Currently, I have a media server/light use computer/htpc in our bedroom. It has a G630 cpu, 4 gigs 1333 ram, and Radeon 6450 1GB GPU. I have another 8 gigs of ram sitting there that I just haven't got around to installing yet too.
My dilema now is that I am looking to build a dedicated HTPC for the living room but looking to do it on the cheap but also get something that is capable and will be for a while. I was going to go with a FM2 apu chip with a mobo still to be decided on. I was also going to take the existing 4 gigs ram out of the current computer and put that into the new one. Without a case and psu I was looking at around $130-150 for the new build. (I didn't forget about a hdd. One of the 1TB drives in the current computer will be getting replaced with a 2TB and the 1 will go into the new computer.)
Now I am considering if it might be better to upgrade the current computer to a i3 or i5 and take the G630 and build the new system around that.
Opinions on which of these routes, or even a different one, that I should go?
Also, I am having a huge problem finding a case for the HTPC. I haven't cared before but now the wife doesn't want it to look like a PC since it is in the living room. I can't believe how expensive some of these HTPC cases are. I am leaning towards this one for now though. Suggestions on cases?
I'd recommend the i3 upgrade for the main usage "server" htpc just because I like having the "full computer experience" flexibility somewhere in the house
The i3-2105 is a pretty good deal right now. I think that ivy bridge i3s are a little overpriced right now, and Microcenter is almost pushing the i5 with the price difference at $40
If you were to keep existing board for i3 upgrade and plan to move the g630, I'd suggest this board from newegg link to keep the price down ($35 after rebate)
You really shouldn't need the Radeon card in the g630 "living room" htpc if you're only using it for playback. Keep that in the newer build and run Lucid Virtu integrated mode (plug into on-board graphics) to save power but provide more graphics flexibility when you need it.
If you really want bang for buck and live near microcenter, you may want to go for one of the i5-3570k w/ $40 off z77 deals. You may never need the i5, but for $40-$60 more than an i3 build it is worth considering