To me they look about the same. The only difference that i really notice is that text is a bit sharper over HDMI. HDMI will give you the best picture over all but its not a dramatic leap and its not really that noticable in my opinion but its stll there. It probably depends on the size of your screen as well. I play on a 100 screen so I can tell that its a little sharper, where as if you played on something in the 30's or 40's maybe you couldn't see the difference. As far as sound goes, if your just running the sound right to your TV with out using a receiver, the HDMI and component should give you the same sound quality, but if you run HDMI to a receiver you can get true surround sound where with the regular component cables you only get two channel audio unless you use an optical cable, which would be the way to go there.