Originally Posted by Iteki
What do you think? Any way to shave some of that off? I'm just looking for HD playback and general media duties, not gaming.
For the processor, any Phenom x3 or x4 should do you fine if you don't want gaming. You might be able to get away with a non-phenom for HD playback if you don't care about SD playback (Phenoms are necessary to get best deinterlacing out of SD sources). A low end Phenom x3 should save you $40-$50.
For the case, make sure it's one you want on your media rack. I spent a little extra to get one that was visually appealing to me. I also made sure it came with a good quiet power supply and case fans - I got an Antec Fusion 430W, and I believe the case you're looking at has the 380W version of the same power supply, so that should be good & quiet, but make sure if you're not buying a HTPC case.
For about the same price or maybe $5 or so more you can get a 750GB harddrive, which would probably be worth the upgrade. Make sure it's gotten good reviews as a quiet drive, as it'll probably be the noisiest part of the system.
Also, think good & hard about what wireless keyboard & mouse you'd like, as well as a MCE remote.