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i3-2105 Sandy Bridge vs. i3-550 Clarkdale

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October 18, 2011 7:18:20 PM

I am building a custom mini itx HTPC that I want to mainly stream/play Blu-ray HD 1080p videos but also a little light gaming as well.

I am just just looking for some insight on what other people think about these two CPUs.

i3-2105 Sandy Bridge:
3.1 Ghz
Overclock - NO
Intel HD Graphics 3000
$134.99

i3-550 Clarkdale:
3.2Ghz
Overclock - Yes
Intel HD Graphics
$119.99

What I have read the 2105 is known for have excellent graphics, while the 550 is known mainly for being able to be overclocked.

Overclocking is not a big deal for me, I like the option to be able to but since this is gonna be mainly for HD videos and light gaming like stated above I would prefer the better one for HD.

So any thoughts on what one you would suggest or just some other facts about these two would be appreciated, good or bad doesn't matter.


P.S.
This is for a NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) computer case mod HTPC so I am very limited to space and using a mini itx form factor with a 200 watt max pico-psu (http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-160-XT).
a c 471 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
October 18, 2011 7:47:12 PM

I would go with the i3-2105. The Intel HD 3000 2x more powerful than the GMA 4500 and in HD video playback that should reduce any potential "hic ups" to zero. Sandy Bridge CPUs are generally 10% more efficient than the older Clarkdales so that makes the i3-2105 just a bit more powerful (roughly 200MHz).

The i3-2105 can overclocked a little bit with the right motherboard, but only by about 5% - 7%.
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October 18, 2011 8:12:15 PM

jaguarskx said:
I would go with the i3-2105. The Intel HD 3000 2x more powerful than the GMA 4500 and in HD video playback that should reduce any potential "hic ups" to zero. Sandy Bridge CPUs are generally 10% more efficient than the older Clarkdales so that makes the i3-2105 just a bit more powerful (roughly 200MHz).

The i3-2105 can overclocked a little bit with the right motherboard, but only by about 5% - 7%.



Okay yeah I was 90% sure I was gonna go with the 2105 anyways but just wanted to see what others say. What motherboard(s) would you suggest that has good ratings, reliable, and isn't extremely expensive but not cheap and crappy either. So I could overclock it just a little bit. Wasn't planning on outrageously overclocking whichever one either since its just an HTPC. I just want to bump it up a little.
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a c 84 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
October 18, 2011 8:39:49 PM

wouldnt bother overclocking it, people often blow out some of the logic controllers by doing that. this is because you can only change the BCLK, which doesnt just overclock the cpu, but the whole system runs off this clock generator, so your overclocking usb controllers, memory etc. even at stock clocks its as fast as the i3 550 at 4ghz.
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October 18, 2011 8:46:03 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
wouldnt bother overclocking it, people often blow out some of the logic controllers by doing that. this is because you can only change the BCLK, which doesnt just overclock the cpu, but the whole system runs off this clock generator, so your overclocking usb controllers, memory etc. even at stock clocks its as fast as the i3 550 at 4ghz.


This wouldn't be my first time overclocking a CPU, I know the risks. If I go with the 2105 it doesn't mean that I'm going to right away overclock it. I just want it as an option.
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a c 471 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
October 18, 2011 8:59:05 PM

A stock speed i3-2105 is more like a Clarkdale Core i3 CPU running at 3.5GHz.

At best you can probably overclock the i3-2105 by 5% - 7% because as stated above you'll be overclocking the entire system at the same time. If USB ports goes above a certain frequency they stop working properly. That could be a problem if you are using a USB keyboard and mouse.
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a c 84 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
October 19, 2011 2:23:37 AM

jwellnitz said:
This wouldn't be my first time overclocking a CPU, I know the risks. If I go with the 2105 it doesn't mean that I'm going to right away overclock it. I just want it as an option.

i dont think you understand. Overclocking BCLK isnt the same as OCing the frontside bus on older models. It is much more volatile. You are much more likely to destroy things on your motherboard. If you look at the reviews many reviewers cant even increase it by 1-2mhz without causing problems.
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October 19, 2011 7:26:29 PM

Quote:
A stock speed i3-2105 is more like a Clarkdale Core i3 CPU running at 3.5GHz.

At best you can probably overclock the i3-2105 by 5% - 7% because as stated above you'll be overclocking the entire system at the same time. If USB ports goes above a certain frequency they stop working properly. That could be a problem if you are using a USB keyboard and mouse.


Yes I am aware of that.

Quote:
i dont think you understand. Overclocking BCLK isnt the same as OCing the frontside bus on older models. It is much more volatile. You are much more likely to destroy things on your motherboard. If you look at the reviews many reviewers cant even increase it by 1-2mhz without causing problems.


I do too understand what you meant, maybe should have worded it differently. This isn't my first rodeo. I ordered the parts I wanted last night anyways, went with the 2105 like I said I probably would have.


Thanks for your guys input though! :) 
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a c 84 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
October 20, 2011 1:14:01 AM

im interested to know how you go with overclocking it if you do attempt it. Will possibly be getting a core i3 2xxx myself in the near future but i'd like to see others OC the BCLK before I do to see the results. Noone seems to have had a good crack at OC'ing these things except for a few reviewers who's attempts were lame. Im sure there are other settings you can change to get it a bit higher, like unlinking it from other clocks or something, depending on motherboard.
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October 20, 2011 5:24:32 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
im interested to know how you go with overclocking it if you do attempt it. Will possibly be getting a core i3 2xxx myself in the near future but i'd like to see others OC the BCLK before I do to see the results. Noone seems to have had a good crack at OC'ing these things except for a few reviewers who's attempts were lame. Im sure there are other settings you can change to get it a bit higher, like unlinking it from other clocks or something, depending on motherboard.


Once I get the system up and running and eventually decide to attempt to overclock it successfully , I will let you know what my results are!
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October 20, 2011 10:16:22 AM

jwellnitz said:
Okay yeah I was 90% sure I was gonna go with the 2105 anyways but just wanted to see what others say. What motherboard(s) would you suggest that has good ratings, reliable, and isn't extremely expensive but not cheap and crappy either. So I could overclock it just a little bit. Wasn't planning on outrageously overclocking whichever one either since its just an HTPC. I just want to bump it up a little.


Check this out better performance.
http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/intelhdgraphics30...
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