While I agree with you on the XBMC-only + Atom / Zacate, I need more than just XBMC. I'll use this rig too play my beloved games too (Terraria, unEpic, SF4, POE, Bloodball and the upcoming StarBound). My current Q6600 + 4GB DDR2 + GF9300 IGP (XFX motherboard) play unEpic fine on my aging 17" LCD monitor. But all the other are unplayable, even Terraria is below 20fps @ 1280x1024 (prolly a poorly coded game). My wifes E2-1800 notebook plays Terraria and unEpic just fine, but I won't even try SF4 or POE. This rig will be plugged to a TV because I lack space for a desk. I have to change the TV (who died), the computer screen (who's dying) and my current rig (who's too big and will soon have no desk). I do not do Photo editing, only digital painting (but that do not use much resources). I'm a software engineer, so the memory size, storage speed / size and the number of cores is more important to me than the CPU speed. Intel HT is a pure joke when you look at the asked priced between i5 and i7. At 180€ for the cheapest i5, it is really too much (I'm on a budget too) especially if I have to add dedicated GPU (even a small HD7750 retails at 80€). The Q6600 will be recycled as a Linux server, downclocked (too keep it cool and lower the TDP) and shrinked to the bare minimum. It will replace my Synology, can be used for remote 3D rendering, code compilation, media shrinking .... and placed in a curtain. I can use the notebook to write code and then compile it on the Q6600 node.