The graphics portion of the new chips is more than just an afterthought, however, as Intel has beefed up the HD Graphics' multimedia feature-set, which now includes bitstream audio support and an eclectic range of display outputs.
Showing off the new multimedia capabilities that make the new chips a decent fit for HTPCs, Intel demonstrated a Core i5 CPU powering a high-end media center PC from Niveus Media. Take a look at the video for yourself.
The point here is that Intel finally feels comfortable in pushing its
chips as all-in-one solutions for HTPCs. There's no reason why you
couldn't obtain very similar functionality with an AMD system based on
the 785G chipset, of course, and installing any decent discrete
graphics card, space permitting, will also give you a good experience.
The downsides are that Intel chips with HD Graphics start at around £95 and that they're still rather power-hungry when running at full tilt, intimating that OEMs need to design chassis and cooling around the 73W TDP. Have you been swayed by the new Core i3 and Core i5s and contemplated your next HTPC build around them? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the HEXUS.community.