The HTPC bug has bitten again and it seems like every time I am ready to jump in and start buying components, I run into something that makes me hesitate.
I want to build a PC for XBMC use. Mostly local content, DVD rips to ISO and MKV, very few if any HD rips, but would like to have something that can handle it down the road. Streaming content in the form of Hulu and other add-ons for XBMC.
I would prefer not to buy Windows 7 since it adds about $100 to the cost. This leaves me with XP SP3 (which I already have) or Linux. I know nothing about Linux and although I am aware of XBMCLive, I'm afraid it could get ugly if something needs tweaking. On the other hand, I read some forum posts saying XP may have issues with an IR remote driver.
And on the CPU front, I was leaning towards an i3 build but have read that there are some issues with DXVA/VC-1 - not even entirely sure what that means. It also sounds like an AMD-based system would be better for XBMCLive if I end up going that route. The tradeoff is (I think?) an AMD build would need a discrete graphics card as opposed to the iGPU in i3 and doesn't have support for bitstreaming. Don't think that last part is something I need.
So XBMC gurus, what would you recommend? i3/XP? AMD/Linux? AMD/XP? Wait for the new Intel and AMD CPUs that are coming out soon?