First HTPC

So I'm about to move into a new house, and I'd like to turn the finished attic into a home theater room. The set up for the room will be pretty standard, 120" screen, 1080p 3-D ready projector, 7.1 surround sound network receiver, and an HTPC. The problem is, I am used to building gaming rigs and don't know very much about the type of system that would be best for a HTPC. So I have a few questions:

1) What is a good build as far as components are concerned? I understand that this will vary from purpose to purpose, so I suppose I should state that I intend to use the computer primarily for watching movies (blu-ray and 7.1). However, it would be nice to be able to play modern games on at least medium settings in the event that I feel like playing Diablo 3 on a 120" screen.

2) If the motherboard has an hdmi out, is this sufficient for supplying the 7.1 receiver with HD audio, or will a nice sound card need to be added in order to take full advantage of my speakers?

3) Is it worth going to a mini itx mobo and tower for the sake of looks and space, or will it severely limit the performance of my HTPC?

Bonus question that has nothing to do with the HTPC itself: Does anyone have a suggestion for high quality home theater projector? Is there a certain brand or model that performs best and has the sharpest image?

Thanks in advance!
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More about first htpc
  1. This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
  2. 1) See below
    2) Yes, you should pass the audio to a receiver to decode over HDMI.
    3) You will pay more for ITX (I should know, I've got 2 of them). Micro-ATX is the sweet spot for HTPC.

    Just to get you started with some ideas:

    Case: Silverstone GD04B with remote $129 combo
    PSU: SeaSonic S12II 430W $60
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A75M-D3H $203 CPU combo
    CPU: AMD A10-5800K $0
    RAM: G.Skill Ares 2x4GB DDR3-1866 $50
    SSD: Crucial M4 128GB $125
    HDD: WD 2TB Green $110
    ODD: Lite-On 12x Blu-Ray Reader with playback software $80
    OS: Windows 7 x64 OEM $100

    Total = $857

    The CPU graphics should play games at medium settings with its integrated video. If not, you can always add a video card.
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