I'm starting my new HTPC build; it's been about 5 years since the last one. The display will be a 46" LCD, probably the new Sharp LC-46D62U.
My goals are:
Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Playback (eventually), DVD Playback/Recording, music, web surfing, in near silence (no overclocking). I hate noisy computers. This machine will not be used as a DVR or for watching live TV; I have a HD TiVo for that. I will
use it to extract programs from the TiVo to recordable media.
Components ordered so far:Motherboard: Intel DG965OT (BOXDG965OTMKR)
Rationale: Recent chipset, HD audio with full 7.1 and an HD Audio header may allow eventual integration with an HDMI video card. Gigabit Ethernet. High quality capacitors, decent warranty, MicroATX form factor (a plus for me). I've had pretty good luck with the quality of Intel desktop boards in the past.
The Asus P5B-VM was a close call here.
--Processor: Intel E6400 Core 2 Duo
Rationale: Price/performance; Qualified by nvidia for Blu-Ray/HD-DVD decoding tasks. Power consumption is not so bad that it can't be cooled quietly.
--Memory: 1GB (2x512) Kingston ValueRAM DDR2-533 (KVR533D2N4K2/1G)
Rationale: I started looking at DDR2-800 and was annoyed by the price and compatibility issues; the Intel board requires 1.8 volt memory. Then I discovered that the faster RAM is only around 1% faster while 80-100% more expensive. I will not be overclocking so this was an easy choice for me.
--Chassis: Antec NSK2400 Media PC Case
Rationale: I hate most media PC cases. I'm sure I'll hate this one too, but it has a few things going for it - namely that it is a solid foundation for a quiet PC, and it doesn't look horrible. It's also cheap.
--Video Card: XFX GF7950GT PVT71JYHE9
Rationale: Upper midrange card with Purevideo HD, HDCP, and still passively cooled -- no noise! On the minus side, no HDMI.
--Hard Drive: Samsung HD300LJ 300GB SATA2
Rationale: I have a few of these laying around. They're quiet and inexpensive.
--PSU: Seasonic S12-380
Rationale: I have one on the shelf. It may not quite be enough for this system, but I think it will suffice. This is a very quiet PSU with excellent efficiency and active PFC. The efficiency will help keep the computer cool with less fan noise.
Still to go: I'll use the Intel box HSF and bundled Antec cooling fans to get started, but I'll be replacing them soon. The parts above are either on hand or on order. I'll keep this thread updated as the build progresses.