I would like to introduce another build you may consider building: The Home Theatre PC (HTPC). A HTPC is just a basic computer that is mostly of personal preference in terms of the added components, so when starting your HTPC build you want to include the basic components for building a PC which include:
1. A Computer Case: This is purely based on preference. You could purchase one that matches your theatre equipment etc.
2. Power Supply Unit (P.S.U): You want to buy a good quality PSU as your computer may be running many hours at a time.
3. A Processor: When selecting a processor for you HTPC you’ll want to purchase a cool running basic processor . If you want a basic HTPC for playing DVDs, or recording live broadcasts then the least expensive dual core processors should be just fine. If you want to add in blu-ray, moderate gaming etc. then you may want to go with possibly a tri-core AMD as an example.
4. A MotherBoard (Compatible with your processor): You want to purchase a motherboard compatible with your processor, and with at least one PCIe x16 slot for your Video Card.
5. RAM – Memory: you do not need a whole lot of memory to run a HTPC. 1Gb of memory should be fine, but you can’t go wrong with choosing 2GB DDR2 or DDr3 memory depending on what your motherboard supports.
6. HardDrive: Purchase any amount of space you’ll like depending on your budget and need. This depends on how many DVDs/BluRay movie files you want to store, how many tv shows you want to record etc. If your thinking “as much as I can,” then you may want to put as many hard drives as your computer case will allow as 2TB a piece. But a 1TB drive can hold plenty of DVDs, and you can always buy for HD space later on. Keep in mind that you can go out and buy any hard drive you find the cheapest, and you do not have to worry about the hard drive speeds as they are only acting as storage drives for your media.
7. DVD/BluRay drive: Plain and simple; do you want just a DVD drive, or DVD/BluRay drive? Purchase whichever you want. (Could also get a BluRay burner).
8. Video Graphics Card: You do not have to purchase the best graphics card for you HTPC. In fact onboard video on some motherboard may be enough if you are just using it to watch DVDs, however you may want to purchase a cheap card if you are using BluRay to take the strain off the integrated card. You want to purchase a card with a quiet fan, one that can fit into your motherbaord, and make sure you purchase one with any video adapters you want to use with your TV (DVI, HDMI etc).
9. Operating System: Whichever you want.
10. Other: Sound Card: This can be an optional purchase as many motherboard offer good integrated sound. Look for cards that include things like digital output,or Dolby Digital Live (DDL).
11. Other: HD Tuner card: The right HD tuner card can record, pause, and rewind TV shows. You may want to purchase a good quality card for better quality “TV”. Also, make sure that you have enough PCI expansion slots to fit an HD TV tuner.