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htpc requirements

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Over the previous year I have discovered the great convenience that windows media center can provide for my media collection.


I currently use my normal computer with a 10$ tv runner card to provide this functionality, however I have decided that a laptop is a better idea for me being in college and all.

So I was curious about the most beneficial way to attempt to rebuild my PC with some new parts to be better suited to this usage, I currently have:


q9300 @ 2.7ghz

asus p5q vanilla atx board

8800gt dual slot 512mb

8gb ddr2 667

7 hard drives @ ~1.7TB of combined space


I have spare parts around such as an a64 x2 4600+ 2.4ghz and a geforce 6150 micro atx motherboard

as well as a Pentium dual core e2200 with 945gc board.


My research has lead me to believe that getting an amd 780g board for the x2-4600 would be the best combo

considering I have an 8800gt would it be better for me to use the e2200 or my current q9300 and an intel board?


I plan to sell the rest of this to hopefully balance out the cost equation, as long as I do not lose a significant capability, I would like to still be able to play some games, my current setup is more then enough for this though.


Overall the question seems to boil down to, what path gets me the best overall combination of:

1. general htpc

2. backup storage for laptop

3. can play games on the tv, not really high end or anything, just well enough that I don't need to rework a heavy/loud cooling system


I could probably drop 200$~ extra on top of selling stuff if the value is right


So does anyone have any ideas on this?



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