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CPU for HTPC

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December 13, 2011 7:54:02 PM

Hello everyone. I'm building my first HTPC and I'm questioning what CPU/motherboard I should purchase. I will be using the computer mostly to play back my large library of 1080p rips and also to do some streaming. I may or may not use it for the occasional encoding. I want to get something good that will last me a long time, but I also don't want to overkill it. I have been looking at this motherboard: ASUS P8H67-M PRO/CSM (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard. I think it may suite my needs well but I welcome any input or other suggestions, especially in regards to CPU. Also, if I use this motherboard, will it be necessary to purchase a separate video and audio card, or will the onboard give me all I need for HD video and HD audio?

Thanks for the help!

More about : cpu htpc

December 13, 2011 8:05:21 PM

Sandy Bridge CPUs have integrated video. The motherboard should have integrated audio. Both will be enough for HD content. h61 motherboard with a SB pentium should work fine (the difference between h61 and h67 is h61 doesn't have sata 3 and usb 3). Or if your budget allows, get a SB i3.
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December 13, 2011 8:42:28 PM

For a HTPC an AMD A series and a FM1 board normally makes more sense due to the better integrated GPU.
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December 13, 2011 8:59:31 PM

If you are looking at a small/thin form factor chassis you might looking into some of our new "T" processors like the Intel® Core™ i3-2100T and the Intel Core i5-2390T and the Intel Core i5-2500T. These processors are a little slower than the normal models but have a TDP of 50% or less then the normal model of the processor. You can see them at http://ark.intel.com/compare/53423,53427,52212,53448

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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December 13, 2011 10:01:25 PM

Would an SB i5 be overkill? Should I just stick with a SB i3? Will both suffice for HD audio and HD video without any hiccups? Or should I get dedicated cards?
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December 13, 2011 10:12:36 PM

It probably is overkill. It certainly won't be the difference between whether or no you'll be able to play HD content. And they use 30 more watts under full load. Granted, it will probably rarely be under full load, but it's something to consider. i3 will be more than enough for HTPC.

You could choose to get the low power models, but I'm willing to bet (haven't seen the data, just guessing) the power usage in idle is probably similar (what it will be in most of the time), so you're paying the same money for a less powerful chip. If they were significantly cheaper, like the i3 is compared to the i5, I'd suggest it, but they're not.

Just in case you were considering, I wouldn't go with an AMD APU. The motherboards cost way too much for that platform. And the SB chips are more efficient.
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December 13, 2011 10:31:48 PM

The only time when you will notice a difference between an i3 and i5 is when you decide to encode video. Naturally the i5 will be significantly faster if whatever program you use can make use of 4 cores like Handbrake.
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December 14, 2011 12:03:45 AM

Thanks everyone for the input. I think I'm going to go with the SB i3. I believe it will meet my needs. Now I need suggestions on good case and possibly a good fan and heatsink. I'm clueless about cases.
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December 14, 2011 12:45:29 AM

Sb i5 is overkill. For decoding video, i3 is more than enough. I have a htpc with a non sb 2.4 ghz i5 (dual core), which is more than sufficient. Only situations in which it's worth getting sb i5 instead of i3 are:

- if you do transcoding eg from one format to another
- if you want to stream video to another system on your network eg a ps3 or a dlna tv and need real time conversion.

Having said that I always like my computers to have slightly more powerful CPUs than strictly necessary. They just feel snappier and nicer to use.
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December 14, 2011 1:00:38 AM

bwrlane said:


Having said that I always like my computers to have slightly more powerful CPUs than strictly necessary. They just feel snappier and nicer to use.


Like having an i7-3960k CPU in a PC used strictly for torrent download. :) 
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December 14, 2011 1:37:43 AM

my 2 cents on htpc:
AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3650WNGXBOX $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3500OJGXBOX $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OUT OF STOCK AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3850WNGXBOX $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
here's a customized list of 15 llano compatible a55 and a75 motherboards from asus, asrock, gigabyte and msi.
llano review
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a8-3850-llano,2...
i like sandy bridge cpus but their igp is nowhere near as good as an amd a8 or a6 apu's. but if you want to use a discreet gfx card, go with a sb core i3 or core i5 + amd radeon hd 6670 (1 gb gddr5) - hd 6850.
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December 14, 2011 1:58:42 AM

You don't need much to play 1080p VIDEOS. Intel SB is where it's at for HTPC right now. Their processors at similar price points outperform the AMD processors. And they're more efficient. Plus the SB motherboards are cheaper. Any savings you could have gotten are completely offset by the motherboard costs. I like AMD, but the CPUs/APUs are just not a good buy right now unless you're buying a laptop.
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December 14, 2011 2:12:33 AM

oh, i forgot one thing.
intel igp can't play 23.976 fps videos properly. they settle on 24 fps and usually stutter. don't know if they fixed it yet or not.
all of amd's (or nvidia's) gpus play closer to 23.976 fps.
anandtech's take on a8 for htpc:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4479/amd-a83850-an-htpc-p...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4479/amd-a83850-an-htpc-p...
only downside for llano - no quick sync. however, you might be able to fix that with a sandy bridge quad core cpu with a discreet amd gfx card (more costly proposition).
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December 14, 2011 2:16:34 AM

hapkido said:
You don't need much to play 1080p VIDEOS. Intel SB is where it's at for HTPC right now. Their processors at similar price points outperform the AMD processors. And they're more efficient. Plus the SB motherboards are cheaper. Any savings you could have gotten are completely offset by the motherboard costs. I like AMD, but the CPUs/APUs are just not a good buy right now unless you're buying a laptop.


Actually the APUs are ideal for HTPC. You can get an a6-3500 for roughly ~$30 less than the cheapest i3 AND it has better graphics (both are 65w tdp). The mobos are relatively the same price-wise (at most 10 dollars cheaper for intel), so idk where you're getting your info from. The only reason the OP would get the i3 is for faster video encoding, otherwise the AMD route would be better suited for video playback.

AMD cpu+mobo ($155+shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel cpu+mobo ($185+shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 14, 2011 2:57:25 AM

bluestarCVO said:
Thanks everyone for the input. I think I'm going to go with the SB i3. I believe it will meet my needs. Now I need suggestions on good case and possibly a good fan and heatsink. I'm clueless about cases.


I chose the Lian Li PC-C37 MUSE for my HTPC build and I really like it. Nice quality case and does not look out of place under the TV. Put in a 60gb SSD for boot drive, 2TB for storage and using a full sized BD drive behind a hinged cover for BlueRay. The only issue is the side fans (not completely needed) are 70mm and really thin and are the only ones that will fit alongside the MB.

I put a Scythe Shuriken Rev.B Quiet Low Profile Cooler 3 Heat Pipe on to cool my i3 and it's very quiet.

I also went with a Nesteq ASM X-Zero 400W Heat-piped Cooled PSU. It's a hybrid PSU running fanless unless it get to warm and the fan cuts in. Never heard it fire up yet but safer than running a completely fanless PSU. Bit pricey but nice quality.

Just got the new BlackGold BGT3650 Quad digital tuner to go in and replace 2 x Hauppage tv tuners so I can get free to air HD channels.

If you want me to pm you some pics of the build just say the word.

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December 14, 2011 3:33:54 AM

I dont know where you guys keep bringing in Intel Quick-Sync into the consideration here. the only i3 that has quick-sync enabled is i3 2105. and you have not even recommended it. if he goes for i3 2100 then he is better of buying amd APU.
only intel cpus with HD3000 are worth any money...
its sad that i cant find that SKU here in India.
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December 14, 2011 3:35:03 AM

There's nothing WRONG with the AMD APUs, but hd2000 graphics is plenty for decoding 1080p video. In that situation, I say go with the stronger (and more efficient) processor. If the question was "What is a better laptop for general purpose + light gaming?", I'd say get the AMD APU.

As it stands, if you're buying an entry to mid level laptop, buy AMD, if not, buy Intel. This is not from a fanboy perspective. This is from a logical one. Things change, but right now, Intel is the smart buy for processors.
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December 14, 2011 3:57:42 AM

Here is something to think about. If you ever plan on doing 3D 1080p, you will want hdmi 1.4 support, with intel you will need a dedicated video card. A8 apus work right off the motherboard.
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December 14, 2011 4:16:36 AM

maddy143ded said:
I dont know where you guys keep bringing in Intel Quick-Sync into the consideration here. the only i3 that has quick-sync enabled is i3 2105. and you have not even recommended it. if he goes for i3 2100 then he is better of buying amd APU.
only intel cpus with HD3000 are worth any money...
its sad that i cant find that SKU here in India.

quick sync is supportted by all of sandy bridge core i3, i5 and i7 series with igp (hd 2000 and hd 3000). low end sandy bridge cpus (only with hd igp) and sb-e (no igp) cpus do not have quick sync.
core i3 2100 supports quick sync with it's hd 2000 igp, so does i3 2105 (hd 3000).
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December 14, 2011 11:32:02 AM

noob2222 said:
Here is something to think about. If you ever plan on doing 3D 1080p, you will want hdmi 1.4 support, with intel you will need a dedicated video card. A8 apus work right off the motherboard.
Sandy Bridge has HDMI 1.4 and it does 3D blu-ray just fine. You must be thinking of the older Clarkdale CPU's.
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December 14, 2011 11:52:35 AM

For HTPC AMD APU Lano CPUx has to be the choice with the quality of there integrated on die GPU.
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December 14, 2011 12:40:33 PM

Major_Trouble said:
I chose the Lian Li PC-C37 MUSE for my HTPC build and I really like it. Nice quality case and does not look out of place under the TV. Put in a 60gb SSD for boot drive, 2TB for storage and using a full sized BD drive behind a hinged cover for BlueRay. The only issue is the side fans (not completely needed) are 70mm and really thin and are the only ones that will fit alongside the MB.

I put a Scythe Shuriken Rev.B Quiet Low Profile Cooler 3 Heat Pipe on to cool my i3 and it's very quiet.

I also went with a Nesteq ASM X-Zero 400W Heat-piped Cooled PSU. It's a hybrid PSU running fanless unless it get to warm and the fan cuts in. Never heard it fire up yet but safer than running a completely fanless PSU. Bit pricey but nice quality.

Just got the new BlackGold BGT3650 Quad digital tuner to go in and replace 2 x Hauppage tv tuners so I can get free to air HD channels.

If you want me to pm you some pics of the build just say the word.


Yeah, I would love to see the pics of your setup. Send them my way when you get a chance.
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December 14, 2011 12:41:30 PM

None can beat the great value that AMD APU has in HTPC system. :) 
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December 14, 2011 12:45:45 PM

You don't even need an i3 chip for an HTPC, and if it's occasional encoding then spending more for something you'll use once in a while adds needless cost. I use a Sandybridge Pentium G620 and it's fine for the task. Heck, even ION is good for the CPU side of things...where it falls down is HD playback!

As has been said already, the SB IGPs have issues with HD playback, in that they stutter every 40 seconds. AMD GPUs (discrete or on Llano) are much better and may stutter once every 8 minutes. A vast difference! Also, if you have an amp, SB IGPs can't bitstream...you need an AMD 5xxx or greater (discrete or Llano). Not sure about the equivalent Nvidia card, I think 4xx series.

Take a look at the HTPC in my sig...it runs fantastically well and plays Bluray rips flawlessly whilst bitstreaming to my amp for DTS-HD or TrueHD. The CPU is low-powered as well, and the system is barely audible. The only reason I have 64GB of storage is because I store everything on a server in a cupboard, in case anyone asks...!
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December 14, 2011 1:20:25 PM

Just built one using old parts aka Pentium E5400, Cheapo Gigabyte board, 4GB DDR3 and ATI 5450 passive cooled and does full 1080 BR rips without breaking a sweat to a 42" TV.

So a cheap Phenom II X2, cheap AM3 mobo, 4GB DDR3 and video card of your choosing is more than enough without spending big bucks.
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December 14, 2011 1:30:52 PM

+1

A HTPC really doesn't need hefty specs. You can tailor your GPU to suit (do you need 3D / bitstreaming).
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December 14, 2011 2:46:26 PM

It's been mentioned a couple times in this thread about Intel not being able to output 23.976. A work around was discovered quite a while ago- disable UAC and it will put out 23.973Hz. That equates to a dropped frame every ~6-1/2 minutes. This is in contrast to adding an extra frame every 40 seconds when UAC is enabled.

AMD and Nvidia are not perfect either. Both require some tinkering to get a perfect 23.976. By default, AMD will output 23.978 and Nvidia outputs 23.971. The frame rate will vary a bit during playback, so keep that in mind. Source.

So, AMD is the closest without tinkering and Intel is the worst if UAC is enabled. All of this is moot if the OP is going to just run at 60Hz and use 3:2 pulldown anyway.

Now, Intel vs. AMD Llano? Doesn't really matter. Go for whatever has the strengths you are most interested in at the price point you are aiming for. AMD has more graphics horsepower, Intel can do more work clock-per-clock and is generally more power efficient.

Sure Llano has excellent integrated graphics, and that matters if you need it. A Radeon HD6970 has more graphics power than a Radeon HD6570; but if you're only watching video, then it doesn't matter. There will be no difference in video quality.

Personally, if I was building today I would go Llano because I might play a light game or two. For HTPC media playback only I would go for whatever is cheaper.
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February 26, 2012 12:41:20 PM

de5_Roy said:
my 2 cents on htpc:
AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3650WNGXBOX $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3500OJGXBOX $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OUT OF STOCK AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3850WNGXBOX $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
here's a customized list of 15 llano compatible a55 and a75 motherboards from asus, asrock, gigabyte and msi.
llano review
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a8-3850-llano,2...
i like sandy bridge cpus but their igp is nowhere near as good as an amd a8 or a6 apu's. but if you want to use a discreet gfx card, go with a sb core i3 or core i5 + amd radeon hd 6670 (1 gb gddr5) - hd 6850.



new to htpc, only started this week to research

I read your posts above and am really confused, i just want to build a HTPC that will playback and dvr using the ceton infiiti and play blurays, no 3d.

i live near a microcenter and they suggested:

intel i5 sandybridge
western digital black SATA 2tb drives
a seperate video / graphics card
all said and done i was at 800 bucks without a powersupply and without the ceton infiiti

I read about your suggestions around AMD

Microcenters has this cpu that you talk about for 69 bucks (much lower tdp) rather than 179 for the intel

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

i read sites dedicated to htpc and just need some advice, i want a case that looks like it belongs in my closet with my other components. I want it to be quiet even if i have to replace fans, i want the picture to look great (no editing or fancy things, just playback) when i am recording 3 shows and watching 1. I need the remote or IR to be compatible with harmony remotes. What do you suggest including mb and ram? Thanks, Raff
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February 26, 2012 7:28:56 PM

Hi ezdraft. I'm not surprised you got recommended and i5...long story short, I got recommended the same when I built my last HTPC. It's completely unneccesary. Have a look at my sig...the HTPC build I use (and am watching 24 on right now) is perfectly capable of playing back Bluray rips. The only difference is that you'll need storage as I have a home server, hence only need a 60GB SSD on my HTPC.

The CPU you linked is ideal for HTPCs, and I would have used it had it been available at the time I was building mine. I'm not too sure on motherboards for AMD CPUs, but 2x2GB of DDR3 RAM will be fine for an HTPC.

If you're not editing or anything...if the HTPC is just for watching movies etc...then you don't need an i5 powerhouse. HD playback is undemanding and doesn't need more than a low-power system.

Hope this helps. :) 
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February 26, 2012 8:02:43 PM

ezdraft said:
new to htpc, only started this week to research

I read your posts above and am really confused, i just want to build a HTPC that will playback and dvr using the ceton infiiti and play blurays, no 3d.

i live near a microcenter and they suggested:

intel i5 sandybridge
western digital black SATA 2tb drives
a seperate video / graphics card
all said and done i was at 800 bucks without a powersupply and without the ceton infiiti

I read about your suggestions around AMD

Microcenters has this cpu that you talk about for 69 bucks (much lower tdp) rather than 179 for the intel

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

i read sites dedicated to htpc and just need some advice, i want a case that looks like it belongs in my closet with my other components. I want it to be quiet even if i have to replace fans, i want the picture to look great (no editing or fancy things, just playback) when i am recording 3 shows and watching 1. I need the remote or IR to be compatible with harmony remotes. What do you suggest including mb and ram? Thanks, Raff

A4-3300 with cheap mobo will cost around $100 and give you much better htpc capability than the i5. Get the cheapest AMD APU and it will be more than enough for your needs.

microcenter seems set on selling you more than you need with the i5. The i5 is massive overkill with the cpu, even the i3 is but both have the same integrate graphics which are still worse than the APU graphics for image quality and playback.

@people bringing up quick sync, the OP's mobo would never be able to do it so its pointless.



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February 26, 2012 8:29:10 PM

As for a decent looking inexpensive HTPC case, microcenter used to carry some,

http://www.amazon.com/Sentey-SS1-2422-Display-Microatx-...

you don't need a massive power supply, this one has up to 450w, probably won't pulll over 180.

Microcenter has crap choices and pricing on AMD FM1 motherboards, Cheapest gigabyte H55 is on newegg for $55 vs $75 at MC. Best value if you want fiber optic out is this one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Pretty close to what MC carries for $114, but only $74.99

Pair it with a good combo, and your under $150 for cpu + MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Remove fiber optic output and you can save ~$20

As for a remote, this is near perfect. http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

But for compatibilty with harmony, http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
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February 27, 2012 12:18:15 AM

noob2222 said:
As for a decent looking inexpensive HTPC case, microcenter used to carry some,

http://www.amazon.com/Sentey-SS1-2422-Display-Microatx-...

you don't need a massive power supply, this one has up to 450w, probably won't pulll over 180.

Microcenter has crap choices and pricing on AMD FM1 motherboards, Cheapest gigabyte H55 is on newegg for $55 vs $75 at MC. Best value if you want fiber optic out is this one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Pretty close to what MC carries for $114, but only $74.99

Pair it with a good combo, and your under $150 for cpu + MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Remove fiber optic output and you can save ~$20

As for a remote, this is near perfect. http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

But for compatibilty with harmony, http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...


Thanks to everyone for the responses. I am looking at an Antec case. So if i had to buy at microcenter, they will match any prices - is it just that they dont have the right board? I am not sure what fiber will do for me? I just want to use a ceton infiniti and be able to control everything with a remote. This was the mb i was looking at Gigabyte - GA-A55M-DS2 Socket FM1 A55 mATX AMD Motherboard

actually it can change from all of your input but here is where i am now

thoughts?


AMD 3500 triple core
Gigabyte - GA-A55M-DS2 Socket FM1 A55 mATX AMD Motherboard
Kingston 8gb ram
Caviar Green 2TB IntelliPower SATA 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WD20EARX - OEM
lg blu ray burner
ceton
case Antec Minuet350 Piano Black Steel MicroATX Slim Case Computer Case 350W 80P
lenova media mouse keyboard
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February 27, 2012 12:21:46 AM

all looks good, should be an amazing htpc.
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February 27, 2012 12:38:11 AM

If microcenter does price match, make them drop $15 on the motherboard. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The fiber optic for me was necessary as I prefer to use my home stereo when watching movies. If your just using your TV for audio, should work just fine through the HDMI cable.

but that setup looks good.
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February 27, 2012 1:24:32 AM

I use my onkyo home theater but i was assuming the sound goes through the hdmi cable into the onkyo receiver?
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February 27, 2012 1:26:10 AM

thanks for the quick savings, i dont think i have the right motherboard, no hdmi :( 
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February 27, 2012 2:05:38 AM

Another question, would this mb work with this pci card and this case?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

InfiniTV 4 PCIe: 6.6" (L) x 2.5" (H) x 0.7" (W) InfiniTV 4 PCIe is a PCI Express (PCIe) Low Profile form-factor card that requires one PCIe slot. It should fit in most slim form-factor PCs (just make sure the PCIe slot you choose has enough space for the full length of the card) as well as in full-sized towers and desktops. InfiniTV 4 PCIe comes with both low-profile and full-height backplates so you can swap the backplate if needed, depending on the type of case in which you are installing it.

OR

Is this a better case? no ps, if this is better than please recommend a quiet power supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 27, 2012 4:32:05 AM

first question, yes they will work together. I don't think the second case is any better, just more expensive. Most of the HTPC cases are really only different based on how they look, so your paying for cosmetics for the most part. Only person that can answer those questions is you and what you want to see. Most any of them should be compatible with all micro atx motherboards.

This AS Rock motherboard has HDMI, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
don't know why microcenter only carries 2 different FM1 boards. I didn't even notice the hdmi missing from it earlier.
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February 27, 2012 7:47:15 AM

Just like to add if you do go with that, and want to save on power, My A8 3850 is running stock at -0.175V Some have gone considerably lower. Even at that the cpu fan never speeds up to audible levels.
Quote:
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/7/6/amd-apu-u...!.aspx
We toyed around a bit and finally achieved a stable -0.275V undervolt


At those settings, it can give the i3 a run for its money on power consumption.
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February 27, 2012 7:52:32 AM

noob2222 said:
Just like to add if you do go with that, and want to save on power, My A8 3850 is running stock at -0.175V Some have gone considerably lower. Even at that the cpu fan never speeds up to audible levels.
Quote:
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/7/6/amd-apu-u...!.aspx
We toyed around a bit and finally achieved a stable -0.275V undervolt


At those settings, it can give the i3 a run for its money on power consumption.


oh good! look at mine then please :) 
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/327800-28-undervoltin...
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February 28, 2012 8:05:03 AM

ezdraft said:
AMD 3500 triple core
Gigabyte - GA-A55M-DS2 Socket FM1 A55 mATX AMD Motherboard
Kingston 8gb ram
Caviar Green 2TB IntelliPower SATA 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WD20EARX - OEM
lg blu ray burner
ceton
case Antec Minuet350 Piano Black Steel MicroATX Slim Case Computer Case 350W 80P
lenova media mouse keyboard


That CPU (or APU, I should say) looks good. I wouldn't get 8GB or RAM, 4GB will do you fine for an HTPC. DO you have need for a Bluray burner?

The case can actually be important...PC components in a small case can lead to heat issues, so it's not just cosmetic. Silverstone have a good range.


ezdraft said:
I use my onkyo home theater but i was assuming the sound goes through the hdmi cable into the onkyo receiver?


Don't use fibreoptic, as it doesn't have the bandwitdth for Bluray soundtracks (TrueHD and DTS-HD), which HDMI does. I use the Onkyo-608 amp for my 5.1 and it all goes over HDMI. Quality sound.
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February 29, 2012 6:54:49 PM

the RAM was so cheap, 30 bucks. I am not sure if I need the bluray burner, its 80 dollars, i think its very reasonable. Thanks for the advice on the case, i believe i am going with the Antec with the 350 ps. Do you feel like using the HTPC with the onkyo is the same as a DVR from FIOS?
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February 29, 2012 6:57:49 PM

I've never done that, so can't comment...the HTPC with the Onkyo is pretty darn sweet, though.
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March 1, 2012 12:50:11 PM

I have a question, someone told me that i would have to manually connect the soundcard to get audio out of the HDMI? can anyone confirm or deny?
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March 1, 2012 6:04:33 PM

ezdraft said:
I have a question, someone told me that i would have to manually connect the soundcard to get audio out of the HDMI? can anyone confirm or deny?

absolutely 100% false. audio over hdmi works perfectly on the APUs without any extra connecting required.
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