I've been an avid HTPC user for a while. Right now I'm using a Dell XPS 420 as my HTPC. Originally I purchased it because it was the cheapest CableCARD solution available, and I had dual ATI tuners along with a HD HomeRun. Now, however, I have made the decision to ditch cable TV all-together, and as part of the process, I'd like to dump the huge tower that I was forced to use in favor of something smaller and more power-efficient. I'm worried, however, that even with the X2 6850e processor, performance is going to be a bit anemic. What do you guys think? Some notes:
- I'll mainly be viewing x264 content, largely in 1080p.
- Hulu will be a primary source of video as well.
- I'd like to be able to play Blu-ray on it in the future; however, I won't order it with that option.
- I'd like for it to be able to handle recording from my HDHR (both tuners simultaneously) in the future if I ever decide to pay for cable again or hook up an antenna.
- I won't be doing any transcoding or other processor-intensive actions--just playback.
Is that asking too much? Or is the 6850e more powerful than I give it credit for? Do I gain anything at all by upgrading to the ATI Radeon HD 4330 for the video card?