an AMD A8-3870K system would be enough for the above purposes? If not, will adding a graphics card make much difference and any recommendations for what might work well? Or could someone recommend a system that might work better for my purposes?
The Llano A8-3870K will work great -- no real need for a discreet card for casual gaming, but in dual graphics you will get quite a boost in some games. The HD6570 is likely the best match.
Here's the thing: You are in the middle of a shift change. AMD is launching Trinity, supposedly not just on paper, June 1. Nextgen APU with Piledriver cores and 'up to' 50% better graphics performance than Llano.
The good news is prices for Llano/FM1 are dropping. The bad news is the FM1 Hudson chipset is not compatible with Trinity APUs.
FM2 Hudson motherboards and Trinity APUs for the desktop will not arrive until August. So why did I bring all this BS up?
A Trinity mobile will do everything you need. With Wireless N, too.
The only thing missing is probably eSATA but more and more mobiles have 'em. And you need a wireless mouse with dual-graphics for some casual gaming at 1080p, too.
I use eSATA port multipliers for my media storage with 5-bay external enclosure(s). USB3 should more than handle media streams with external enclosures starting around $100 to GTFO.
yes, an A8-3870 system would do quite nicely. get 6 or more gigs of RAM & a SSD, and you'll have yourself a real quick machine.
from the sounds of it you won't need a discrete GPU, the onboard Radeon HD 6550D will handle HD video and light gaming well. you can always add a discrete GPU later if you find you'd like to turn up the visual details on newer & more demanding games.