Thanks for all the responses, folks.
Originally Posted by Micromain
Your specs are missing a case and hard-drive(s). Without an optical drive you will also need to consider how you will be installing the OS for your system.
Yep, sorry about that. I omitted those details. Here are those items:
Case: SilverStone SST-LC16S-MR (reused from previous build)http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O0DOC6/
Boot drive: Crucial M4 128GB SSDhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442
Storage HDDs: 2x Seagate Barracuda Green 5900RPM 3.5" SATA hard drive
Optical drive: TBD
(May go with an inexpensive SATA BD-ROM)
Originally Posted by ilovejedd
Just curious, what's the point of getting the more expensive i3-2125 when you plan on using discrete graphics?
That selection was due to hasty decision-making on my part. I somehow thought that the i3/i5/i7 series were the only ones with integrated graphics. (There's just soooooooo much to research and learn about in this endeavor... thank God for AVS!) Even tho' I am putting in a graphics card (which I still have to select and procure), I want the CPU with integrated graphics so that I can start building and configuring the new HTPC right away before committing to a discrete GPU.
Originally Posted by C17chief
What REALLY makes me go wtf is your motherboard choices. Why are you looking at near $200 overclocking boards for an HTPC? In addition to that, why Z68 at that price point? It's not like Z68 is irrelevant now, but since Z77 is still same socket and compatible with same cpu's, there isnt much reason to go Z68 anymore unless you came across a great deal on a good board.
I came across a very good deal on the Asus boards, of the "open box" variety
Anyhoo, everyone following here will be happy to know that I ended up going with the Intel Pentium G630 in place of the Core i3 2125. Ended up pairing it up with the aforementioned open box Asus MB, specifically the Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3, which came complete with all the package contents (nothing was missing), and priced to move at $119. I realize that there are cheaper options, but I've always liked Asus. In fact, the HTPC that I am building is replacing my first HTPC build from 2006, which was based on the Asus P4P800. It is still working like a champ today, but I am finally ready to make the switch from WinXP to 7HP so the hardware's gotta get upgraded too
I'm now looking into 92mm case fans for cooling the HDD racks within the case, and I may look into aftermarket CPU cooling solutions for lower noise compared with Intel's stock cooling hardware. I'm also planning on installing a 3.5" front panel interface with USB/eSATA/card reader connections.
Any suggestions for CPU cooler for the G620? Still taking suggestions for graphics as well (to be used with MPC-HC + MadVR for video playback).
Thanks again for the great discussion, everybody. I'll try to keep this thread updated on my progress for those who are interested