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I found an i7 870 in the garbage! Can I make an HTPC from it?

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  • Intel i7
  • CPUs
Last response: in CPUs
September 5, 2013 10:36:18 AM

Hi folks,
I've often referred here for questions, but they were always answered so I never needed to ask my own. But here we are:

I've found an XPS 8100 in the garbage. The GPU, Optical drives, and PSU were missing, but the mobo (DH57M01), CPU (i7-870), 8 GB (4x2GB) ram, and heatsink were all there. When I plugged it in to a 500W PSU I had hanging around, and plugged a monitor into the HDMI out on the mobo, I got 6 beeps, pause, repeat and no video signal.

Looking it up, this is most likely a video card error. A little more reading reveals that this CPU has no onboard graphics. Is this true? Can I not even boot to bios without a dedicated GPU?

I'd like to use this as a dedicated HTPC / Emulation (Dolphin / PCSX2 and below) box. Can I make that swing with a low end GPU (maybe a fanless 6450), or should I sell the CPU and get something like an i5 650 (or any other 1156 socket CPU) with on board graphics?

I already have a custom rig with an i7 3770K and a 570 for 3D modelling and gaming, so I don't need it to do anything GPU intensive, and I hear emulation is CPU dependent.

Thanks,
Alex

More about : found 870 garbage make htpc

September 5, 2013 10:42:49 AM

If you can get it to work, then i'd suggest selling it and getting a lower power CPU for your HTPC. i7-870 is a 125W part (I think) which is pretty power hungry and hot for HTPC purposes.

Nice find though!!!
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September 5, 2013 10:48:02 AM

I have utilized several HTPC's with onboard graphis - the DELL XPS 8100 has the video disabled, so you will need a video card. I have utilized the ASUS GeForce 210 Silent (it works well, however, there are issues with the 29/59 refresh rates), so there is a comparable AMD chipset:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is the card I used: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It doesn't take much other than HDCP compliance of the card.
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September 5, 2013 10:48:28 AM

Internets says 95w. Still pretty hungry though.
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September 5, 2013 12:11:22 PM

bliq00 said:
If you can get it to work, then i'd suggest selling it and getting a lower power CPU for your HTPC. i7-870 is a 125W part (I think) which is pretty power hungry and hot for HTPC purposes.

Nice find though!!!


OR...

You can under-volt and under-clock it. You don't need a ton of power for media playback, and even HD capture/encoding doesn't need a lot of power to capture 1080p in real-time with a good codec like MJPEG, HUFFYUV Multithreaded x64, or Lagarith.

Free is free and if it works, is stable/undamaged, cool. Here's to hoping the motherboard is bad but the chip is good. :) 
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September 8, 2013 11:29:14 AM

Threw a crappy old GPU I got out of another throwaway in there, put a harddrive in and it booted right up to BIOS. Installed 7 on it and now I have a fairly slamming computer from 3 years ago. Pretty nice considering the best computer I'd rescued up til then had an E7700 in it. Still not entirely sure what to do with it though.
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