Are Asusteks P5E-V-HDMI (with spdif/toslink output) and P5E-VM-HDMI (with coax output) the new first choice for all HTPC builds? Based on intels G35 chipset, this mATX board comes with onboard HD audio, onboard VGA and HDMI video (dual screen) and supporting upto 1333 fsb Core 2 Duo/Quad chips with the usual high standard of Asus overclocking ability. The HDMI output is powered by Intels X3500 chipset which is on the PowerDVD compatability list, so no problems with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback. Silent PC's review is very positive too. http://www.silentpcreview.com/article785-page1.html Granted its a little on the pricey side at £100. But to buy a cheap motherboard and ATI 2400XT or 2600Pro graphics card for example will cost you around £80 to £100. Couple the board with the following components and i think you've got a HTPC ready to play any HD material you can throw at it with ease. CPU - £53.00 - Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180 2GHz Socket 775 800MHz FSB L2 1MB Cache Retail Box Processor Memory - £28.00 - Corsair 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 675MHz/PC2-5400 XMS Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL4(4-4-4-12) Heat Spreader Lifetime Warranty Hard Disk - £60.00 - Samsung SpinPoint HD501LJ 500GB SATAII Hard Drive 16MB Cache - OEM Case - £110.00 - Antec Black Fusion V2 MATX MediaCenter Case - Aluminium Front Bezel with 430W PSU CD/DVD Writer - £18.00 - Whatever you decide to do here!!! Keyboard & Mouse - £24.00 - KeySonic 2.4Ghz Wireless Compact Keyboard with Integrated TouchPad HDMI Cable - £5.00 - Ebuyer Extra Value HDMI to DVI Cable (Black) 2M Optical Audio Cable - £5.00 - Toslink Operating System - £65.00 - Vista Home So that comes to £468 to my reckoning(with the motherboard) for a fully functional HTPC capable of playing all HD file based material. Although we might want a copy of CoreAVC codec for playing back h264 encodes (in mkv), but thats only $15, so £7.50 If you want to add HD-DVD or Blu-Ray then you've got the following cost considerations. Power DVD Ultra - £50.00 HD-DVD / Blu-Ray Combo Drive - £136.00 Blu-Ray Only Drive - £90.00 HD-DVD Only Drive - £70.00 What do people think of that spec? Is it something that we could recommend to people enquiring about a minimum HTPC spec? I don't think it its too far away. I know that if i was doing mine from scratch, then its the way i'd go rather than the seperate graphics card route i did go down. I suppose the above build could also be the basis for a gaming machine too. I would love to hear from anyone with the Asus P5E-(V and VM)-HDMI boards, especially telling us what CPU you've got in there and what performance (CPU and GPU) you are seeing when playing the variety of HD content (both disc and file based). Any thoughts?