I want to build a home theater PC and while I am quite able to assemble it, install the OS and applications etc I am not up-to-date when it comes to the components. I have been looking around Sham Shui Po but the choice of motherboards (and their different chipsets), processors, graphic adapters etc. is just so confusing.
Will mainly use it for watching DVDs and HD content (Blu-Ray), internet surfing, office applications but also some graphic intensive stuff like GIS and CAD, nothing pro though. Not into gaming either. Monitor is my 42" LCD TV with a native resolution of 1366x768 but may upgrade one day to Full-HD.
Thus I was wondering if some of you could give some specific advise on the components that are suitable/recommended, or where possibly even name the make and model; price is not much of an issue but while the system should be pretty up-to-date and have a decent performance (like playing a HD movie and running some other aps at the same time without stuttering) it doesn't need to have all the latest and most expensive parts:
1. Case - settled on a HTPC case like Silverstone GD-01 or the 3R System HT-5000 even. Still considering if the premium for the 7" touchscreen is worth it.
(Anyone know a shop that sells Zalman cases?)
2. Power Supply - any specifc type? How many Watt does a PC require nowadays?
3. Motherboard - can't make any sense of the different chipsets, FSB speeds etc., so I have no clue except that it needs to have an optical audio output, Gigabit Ethernet and at least 4 external USB connectors and a few SATA interfaces (how many are standard or recommended?). On-boards graphics not required I think, see 6.
4. Processor - want Intel, but dual core or quad core, and what speed? The more expensive the faster I guess, but at some point the gain in performance might be less than the difference in price. So what's processors strikes a good balance between cost and performance?
5. Memory - 4G. What type is standard nowadays, SO- or FD-DIMM, DDR2? What speed (MHz) and what voltage (I noticed some differences in the specs between different RAM modules)?
6. Harddisc - 1 for OS & applications 250GB and 1x 320G for media files (music, videos, pictures). Maybe bigger 2nd disc if the price is not much higher. Any particular brands and/or models that are recommended, or should be avoided? What technical specs to look out for? - RPM?
7. Video card - must have one VGA (or DVI-I) and one DVI (D or I) output, being able to drive two monitors independently with a resolution of up to Full-HD (1920x1080p @ 60Hz).
8. Operating System - Windows Vista, what edition and 32- or 64-bit? (if the latter is suitable for a PC and backwards compatible)
9. DVD does-it-all drive with Blu-Ray (not necessarily for writing BR discs though). I saw mentioned that some models have a SATA connection, so what do others use and can they connect to the current motherboards?
10. Anything missing, perhaps accessories like CPU cooler etc?
Keyboard and mouse I can handle though.
Thanks for any suggestion or advise.