HTPC advice

hi everyone, first time poster. figured i'd ask for some advice here. i'm going to be building an htpc in the next couple months but i had a couple questions. first off, i have an asus gtx 460 directcu top gfx card that i can use in the build since i'm upgrading my gaming rig to a geforce 660 ti, but one question is if this card is overkill in this type of system. here are the parts i was looking at buying:

cpu: i3 2120 3.3GHz
mobo: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V
ram: G.Skill value series ddr3-1333 (2x4GB)
drive: lite-on ihes112-04 blu ray reader
case: cooler master elite 341
psu: antec

i also already have an intel x25 120gb ssd as an OS drive and a samsung spinpoint f4 2tb for media. did i make any crucial mistakes in putting together this list? i know a lot of people are recommending the amd llano cpu but since i have a discreet gpu, i didn't need the onboard graphics.

lastly, anyone have good recommendations on a possible replacement blu-ray drive? the lite-on i chose has great reviews but it's oem with no software. no sense getting a blu-ray drive that can't play blu-rays. :na:

thanks for the help in advance.
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  1. Best answer
    Yes, the GTX460 is serious overkill for an HTPC (media only) system. That doesn't mean you cannot use it. If it's within budget, I'd probably recommend keeping the GTX460 as a spare for your gaming system, should the unthinkable happen, and adding in a low-end graphics card (like the HD6450 or GT620/GT630).

    Your system build looks fine except you'll never need more than 4GB of RAM. As far as a retail Blu-Ray drive, I found this Samsung Blu-Ray Drive at Amazon, but you might want to look to see if there are any sales going for blu-ray software. Sometimes you can find it for as much as 50% off. If there are any sales, just get the OEM from Newegg.

    -Wolf sends
  2. Personally, I'd just pony up and buy the BD playback software separate and get the cheapest OEM drive. When they bundle the software, it can be a crapshoot for what you actually get.

    Typically, the software is one or more versions behind the latest/greatest or they gimp some of the playback features like HD audio passthrough, 3D playback, or something else.

    My 2¢.
  3. which software would you recommend? most of the major ones (nero, powerdvd, windvd, etc.) have pretty bad reviews.

    the mobo i chose only has 2 ram slots, is 4gb really okay since i can't add sticks and would have to just replace them if i needed more memory?

    and thanks for the responses, guys. this is only my second computer build and my first htpc so it's reassuring to have your input.
  4. My HTPC (see the specs in my signature) has been running with only 4GB of RAM since I built it several years ago. It's never been an issue.

    I've been running PowerDVD 9 for my Blu-Ray playback. Aside from a few required upgrades, it hasn't given me any problems (other than it does not run natively in Windows 7 Media Center).

    Note: That is merely a statement of fact and not a recommendation.

    -Wolf sends
  5. thanks for that. another question: is there a good budget case that may or may be better/smaller than the CM elite 341 but still be able to fit a discreet gpu? since it is an htpc, i guess size does matter at least a little bit. i was originally looking at the thermaltake vf6000bws but it's a little out of my price range and i wasn't sure if it could fit the geforce gtx 460.
  6. I don't think you're going to find a much smaller case that case still accept a full sized graphics card. The Thermaltake VF6000BWS would accept the full sized card, but I'm not a fan of the power supply being installed directly above the motherboard/CPU.

    -Wolf sends
  7. i guess heat would be more of an issue with that tight setup. thanks again. i really appreciate the help.
  8. Best answer selected by geoffropuff.
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