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Core i5-2400s vs. i5-2400 or i5-2500 for HTPC

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January 27, 2011 3:39:43 PM

Thanks forum contributors for reading this.

I recently received the mobo, vid card and cpu for a new HTPC / workstation build. My goal was to build a very green, non-gaming machine for home office + light Photoshop and audio/video editing.

CPU = core i5 2400s
Mobo = ASUS P8P67 PRO
Graphics cards = XFX 4770

However, I'm having a bit of buyer's remorse after reading this review from xbitlabs.com:

"Frankly speaking, Core i5-2400S not only performs worse than Core i5-2400, but also can’t boast the best performance-per-watt ratio, which is pretty strange for an energy-efficient model. On the other hand, even regular Sandy Bridge processors do not consume that much power to begin with and may suit perfectly fine for small and quiet systems. So, solutions like Core i5-2400S are mostly niche products rather than an appealing option for home and HTPC systems, because you can always go with a faster and cheaper Core i5-2300 instead of Core i5-2400S without any harm to the system power consumption."



This is extremely frustrating because I spent many hours reading Tom's forums as well as eggxpert and anantech postings.

The 2400s sells for $204 but is slower than the cheaper 2400 ($194) and for just $5 more I could have gone with the even faster 2500 cpu?

Maybe for my humble purposes the faster speeds won't make any difference. Still, I would very much appreciate your opinion on xbitlab's critique of the 2400s and whether I should RMA it in favor of one of the cpu's mentioned above.

Many thanks!
a c 788 à CPUs
January 27, 2011 8:26:58 PM

Looking at their conclusion it was a bad purchase on your behalf but they are talking performance wise. Now if you look at the tdp of 65watts against tdp of 95watts it is going to run cooler and depending on your case and cooling it might be what you wanted in the first place.
a b à CPUs
January 27, 2011 8:46:01 PM

I was very seriously looking at the 'S' processors for my low power (but always on) home server. I *had* to buy day one and couldn't find one... :)  ... but I was trying to design something very similar. I ended up getting the Micro Center special price 2500K. I just underclocked the thing to 'emulate' an 'S'... but the CPU did a pretty good job keeping itself low-power with the energy efficient switch flipped.

I have a general feeling that the SB CPUs can *all* be very efficient.... under low load. What you're paying for with the 'S' CPUs is the knowledge that the CPU will keep itself cool enough to only need a cooling solution capable of dissapating 65W of thermal energy. My 5 HDD server with a 2500K, integrated graphics, 4GB DDR3 idles at about 60-65W (compared to my old AMD 4050e server idling about 110W).

My CPU has the potential to jump to 3.7GHz, but it also has the potential to exceed 65W cooling requirements ... and need a stronger power supply. If you're looking for low power consumption... but the possibility to get high end performance, then the vanilla or 'K' models might be better. If you want capable performance with the lowest cooling requirements and consistently low power consumption, then the 'S' can work for you.
Related resources
a c 788 à CPUs
January 27, 2011 9:01:45 PM

Quote:
Get the 2500 with a h67 mobo

Intel Corei5-2500 3.3GHz
http://bit.ly/gCiBCY

GIGABYTE GA-H67M-D2 LGA1155 H67 SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX
http://bit.ly/epor20

G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333MHz
http://bit.ly/hsKMsd

Its got a integrated gpu perfect for your kind of use
You can add a WD CAVIAR green disk with it.

Western Digital 3.5″ 1TB Caviar Green
http://amzn.to/WD1TBG

Sony Optiarc 24X SATA DVD Burner
http://bit.ly/rlZZ3

And a case/psu combo

Moneual LAB Y601W White w/ 300W PowerSupply
http://bit.ly/bI5zLq

Otherwise you could get a other case
LIAN LI PC-Q07 Black Aluminum
http://bit.ly/cgz3Op

And a better quality psu

SeaSonic S12II 330W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified
http://bit.ly/bhtoTX

if you already purchase it the 2400 ain't a bad choice and will suite your needs

Why did you not read his post in the first place?
a c 788 à CPUs
January 27, 2011 9:44:56 PM

Quote:
I did but the phone loaded half the message when I replied only the replies and the full message came out. My apologies if it was a annoyance to you. Ill take it up with my network provider and its slutty internet service.

LOL
It sort looked really not to have a lot of relevance to OP's question about the 2400s
January 27, 2011 9:52:49 PM

rolli59 said:
Looking at their conclusion it was a bad purchase on your behalf but they are talking performance wise. Now if you look at the tdp of 65watts against tdp of 95watts it is going to run cooler and depending on your case and cooling it might be what you wanted in the first place.



Roli:

Thanks for the very helpful info. Sorry I didn't put my case info in the 1st post:

Antec P150 with 2 92mm front fans and 1 120mm rear fan.


I probably can't afford any changes to my build to 3 years or so. Knowing that, for your money and for HTPC build, would you keep the 2400s or go for the 2500 at about the same price? Or is it a case of 6 of 1, half a dozen the other?

Over 3 years and a lot of idle time on the CPU, will the power diff you noted -- 65w vs. 95 w -- add up to very much savings (and benefit to the environment)?

Your advice - and that of the other contributors -- is much appreciated! [:henry chinaski:9]

a c 788 à CPUs
January 27, 2011 10:06:41 PM

I personally would hate to pay restocking fee and just stick with what I got.
January 27, 2011 11:43:20 PM

I see what you mean. Buyer's remorse costs you a 15% restock fee at newegg. (See policy below.)

There is a restocking fee of 15% on all returns for refund (RMA Refund), unless waived by a Customer Support Agent. We charge this 15% restocking fee for all returns for refund to encourage customers to purchase products they intend to keep. We offer RMA Replacement without any restocking fee to support customers who have received a defective product. For CPU and Memory refunds, any restocking fee we use will be a reflection on current market value for the same cpu item.



Thanks for the advice. For $30 (restock fee) + $10 shipping back to newegg, I am better off sticking with what I've got. Your point is very well taken!
a b à CPUs
January 28, 2011 1:28:39 AM

If you have to eat a restocking fee... you should stick it out with your current CPU.

The only real thing you're 'missing' is a little high end performance. If I remember correctly (on the netbook...so tough to get multiple windows for research)... the energy efficient SB CPUs have a more headroom in the turbo boost. With the 65W thermal limit, turbo isn't as likely to last as long... but it short bursts of activity will be at a higher clock speed.

Remember that the 65W vs. 95W is a requirement for the cooling solution's thermal dissipation. Both processors will behave pretty similarly on the low end. At full load, the S processor will lock into a lower speed with some short bursts into the turbo speeds. The vanilla & K CPUs will settle at a higher frequency with possibilities to make smaller bursts up into the turbo speeds.

You'll be happy with what you have.
February 23, 2011 4:13:14 PM

And if you use the 2400s generally for a htpc, the data the cpu has to process is low, so that you really are better off with a 2400s than a 2500K.
The reason they say those other models outperform efficiency only applies when the cpu is used under full load.

If the cpu is limited to buffer reads (eg by buffering the first 8MB of a video you are watching) you really are better off with a lower power cpu, since regardless of how powerful your cpu is, the job will be finished in exactly the same time on either processor.

For time based tests (full cpu) it is always better to have a faster cpu.
But the majority of work most people do on a pc is not time based (eg: loading windows, opening webbrowsers, webpages, or programs, or listening to music /watching movies.
a c 94 à CPUs
February 24, 2011 10:25:51 AM

The conundrum (as I see it) is P67 with an HD4770. Even at 40nm the HD4770 does not have the 'lower-power' idle of the HD5xxx series -- CPU 'efficiency' in this case effectively becomes moot.

Because of the SATAII issues I don't really see a problem with restocking fees (would the Egg really take a hard line on this?). It looks as if the OP wants to 'have his cake and eat it, too" -- LOL (no offense).

If efficiency is the primary goal H67/on-chip video is the way to go -- efficient 'enthusiast' would be z68, right?

February 25, 2011 6:20:40 PM

a 2500 or 2400 with a 6850 would be a good match, as the 6000 series cards consume less energy on stand by than the 5000 series.
!