How well will an dualcore atom work for HTPC use. Largely looking to play HD MKV files in which ive read it could do. Im wondering about bluray though. You can get PCI variants of both the ATI HD2400 and the Geforce 8400GS. For audio i have a USB Turtle Beach Micro which has 5.1 passthrough with optical output. If there's no way, i do have a PhenomX4 with a 780G mobo that can do BR forsure but its a powersucker and largely use for light gaming.
The 780G is a great chipset. If you use HW-acceleration, like via the codecs that come with PowerDVD, you can get away with one of the newer dual-core X2 CPUs that are only 45W TDP. I'm running a mini-ITX board by J&W (the Minix) with a X2 65W CPU and hardware acceleration and it is clear sailing with anything I can throw at it (any codec, up to 1080p). I was inititially worried that a 65W CPU might make the system too hot, but as long as you have room around your chassis for cooling it seems rock solid. The Minix MB is nice also because it has optical-out, HDMI, DVI, and analog RGB. I threw in a Hauppage HVR-2250 dual ATSC tuner card and have everything I need for media playback in a nice little box that sits under my TV
The next step will be to sell off the Expressvu HD-PVR, install an OTA antenna, and live free of Bell or Rogers!
Well put my order in new atom 330 board 2GB ram, 750GB HD, one of those 250W Apex mitx case's, an LG DVD wirter (sata). 250bux for a whole computer thats livable. Only question is how to partition the HD, thinking doing a 250GB for OS/Programs and 500GB for DL/Movies.