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Building my 1st HTPC , choosing the right cpu ! (No Games only Movies)

Tags:
  • Intel
  • HDMI
  • CPUs
  • AMD
  • Movies
  • playback
  • htpc
  • 1080p
  • xbmc
Last response: in CPUs
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August 16, 2014 5:02:51 PM

Hello community i'm reading the past few days about building a HTPC for my smart tv , i want it to be able to play FullHD (1080p / 60 fps).

This will be the only use of my HTPC , movies !

I will use XBMC and one player for local mkv movies !

I i'm thinking of a motherboard with HDMI output and a cpu capable of playing the 1080p/60fps
paired with 2GB ram running linux would be awesome (i think) !

I won't buy an external GPU so i want to ask which CPU's are "good" for the usage i want !

Core 2 Duo ?
Core i3 ?
Core i5 ?

(Yes i love Intel :p  )

Which model do you suggest ?

Thanks !!!!!!

More about : building 1st htpc choosing cpu games movies

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August 16, 2014 5:25:36 PM

Core 2 Duo's are obsolete, so we can rule that out. If you follow my posts on this forum, you'll find that I always support Intel. However in this scenario for a HTPC, perhaps you could go down AMD's route? AMD have been working on their APUs, which are integrated graphics built into the processor. Yes Intel have integrated graphics with their Intel HD, however AMD are superior in terms of integrated graphics power. AMD's A10-7850K with Radeon R7 (on-die) is capable of playing games such as Grid 2 at medium graphical setting at 50 FPS (source). I understand you're not intending to play games, however that was to illustrate the graphical power of AMD's APU.

It's completely your call whether you want Intel or AMD; you should be fine with either as you're not planing to play any games. Even an Intel Pentium with Haswell architecture should be able to meet your requirements; if you're going with Intel select the currently supported socket, which is socket 1150. Any processor on socket 1150 should be adequate, even the Celeron/Pentium as mentioned earlier; as they have integrated Intel HD graphics and are dual-core.

If you're building a HTPC, you're going to want a small case and motherboard, correct? If so, and you want the utmost high-end AMD APU with an ITX motherboard with WiFi and dual HDMI you could go for the following (remember this is the utmost high-end AMD APU, which is reflected by the cost; you don't have to spend that much if it's out your budget and to be honest, I don't expect you to spend as much as below):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD A10-7850K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor ($166.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XN-WIFI Mini ITX FM2+ Motherboard ($92.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $259.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-16 20:21 EDT-0400

You can go with any AMD APU of your choice, but again Intel is always available. Any Intel CPU on socket 1150 should meet your requirements, even the Celeron would run circles around the Core 2 Duo you initially suggested. The Intel Celeron's on socket 1150 can be had for $45 (lowest price).

All the prices above are in United States Dollars (USD), if you reside elsewhere, please state your country and budget.

All the best. :) 
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August 16, 2014 7:36:29 PM

Obnoxious said:
Core 2 Duo's are obsolete, so we can rule that out. If you follow my posts on this forum, you'll find that I always support Intel. However in this scenario for a HTPC, perhaps you could go down AMD's route? AMD have been working on their APUs, which are integrated graphics built into the processor. Yes Intel have integrated graphics with their Intel HD, however AMD are superior in terms of integrated graphics power. AMD's A10-7850K with Radeon R7 (on-die) is capable of playing games such as Grid 2 at medium graphical setting at 50 FPS (source). I understand you're not intending to play games, however that was to illustrate the graphical power of AMD's APU.

It's completely your call whether you want Intel or AMD; you should be fine with either as you're not planing to play any games. Even an Intel Pentium with Haswell architecture should be able to meet your requirements; if you're going with Intel select the currently supported socket, which is socket 1150. Any processor on socket 1150 should be adequate, even the Celeron/Pentium as mentioned earlier; as they have integrated Intel HD graphics and are dual-core.

If you're building a HTPC, you're going to want a small case and motherboard, correct? If so, and you want the utmost high-end AMD APU with an ITX motherboard with WiFi and dual HDMI you could go for the following (remember this is the utmost high-end AMD APU, which is reflected by the cost; you don't have to spend that much if it's out your budget and to be honest, I don't expect you to spend as much as below):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD A10-7850K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor ($166.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XN-WIFI Mini ITX FM2+ Motherboard ($92.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $259.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-16 20:21 EDT-0400

You can go with any AMD APU of your choice, but again Intel is always available. Any Intel CPU on socket 1150 should meet your requirements, even the Celeron would run circles around the Core 2 Duo you initially suggested. The Intel Celeron's on socket 1150 can be had for $45 (lowest price).

All the prices above are in United States Dollars (USD), if you reside elsewhere, please state your country and budget.

All the best. :) 


For an HTPC you don't need anything more than an a8-xxxx. But besides that you hit the nail on the head. And for the guy who made the thread Linux will run an HTPC just fine. And you might want to get a wireless keyboard and mouse (my HTPC used a wired mouse and keyboard for around 3 months before I got so frustrated that I went out and bought a good wireless keyboard/ mouse
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August 17, 2014 3:10:29 AM

Obnoxious said:
...AMD have been working on their APUs, which are integrated graphics built into the processor. Yes Intel have integrated graphics with their Intel HD, however AMD are superior in terms of integrated graphics power.


So , AMD = Best graphics , this means better picture quality for my movies than Intel right ? Even if the differences are indistinguishable and even if this comes to what my TV can handle.

I don't have any concern going the AMD route because it will be only an HTPC , the only thing that makes me feel uncertain is the power consumption, every forum , every site , makes it clear that Intel is superior at power efficiency.

Obnoxious said:
If you're building a HTPC, you're going to want a small case and motherboard, correct?


Correct ! I'm searching for as much as possible small case , but it's not my first concern ! First i need a cpu :p  Then i will find the smallest possible case to fit it in.


WoW ! This by far the best answer (i can remember) i got in last years of my internet life ! Thank you very much , i appreciate it !

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August 20, 2014 4:01:06 AM

i'm between

Intel Pentium G3220

and

Intel Pentium G3420

The G3220 is 10-15 euro cheaper

What do you say ??
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August 20, 2014 7:25:57 AM

Personally, I want a low wattage Kabini build for my HTPC.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD 5350 2.05Ghz Quad-Core Processor (€51.48 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Motherboard: ASRock AM1H-ITX Mini ITX AM1 Motherboard (€53.89 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Total: €105.37
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-20 16:25 CEST+0200
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August 20, 2014 8:14:56 PM

invader7 said:
i'm between Intel Pentium G3220 and Intel Pentium G3420 The G3220 is 10-15 euro cheaper What do you say ??


I'd go for the G3220 and save your fifteen euros. The performance difference between the two processors are not significant enough to warrant spending additional funds.

As mentioned earlier, although AMD have better integrated graphics, going with Intel is still a solid option purely for video on a HTPC. The G3220 (and the G3420) supports DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.2, alongside Intel's Quick Sync Video; which decodes videos for playback at a hardware level, hence could potentially benefit you as you're using the CPU purely for video playback.

All the best. :) 
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August 20, 2014 11:27:08 PM

Obnoxious said:
invader7 said:
i'm between Intel Pentium G3220 and Intel Pentium G3420 The G3220 is 10-15 euro cheaper What do you say ??


As mentioned earlier, although AMD have better integrated graphics, going with Intel is still a solid option purely for video on a HTPC.


Thanks for the advices ! Which AMD CPU is at same levels with Intel's G3220 ? You gave me a build with the AMD A10-7850K but its too expensive.

Also as i can see here http://www.cpubenchmark.net/mid_range_cpus.html the AMD 5350 is not as good as G3220.

Thanks
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