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I am looking to build my first HTPC and need some help. I've been reading the forums and various articles on the web looking for help and ideas and have finally pieced together a system that I think is capable of meeting my needs. I want the PC to be able to record video, surf the web, store my DVD and MP3 collection, stream video from online and also make sure I can add Blu-ray in the future. Here is the list of components I have chosen so far:


1) Case - Antec New Solution NSK2480 Black/Silver 0.8mm cold-rolled steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 380W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129034


2) Motherboard - ASUS P5KPL-CM LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131288


3) CPU - Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116072

While researching, I didn't know whether to go with AMD or Intel. Could someone explain the differences if possible? I am not sure if it is a major deal.


4) Memory - Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA80A - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148204

Do you think that 2GB is sufficient or should I go 4GB?


5) Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136218

I am thinking I might want to go with a 1TB drive. What do you guys think? The reason I am staying away from it is I hear that the 1TB can be unreliable.


6) DVD Drive - LG Black 22X DVD+R SATA 22X DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827136168

I couldn't find one that matched the case but that doesn't really bother me.


7) Graphics Card - MSI N94GT-MD512 GeForce 9400 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127412

Do I really need one? I like that it has an HDMI port but I know that I can get one on the motherboard if needed.


8) Tuner - AVerMedia AVerTV Combo PCIe ATSC/NTSC/QAM TV Tuner Card (White Box)w/L-P Bracket 7 95522 96058 0 PCI-Express x1 Interface - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815100015

Any other suggestions?


9) Remote/Keyboard - ADESSO WKB-3000UB Black 86 Normal Keys 13 Function Keys USB 2.4 GHz RF Wireless Mini Keyboard w/Optical Trackball - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16823166079


10) OS - I haven't decided on an OS yet. I would prefer to use Linux but I'm a bit worried about driver support and such. I was thinking about installing Mythbuntu and then trying out Boxee. I don't mind using Windows, it's just that I don't want to have to spend more money when I can use a free resource. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


If you guys could give me any advice/suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. I am mostly worried about compatibility issues (with the motherboard and processor) and the chance that I might be missing out on something better out there. My budget for this is $500-$600. Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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Edit your post to fix tuner section. If you are OTA the Avermedia Duet is about the best tuner you can get for the money.


For OS I recommend Windows 7. It's free to try until march of 2010 and will probably be worth the price (Not sure what the price will be when released). Linux is great for desktop use (I use ubuntu on mine), but MythTV should be reserved for more advanced Linux users. Linux will require extensive knowledge of terminal to get it working correctly, W7 basically works out of the box.


I went the AMD route based on price, not sure how Intel compares. My ASUS M3N78-EM runs HD graphics without a discrete graphics card. Do not purchase a motherboard or graphics card with an ATI chipset if you ever want to give Linux a try at some future date.
 
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