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Which CPU for HTPC have best price:performance ratio?

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  • Pentium
  • Intel
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Last response: in CPUs
September 12, 2011 5:14:08 PM

Intel Pentium G620
Intel Pentium G620T
Intel i3-2100T

More about : cpu htpc price performance ratio

a c 254 à CPUs
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September 12, 2011 5:26:06 PM

A machine purely for HTPC duties doesn't need much in the way of CPU. Your performance needs will likely be determined by any other purposes this system might serve. While I'd question the ability of Atom to really handle anything all that well, an AMD e-350 is strong enough, or a $60 Athlon II X2. If you prefer Intel, a dual-core Celeron should do, but remember you may not be saisfied with an Intel IGP, so figure in the cost of a discrete card.
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September 12, 2011 5:30:52 PM

the g620t is the way to go for me. its plenty powerful for streaming video and only 35 watts, for like $5 more than the not T.
the G620 is 10-20% faster than the g620t depending on application.
if you find yourself converting a lot of video get the 2100t it has quicksync, which allows compatible programs to convert video with a little piece of built in hardware which about cuts convert times in half.
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September 12, 2011 5:31:50 PM

drchohan said:
Intel Pentium G620
Intel Pentium G620T
Intel i3-2100T

Hi drchohan :hello:  . Yeah! jtt283 knows what he is on about. :lol: 
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September 12, 2011 5:36:55 PM

farrengottu said:
the g620t is the way to go for me. its plenty powerful for streaming video and only 35 watts, for like $5 more than the not T.
the G620 is 10-20% faster than the g620t depending on application.
if you find yourself converting a lot of video get the 2100t it has quicksync, which allows compatible programs to convert video with a little piece of built in hardware which about cuts convert times in half.

Your the one to go with farrengottu & you know it. :) 
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September 12, 2011 5:37:05 PM

I suggest looking into AMD's Llano platform. The CPU/GPU runs less than the i3, and a decent socket FM1 board is also fairly inexpensive.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.4GHz 3MB L2 Cache Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core (on die radeon 6950, destroys intel IGP)(dual core is $20 less and has a 6410 on die)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$83 GIGABYTE GA-A75M-S2V FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX (there is a $20 cheaper ASRock, but it has fewer PCI/PCI-X slots)
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September 12, 2011 5:38:42 PM

i agree that atom is too slow realisticly, even the atom/ion combos have their troubles. the e350 also has some limitations they both get sluggish with the higher bitrate 1080p video. the e450 just came out but so far just laptops. it should fix the sluggishness of the e350, its a touch faster off the batt and supports turbo core.
since its for a htpc and not meant for gaming a discrete card isnt needed. intel is better and 2d and have been for a while. thats smoothness of scrolling through aplications and such and video.
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a c 254 à CPUs
a b å Intel
September 12, 2011 6:41:33 PM

Well, we don't know what else it might be meant for, or whatever other use it may be asked to serve, or if poor performance in some other task would lead to buyer's remorse.
Llano may be more general-purpose, but does most of the things for which people buy PCs reasonably well; it certainly beats those bargain basement emachines specials.
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September 12, 2011 7:09:43 PM

Onus said:
Well, we don't know what else it might be meant for, or whatever other use it may be asked to serve, or if poor performance in some other task would lead to buyer's remorse.
Llano may be more general-purpose, but does most of the things for which people buy PCs reasonably well; it certainly beats those bargain basement emachines specials.


Well, in addition to HTPC work, it will also serve as a basic home computer for browsing internet, MS Office, very little audio and video editing.

One thing I want to make this computer work with dual screen, primary screen only for person sitting in front of PC, other screen(TV) attached via long 5-10m HDMI cable, where children can watch their videos. Audio to TV will be routed via HDMI cable at the same time person sitting infront of PC can hear music as well using some other audio player e.g itunes or winamp.

I will probably go with intel, due to more energy efficient. I am tilting towards pentium G620, with MSI H61I-E35 (B3), with 4gb or RAM. I want to keep the cost down, and upgrade in a year or so to IVY Bridge.

Shall go for one 4gb RAM stick or 2*2gb Stick. Which will be faster?

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a b à CPUs
September 12, 2011 7:30:29 PM

Go for dual channel. But 2x4 is like 10€ more and might be useful at some point.
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September 12, 2011 10:39:22 PM

The sound over HDMI is flaky with intel integrated GMA's, same with nVidia. At the moment ATi is way ahead with HDMI sound. FYI the Llano 3 core is the same wattage as the G620/G540/G530/i3 (all but T series), even with the GPU core on die. However the AMD MB will use less wattage than a comparable intel one. Intel GMA still has some artifacting issues with BRD, so you'd have to get a video card as well. I do however recommend getting 2x4GB of RAM though (it's dirt cheap). Just be sure to get a 64bit OS.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ($10 cheaper for 1333)
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a c 638 à CPUs
a c 204 å Intel
September 12, 2011 11:30:25 PM

I would go with an AMD Llano APU as well.

There is one caveat that you should know. While Llano has both CPU and graphics core integrated into one package like the Sandy Bridge Core i CPUs, this is also a dead end platform. Llano APUs use the FM1 socket and it will be phased out when the Trinity APUs are released next year because they will be using socket FMX. Therefore, if you think you are going to upgrade in the future for whatever reason, then you need to take this into consideration.

A Sandy Bridge Core i3 uses socket 1155 and it should be viable into mid 2013. If think you will upgrade in the near future, then a Core i3 CPU will be a better choice. Intel has a tendency to to change sockets about every two years.

AMD's 1 year life for socket FM1 is a bit unusual since their socket usual have "shelf life" of 3 to 4 years.
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a c 254 à CPUs
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September 12, 2011 11:40:41 PM

I can't believe I'm reading what appears to be a suggestion that a HTPC needs 8GB of RAM...sheesh. MS Office can be a pig, but still 2x2GB should be sufficient.
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a c 638 à CPUs
a c 204 å Intel
September 13, 2011 12:04:56 AM

Onus said:
I can't believe I'm reading what appears to be a suggestion that a HTPC needs 8GB of RAM...sheesh. MS Office can be a pig, but still 2x2GB should be sufficient.


Nah... 24GB should be the sweet spot... and a 1000w PSU. Don't forget a silver heatsink (that will have to be a custom job) too since silver conducts heat the best out of all the metals.
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a b à CPUs
September 13, 2011 12:36:48 AM

Toilette paper may be on sale too .... doesn't mean I'm gonna fill the garage with it. How many people out there use more than 4G Ram on a consistent basis on their computer let alone an HTPC. "I want to keep the cost down, and upgrade in a year or so to IVY Bridge."
You mean you're going to give this computer to the kids and build a new one - you know it ain't gonna be cheap!!!!
-Bruce

-Bruce
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a b à CPUs
September 13, 2011 6:16:09 AM

I never said a HTPC needs 8 GB RAM, sheesh.
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September 13, 2011 5:48:08 PM

E-350 with an SSD to make things 'snappy'
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September 13, 2011 8:34:26 PM

the 9 watt AMD C-50 can play 1080p mkv playback
if htpc is the only task, that is...

but....
>video editing
get an SB core i5
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September 13, 2011 10:22:16 PM

I suggested 8GB because the Op. stated "light video, and audio editing", aside from the fact that it's cheap (granted a single 4GB stick of g.skill ddr3 1333 is $23). It would also keep him from having to do much when he turns it over to the kiddies (aside from add a new vid card maybe).
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a c 319 à CPUs
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September 13, 2011 10:40:03 PM

Bear in mind that the G series (G620) does not feature quicksync and I dont know if the HD graphics in them can support dual displays.

I also can confirm that the i3-2105 does indeed have quicksync and does support dual displays, depending on the motherbd, as it features the HD3000 graphics. It can even game some.

And so far I've had no glitches with HDMI audio on either my AMD PII x3/ati4250 (integrated) rig in the living room or the I3/hd3000 in the bedroom.

I also would like to suggest a PIIx3 as the sweet spot of cpu's.
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September 16, 2011 11:12:04 AM

I kept the cost to the lowest possible.
Well, I went with MSI H61I-E35 (http://www.msi.com/product/mb/H61I-E35--B3-.html)
and Intel Pentium G620 along with 2*2gb RAM.
Its working fine, with CPU temperature around 36 C and Motherboard 37C.
I have a mini ITX power supply and it has 40mm fan, which is noisy, is there any way to slow this fan down, or shall I replace it with a newer 40mm fan, and fan size cannot be changed due miniitx PSU dimensions.
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Anonymous
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December 29, 2011 1:04:50 PM

Hi. I will pin my question here, just to avoid creating another topic. I want to build HTPC as it is perfect solution for me, and few days ago I didn't even knew such thing exist. So excuse me my noobish questions.

Machine will be for HTPC use only. I got powerful gaming PC, 2 laptops, tablet, and smartphones, so I really only need that machine to watch HD movies, TV, listen to music. Then I am planning to go for micro ATX as a perfect solution between small size and flexibility. I really like this case http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silverstone-milo-ml03b-microatx-black-slim-htpc-case-with-usb-30-w-o-psu-(can-take-atx)]
After that this HTPC must be quiet and energy efficient as will operate 24/7 with sleep mode. Also system will run from SSD. I want it to be fast and responsive but will not use any heavy applications or games on it.

And now some questions:

1. What CPU I should go for? I am leaning towards AMD llano/lynx solution but if justified I see no problems with different CPU.
2. What motherboard? My idea is Gigabyte GA-A75M-S2V http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-a75m-s2v-amd-a75-s-fm1-ddr3-sata-iii-6gb-s-raid-sata-graphics-on-board-micro-atx]
3. I would like my HTPC centre to be able to play TV. I know I will need TV Tunner. And here I am green. I want to be able to watch and record programmes from normal TV (aerial) and satellite. Possibly to watch one channel and record second one. In wall I have two outputs for Satellite and two for aerial TV. Do I have to buy two separate tunners? Is there one which will do the job of two and I will be able to connect 4 plugs?
4. Is it possible at all to make my HTPC to decrypt encrypted channels from satellite?

Thanks guys a lot, waiting for your answers....
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