CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII S524 77.7 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.92 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z77MA-G45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Silverstone SST-LC10B-E-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($106.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Raidmax 530W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($38.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-21 12:39 EST-0500)
My house has wired Cat5e ethernet to every room, fed from a gigabit switch attached to my router and NAS. My NAS is going to be the main storage of media. Some media is 1080p lossless, and can be up to 30GB is file size. I haven't had problems playing media from my NAS to my Logitech Revue or WDTV Live Hub before. So, the network is no concern.
For my HTPC, I just don't know if a graphics card is necessary. The motherboard has an HDMI port on it, and I'm wondering if the components list above will be able to play the files fine without stuttering, etc. It's important to me to preserve the lossless quality for playback.
Also, I would ideally like to run HDMI to my Denon 2112CI receiver for both the audio and video signal. I also plan to run xbmc on my HTPC.
As for gaming or other uses of the HTPC... I plan to use it for some web browsing, YouTube, Spotify, and probably some light gaming (nes emulators).
Is a graphics card necessary? If so, any suggestions?
If you will not be doing any gaming on the HTPC then, no, you don't need a graphics card. The Intel integrated graphics should be just fine.
I'm not an HTPC expert and it's your money, but I think the i5-3570k is overkill for an HTPC. Also, you have to get a different psu. I have used Raidmax psus before and they are crap. get a good quality Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic instead. The psu is an extremely important component that you do not want to skimp on.
Thanks everyone for the quick responses! Unfortunately, I already purchased the i5. I don't mind that it's overkill and I got a good deal - so I really don't want to have to return it
If you think I will still be "OK" with the i5, are there any other suggestions you have to ensure I get a good quality playback of my larger media files on my NAS? Does any part of the HTPC other than the CPU contribute to dropped frames, stuttering, or just poor quality in video playback?
Also, for the power supply. I purchased that too. It sounds like this is something I should really consider returning. Should I find a new one on PC Part Picker, from Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic? Any one recommended in particular?
I can't see what size PSU that HTPC case accepts. If it is standard ATX, get a Seasonic G-360. It is quiet, efficient, and can handle a modest graphics card (e.g. HD7770) if you want it for games later.