My goals are to watch tv and dvds on my FP through the htpc. So my current pc setup is this: Athlon 64 3000+ Abit KV8 Pro eVGA Geforce 6800GT Corsair XMS pc3200 1GB(512mbx2) Soundblaster Audigy 2 WD Raptor SATA 36gig Seagate SATA 120gig NEC 8x dual layer dvd-rw I've been thinking of different ways I could go at making a htpc, and what seems the cheapest/easiest way is to just add water cooling(cpu, gpu) to my current setup to quiet it down. This way I still have the power for gaming in one package. Questions... 1. Now what, if any, are the advantages of having a dedicated htpc vs one also used for pc games, surfing the net, etc.? 2. I'm looking for a new soundcard. I think optical out is a must and for future proofing I'll say it needs to have 7.1. Keep in mind this will be used for pc gaming too, probably both with my HD 580 headphones and my home theater. Would the Chaintech AV-710 be perfect for this or would I be better off with the HDA Digital X-Mystique 7.1 Gold(price not being a factor)? These two I've seemed to run into the most in my search. 3. I want to beable to watch tv through it also. This is where I'm most clueless. There's a ton of different tv tuners out there. Recording shows isn't really a deal with me but once again for the sake of future proofing let's say it'll need to have that as a feature. Which should I look at? 4. One more thing. I'm currently using WinXp, would a change over to Win MCE be a good move? Or can I basically do the same things it can by adding software to XP? Thanks!