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Overclocking unlocked G3258 with fanless cooler asking for trouble?

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July 15, 2014 3:23:10 PM

I'm building an HTPC (slash) Plex media server which will be transcoding 1080p files on the fly, and silence is key concern. I'm considering either the G3420 (max DDR3 1666) or the unlocked G3258 (max DDR3 1333). For encoding purposes, Plex advises to consult the Passmark scores as a general guide as to a chip's potential power to transcode media files. The G3258 scores a full 17% higher (3400 vs 3900), which makes no sense to me, given that these 2 chips are identical. And that, while the G3258 is more limited in its memory bandwidth.

Either chip will be cooled with Scythe cooler without a fan attached, but this cooler will sit very close to two 120mm case fans. So I'm somewhat certain that at stock voltages with a average energy use of 53W, everything will work out. However, I'm curious to know whether overclocking this chip to 4 Ghz would lead to significantly higher temps, especially without a CPU cooler fan.
a b à CPUs
July 15, 2014 3:32:15 PM

yes, definitely.
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2014 3:37:34 PM

Just by reading the title, I can warn you that the CPU will not do very well. I understand that you want silence, so you may want to look into some of the quieter, higher quality fans. Otherwise, your CPU will be toast... literally.
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2014 4:01:10 PM

You should bear in mind that Passmark does not differentiate between overclocked and non-overclocked CPUs for the same base model. So when ever you read a passmark score for an OC-able CPU, know you get a report of all the CPUs out in the wild. It accounts for some of the perceived advantages of K-series and other overclocked computers vs their vanilla counterparts.

I've come back to this because transcoding performance rang a bell somewhere in my mind, but I just can't put my finger on it... will cogitate some more. :) 
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July 15, 2014 4:06:47 PM

Ah, so those Passmark scores are simply average reported values for all processors, both stock and overclocked. That makes more sense.

Ok, so it seems to be the consensus that nudging things up a bit may cause chaos, even if 2 very large (and slow) fans are sitting only an 2-4 cm from the cooler.
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2014 4:10:04 PM

When you say "Chaos", are you referring to overheating issues or needs of other parts to possibly be upgraded (Or both). If you are overclocking, you need to make sure you are properly taking care of the CPU so it lasts as long as possible.
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2014 4:12:09 PM

I'm wondering if you should not look at the lower TDP Intel Atom processors? I think that's what I kind of remember - that INtel made a range of CPUs specifically for low TDP and media type applications. It's a few years back and I'm struggling to recall the details. Googling like mad here :) 
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2014 4:22:39 PM

I think it's coming back to me now. I think what I was recalling is that the Celeron range within Haswell is very low TDP and still media-encoding friendly. So you shouldn't run into heat issues. I think TheCus and Synology uses them in their media-friendly NAS boxes, but I may be totally wrong.
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July 15, 2014 4:35:59 PM

The Atoms or Celerons won't really cut it for media transcoding. The bare min of 2000 Passmark is recommended for 1080p on the fly. So, I figure a score of at least 3000 for a bit of overhead and GPU functionality and background tasks. I think I've just decided to go with the cheaper G3420 with its faster RAM, and leave things to stock, foregoing a bit of fun. :) 
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2014 4:40:39 PM

Hey, post back sometime and let us know how it worked out. :) 
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a b à CPUs
July 15, 2014 4:42:49 PM

Wait a minute. Hold up there pardner. 2000 Passmark? Single thread or multi-thread? There ain't a whole lot of CPUs that can break that limit in single-thread.
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July 16, 2014 5:18:24 AM

Karsten75 said:
I think it's coming back to me now. I think what I was recalling is that the Celeron range within Haswell is very low TDP and still media-encoding friendly. So you shouldn't run into heat issues. I think TheCus and Synology uses them in their media-friendly NAS boxes, but I may be totally wrong.


From the experience of others there isn't really a consumer grade out-of-the-box NAS yet that is powerful enough to transcode 1080p reliably.

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