I'm about to upgrade my current PC and looking to use the old components as the basis for an HTPC.

What I want to use it for:

  • Playback DIVX / mp3

  • BluRay

  • Later - Freeview|HD (already have STB with PVR functionality - although basic)

What I have:

  • MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI mobo (socket 939, ATX) - NB fan has been replaced with passive Zalman heatsink

  • AMD x2 3800 CPU with Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro (think that's the name, bought it a while back)

  • 2GB RAM

  • SATA HDD (got a few I will be juggling around)

  • PSU 

What I think I need:

  • Win 7 RC

  • Mediaportal

  • Case - ATX - black / full size to match AV receiver - reasonable price.  

  • GFX - 9500GT - seems NVidia have fewer probs than ATI at the moment. 

  • Bluray - http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=9381

  • Remote - no idea

So I have a fair few questions. Apologies if some of these are dumb, have done a fair bit of reading around but am new to HTPC.

  1. CPU / mobo - are these up to it? From reading around it seems plenty of people here have been using similar CPUs.

  2. S/W - Is Win 7 the best option to build a new HTPC today?

  3. Case - is VFD worth having? Couple of options I'm considering - any other recommendations?

    • Antec Fusion - http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=7603

    • Silverstone LC17 - http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail&id=801

  4. Remote - Antec comes with one, if I buy a case without remote what do I get? And do I need to buy an IR receiver for the case?

  5. GFX - is 9500GT the best option? Any recommended quiet (passive?) options?

  6. Do I need SPDIF passthrough on GFX? - pretty sure I've got optical out on the mobo. 

Or would I be better just to do everything on my main PC and get a Popcornhour C-200 when they're available? (and add a Bluray drive)

Thanks for your time.