Should I upgrade my HTPC or not?
Here's the scenario: Once upon a time, my gaming-machine died, and my original HTPC plans were turned into a gaming-htpc hybrid. I've recently purchased and assembled a brand new gaming machine, and was now considering making it my full-time HTPC again. The components are:
Asus P5Q-EM motherboard
8GB DDR2 Ram (Forget clockspeed offhand)
Sapphire Radeon 4870 2GB DDR5 w/ Vapor-X
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB
Due to the heat produced by both the CPU and the processor, I put in a Scythe Shuriken heatsink/fan. This had the adverse affect of leaving no room for a CD drive (or even the support arm across the top of the case).
Now, with this system starting to show it's age, should I upgrade instead of starting fresh with this setup?
I was contemplating replacing it with an i3-2120, a Z68 motherboard, and 8GB of Ram, leaving out a dedicated GPU. It's likely that I'd get a new SSD, and keep the old HDD for storage (I have loads of storage space on a NAS, though, so it's a moot point). I'd possibly have to buy a newer lower wattage PSU that's rated at 80Plus Bronze/Silver/Gold, but I'd have to take a look at mine, as I truthfully forget what it's rated at. I'm very happy with the case, and would be keeping it. Also, I'd use the stock cooler, and would regain the ability to re-use the 5 1/4" bay, if I so choose.
So what are some opinions from some of you more experienced HTPC users? Either way, I'll be starting with a fresh install, so I'd like to do it with the right equipment first. That's removed my desire to "try it now, and if the heat/noise/performance isn't there, then upgrade!", despite knowing that would likely be the best thing to do (I've read THAT enough times on the forums). I will not be doing any gaming (aside from some awesome NES/SNES gaming with the kids), and believe the i3's integrated graphics to be more than sufficient for any video playback I'd be doing. The SSD (which I could get in either case) would be a nice noise reduction and performance boost. Overall, the system would be cleaner inside, have more airflow, use less power, generate less heat, generate less noise, and performance should be slightly higher for HTPC purposes. Also, I'd get a BD drive to put in it.
What are your thoughts? Is this a good idea, or would I just be throwing money away? Lets here it, personal opinion and completely subjective views welcome!