Hopefully this is at least close enough to being on-topic for this thread...
My current situation is that I have a somewhat aging HTPC (IIRC, the CPU is a Core i7 950) primarily used as my main JRiver Media Center system, including TV recording (using a mix of SiliconDust HDHomeRun tuners for both OTA and CableCard) and a 1080P Mitsubishi WD-82838 as my TV.
I probably won't be upgrading to a 4K TV until sometime next year, so full blown 4K output support isn't important for now. But I want to be able to make relatively minor changes to the system when I'm ready to 4K output. Is it a reasonable plan to make use of integrated Intel video for now and then upgrade to an AMD or nVidia card later when I'm ready?
What's the current thought on the best CPU, motherboard, and RAM combo that's at the point in the curve where the prices starts to go up sharply? Essentially, I don't want to do things like spend $600 on the CPU when spending $400 gets me more than enough performance for the foreseeable future.
I think my motherboard needs are fairly simple. Since I have a large Norco rack mount case, I want to go with a full size ATX board to maximize the number of expansion slots that are available. I've got a LSI SATA controller board that I need a slot for (I've got 12 6TB hard drives in the case plus the SSD). I also need a slot or 2 for the future video card, and would prefer to have a few more slots for other items (my current system has 3 PCIe OTA TV tuner cards currently used by BeyondTV; I'm probably going to stop using BeyondTV but it could make sense to keep those tuner cards and let JRiver use them, freeing up some of the SiliconDust tuners for use on other systems in the house).
My thought on the CPU choice is Intel Core-i7 7700 3.6GHz. For RAM, I was thinking G.Skill Ripjaws V series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200.
I'm less clear on what the best motherboard choice might be for me. Having been happy with them for many years, I'd prefer to stick with Asus, but beyond that there are so many to choose from, some guidance would be appreciated. These days, is it mostly a simple matter of looking at the list of features (number and type of expansion slots, USB header count, number of included SATA ports, and so on) and going with what best fits my needs? As with the rest of the components, I don't want to spend $600 on a motherboard when $250 or so is more than sufficient.
It's also time to update my "main" home PC and I'll probably go with the same motherboard, CPU, and RAM combo, but will most likely stick with the integrated graphics long term as I won't need to run madVR on that system; at least not at max quality settings.
The plan (hope?) with both systems is to replace the hardware, but stick with the same Windows 10 install with the expectation that Windows 10 will take care of installing the correct drivers for the new hardware once I get the correct network driver installed and then run without any issues (other than the usual Windows 10 issues...
) at that point. I'm really hoping to avoid a full Windows re-install on either system as that's obviously a much more time consuming option to get all the software installed and configured.
Anticipating an obvious question, gaming isn't a consideration, so I don't need a system that can support the maximum frame rates in the most demanding games.