Long time viewer, first time poster. I would like some feedback on a new HTPC I'm about to put together, as I'm a little confused over 1 particular thing relating to audio. First of all, here's the build:
Case: Silverstone ML04
PSU: Antec VP450F
MB: Asus F2A85 series (not sure exactly which one yet)
CPU: Amd A10-6700 (65 w)
RAM: 2 x 4 GB DDR3
SSD: 120 GB
Blu-Ray: Asus BW-14D1XT
Probably a Zalman CNPS8900 cpu cooler
Probably a couple of Noctua 80 mm case fans
So 2 things I have questions about:
1) First of all - any comments on the build? I know it may be a little overkill for an HTPC, but I want something that will last a few years. If anybody wants to bash of the AMD choice, I have setup several AMD APU systems for friends, and also my computer at work, and quite frankly they work great for the money. This computer will not be used for gaming, only BluRay playback, youtube, Netflix streaming, etc. The APU will allow me to not buy a discrete graphics card, which will keep the case simpler and cooler. Also, the cost of the MB + APU is about the same as an Intel based MB + cheap i3 + cheap video card.
2) AUDIO: I have never hooked up an HTPC to a decent home theater system, only ever computer speakers or HTIAB (current setup connected to a Logitech Z5500 5.1, with a creative sound card that's a few years old). It's fine, but I want this one to be better. The HTPC I'm putting together now will be connected to the following: Pioneer Elite VSX-42 receiver, and either a Paradigm CT100 5.1 system or a Klipsch RB-41 5.1 system, paired with a Sony 60 inch LED TV. Obviously I want the best possible audio output, and this is the one thing I don't quite understand. I can spend $200 easily on a nice sound card, but I'm reading in a lot of posts that I'm better off just feeding the audio signal out via HDMI and letting the amp's DAC process the signal, so no added sound card in the HTPC. Could someone please clarify the benefits / drawbacks to this? I know plenty about computers, but quite frankly not so much about decent audio equipment. I had assumed until I started reading that I would be purchasing a high end sound card - but maybe not?
Thanks in advance,
EDIT: Will be running Win 7. I don't think that will make a difference vs Win8, but just saying. Also probably PowerDVD Ultra for Bluray movies, and VLC for most other stuff, unless someone else has better suggestions.