New HTPC Build

Just moved into a new apartment overseas and looking to build an HTPC as an entrance to a new hobby. This will be my first build and I’ve been scouring the internet but thought I’d post on here for any suggestions.

Qualifications I’d like:
- 1080p video output - Media playback from harddrive
- 1080/720p Media streaming from the internet
- Great sound output – possibly attach a dolby 5.1/7.1 to it?
- Blu Ray drive
- Quiet operation
- Mini-ITX or Micro-ATX (although with the capabilities I’d like, probably mini)
- Sub $500

Saw a few posts suggesting a Llano and the ASRock A75M-ITX, but I’ve seen a lot of negative review on the ASRock (Noisy, bad quality, etc.)– Can anyone comment on experience with this or suggest an alternate motherboard? I don’t currently play many games, so I think I don’t need too much power on the system, but I do want seamless video output.

I’d also really like great sound and ideally would use this as a receiver for a large sound system. Would everyone recommend a separate sound card or are integrated ones good enough these days?

Would appreciate anyone weighing in with individual components and/or templates. Very excited to start this build… Many thanks to any and all suggestions. (Also, I’m in the UAE and require British plugs with 220v/50hz so will need a PSU that can accommodate)

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  1. Apologies all for duplicate posts – I’m on a very shaky connection in Egypt right now and I thought the first post didn’t go through so I posted again.
  2. AsRock has come a long way up ^- so i dont think that your "reviewers" are very well informed (what can be noisy about a MB ??, maybe if you dont have grounding @ your plug, but eve then...). Personally i would go with Trinity (not Liano)
    The AMD A10-5700 3.4GHz with 7660d integrated graphics and the ASRock FM2A75M-DGS motherboard (with SATA 3 and USB 3.0). Get 2 sticks of 2x 2GB (or 2x4GB) 1866Ram (or atleast 1600Mhz, APUs benefit more from fast ram) and you are set.
    Personally i would get a aftermarket CPU cooler because the stock ones tend to be a bit noisy and you want silence when you watch a movie or something :D. Also dont be cheap and go with a silence PSU aswell i.e
    Enermax NAXN 450W.
  3. Thanks for the reply and thoughts, Crisan. Given that I don't plan to do much gaming on this setup, do you think that the AMD A10 is overkill with 4 cores? Would a dual core unit be enough?

    Also, can you recommend an aftermarket CPU cooler?
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