Ok, I put it all together yesterday. Took about an hour to get all the parts and put everything together. Posted on the first attempt. Phew....
AMD Phenom II X6 1045T 2.7GHz Six Core Socket AM3 Boxed Processor
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P Socket AM3+ 760G mATX AMD Motherboard
Kingston SH103S3/120G HyperX 120GB Solid State Drive - 120GB, SATA III, 2.5"
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1333 (PC3-10600) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 4GB Memory Modules)
Case/Power Supply: (Open Box)
PowerSpec Apex TX-381 Micro ATX Mid Tower Computer Case w/300W Power Supply
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit OEM (PC)
Microcenter Total: $304.14
Mail in Rebate: $10.00
Tiger Direct Total: $79.99
Total build cost: $374.13
I decided to go with the Phenom X6 core as the price point was right when used in combo with the motherboard. (After the mail in rebate the MB will be free.) From what I saw the Phenom was a better value than the FX4100 based on expected pc use. It also appears that the Phenom can be overclocked a bit should that need arise. The MB has GB ethernet, but only DVI. However, since it's basically free I'm happy to use a DVI to HDMI cable as it's not connected to a surround sound system. As far as the RAM goes, I went with 8GB simply to max out the capacity of the MB. I was at the store, putting the parts in the cart, and the $15 to double the memory made sense. Maybe it was wasted money, but I don't really have to worry about memory anymore.
After loading windows and various other software, my cpu temp was 37C. Well below critical temps for this cpu with the stock cooler.
The graphics, as expected, are the lowest scoring portion of the build in the WEI. It doesn't stutter when I play a BluRay rips from my media server...so I'm happy.
Should the need arise for local storage I'll put in a HDD, but I'm going to try the network route for now to see how that works out.
Noise: the only moving parts are the power supply fan, exhaust fan, and cpu fan. Are they quiet, not really...are they distracting...not really. Definitely quieter overall than the old Dell and not worth spending money to quiet down at the moment.
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks to the forum. It's awesome that we have this platform to bounce ideas off each other and the people are so willing to offer opinions and insights. Cheers gang!