Home theatre hardware shapes up

A quick wibble around the Web serves up a meaty selection of hardware currently passing through the sweaty palms of cyberspace's gaggle of geeks.

The Gurus of 3D reckon Gigabyte's H57 motherboard, the GA-H57M-USB3, will soon be available for roughly €120. And though not cheap, it certainly is worth that money is the verdict.

The Hi Tech Legion gave Axle's Geforce G210 512MB GDDR3 64bit video card a going over. What you get is is a reliable entry-level video card that will allow you to watch HD video, convert video, enjoy some casual gaming and not hog too much system memory.

On a similar note, Bjorn 3D reckons MSI's N240GT-MD512 OC/D5 graphics card would be an ideal card for light gamers who are also setting up home theatre system.

The folkks at Hardware Zone are looking at Intel's H55/H57 chipsets with integrated graphics. A budget P55 that just works. It may not be the most polished board but it gets the job done, they reckon.

Over at Ninjalane, the guys testing out the Foxconn's latest Quantum Force Inferno Katana P55 motherboard liked its "exceptional performance" and say the design and style are outstanding.

Asus' M4A785G HTPC/RC motherboard has a complete set of peripheral interfaces, high-quality integrated audio, up-to-date graphics core, and a universal remote. Xbit Labs reckons the board might just become a best-seller in its class.

If you want a decent processor for gaming, get a Phenom because of the L3 cache, since there's little difference in terms of price. However, for every other purpose, you can take RB Mods' advice and get the Athlon II X4 635.

Intel's Core i5 661 Dual Core LGA 1156 processor is perfect for an HTPC or non-gaming rig, according to Think Computers.