Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

How much difference can a CPU make in a HTPC

Last response: in CPUs
Share
February 4, 2012 4:39:34 AM

Hi,
had posted a similar thread in mother board section concerning motherboards.

Keeping all components identical(ie ram, hdds, motherboards etc),
Will there be any difference at all in GRAPHICS or HDvideos or SOUND for that matter , using an dedicated - identical GPU and a sound card with similar CPUs.

I do know for a fact it will make a difference using celeron comparred to say a i5/i7 (as currently i do have two systems using both) but what if we use i3 or g620 or g840 or even a i5 for that matter.

Would i be right saying, there will be differences while playing heavy games or doing video or sound processing,
but non at all in a dedicated htpc.

thanks.
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 4, 2012 5:55:21 AM

a htpc will at most see a 1080p mkv file, a g530 can more than handle that, even a a4-3300, the only thing that will make a difference is if the htpc is also used for media conversions
Score
0
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 4, 2012 5:59:20 AM

the cpu does minimal work inside an htpc, all video is handled by the video card and the sound is handled by the sound card.

I suggest a cheap APU if you are looking at building a htpc.
something like this is enough.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Score
0
February 4, 2012 7:57:05 AM

makes sense.

i found the G620 even cheaper combined with the p8h61 -m board than the amd.

The G620 would be more than capable, right with a gpu and sound card? i can then get a better card like the gts 450 or even the gtx560.

Also does windows 7 or xp make a difference at all. keeping in mind software that i will require to play (only reason i ask is i have a unopened copy of xp).

I already have a kickass desktop to do all conversions, work, htpc is for lossless music in my bedroom through high end music system, and 3d projection using blue ray (jvc x30 projector), with a 7.1 system attached to a marantz receiver.
Score
0
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 4, 2012 8:10:08 AM

the APU has sufficient gpu power so you don't have to buy a gpu, Im not sure about the power of the gpu on the G620. Theres no need of something as powerful as a 450 unless you want to do light gaming, in which case you might want more cpu power as well.
Score
0
February 4, 2012 9:04:09 AM

1. yup i agree that cpu does minimal work my projector is pretty new and keeping in mind 2-3 years it has the ability to play 3D at 1080p/60 , 1080p/24, 1080p/50. Would the APU handle it easily?

2. So that would mean the gpu and the cpu must go hand in hand.

3. i would like to game "occasionally" or atleast have a choice to buy a card later, hence the question about the cpu.

Last just trying to short list as many gpus from gt450- gtx 460 - and the highly recommended GTX 560, also in the list were 6670, 6770 (all within budget except the 560) ... lower end if i have to change the processor and higher end with a cheaper processor.

Score
0
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 4, 2012 9:22:33 AM

Im not sure about 3d but 1080p playback should be no problem on the APU, if you have the money for an A8+ a 6670 you can crossfire them for performance arround that of the 460 in dx11 titles but this will not be enabled in dx9 or dx10. The 6670 is slightly slower than the 450. You might consider just getting the A8 and seeing if it works for you needs and adding a 6670 if you need more power. Just remember to get 1600mhz or 1866mhz ram if you do get an apu.

depending on where you live the 6870 can generally be had for less than the 560 for the same performance so It might be good to get a g840 and a 6870. I would also recommend AMD cards if you are using a smaller case as they are generally less power hungry thus less heat and such.
Score
0
February 4, 2012 12:53:59 PM

never used amd, but wouldnt mind checking the A8 , but the i3 is cheaper where i live.
Am just cross checking... What motherboard, I WILL DEFINATELY be buying a GPU as well as a Sound card, how much ever illogical, just feel a bit secure....

So what motherboard keeping that in mind for the A8 with a 6770 ( i believe its pretty much same as 6670 but really comes in when using high resolutions..
Score
0
February 4, 2012 1:09:39 PM

If you will be buying a GPU, get the Pentium. The 6770 is much better than the 6670.
Score
0
a c 102 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 4, 2012 2:43:48 PM

daebis said:
Hi,
had posted a similar thread in mother board section concerning motherboards.

Keeping all components identical(ie ram, hdds, motherboards etc),
Will there be any difference at all in GRAPHICS or HDvideos or SOUND for that matter , using an dedicated - identical GPU and a sound card with similar CPUs.

I do know for a fact it will make a difference using celeron comparred to say a i5/i7 (as currently i do have two systems using both) but what if we use i3 or g620 or g840 or even a i5 for that matter.

Would i be right saying, there will be differences while playing heavy games or doing video or sound processing,
but non at all in a dedicated htpc.

thanks.


That is a very difficult question to answer precisely unless we know what you intend to do with your HTPC and what software and OS it will run. But, here are some pretty broad generalizations:

1. If you are merely planning to take an OTA or unencrypted cable signal, dump it on the HDD, and then play it back unaltered, you can have the GPU do the heavy lifting with video decode. The CPU just idles along during playback. The only time the CPU would see much use is with miscellaneous background functions like queuing up the program list to be scheduled, drawing the UI, etc. It doesn't take much horsepower to do this, although a dual-core CPU will be smoother than a single-core unit. Beyond that, you don't need a lot of power. You can get away with a very slow CPU like an Atom as long as you have a good GPU (and by good, we mean some reasonably modern lower-end discrete unit like a NVIDIA GF520 or Radeon HD 6350 or the like as opposed to something like an Intel G31 or Atom IGP.) Intel's IGPs in my experience can be pretty hit-and-miss with doing decoding well, especially lower-end units such as what the Atom has. The reason discrete units are better is that the image quality IMHO is better and they have more bandwidth and shader power to handle deinterlacing and decoding on 1080-line video.

2. If for some reason GPU decode assist does not work properly or at all, you will want a dual-core CPU that's roughly as fast or faster than a 3 GHz Core 2 Duo or Athlon II X2. That will allow you to play back most everything without any issues, including performing okay enough deinterlacing on 1080i broadcasts. Then what GPU you have is immaterial, all it has to do is put a picture on the screen, and all of them can do that.

3. If you want to do extensive post-processing or transcoding of your files, you will want a quad-core or better CPU as these functions are generally quite multithreaded and can take a while to accomplish.

Score
0
a c 158 à CPUs
a c 109 V Motherboard
February 4, 2012 4:34:01 PM

As long as the cpu is strong enough, video and sound will be the same. But there are quality differences between graphic cards when using post processing. Most players use the cpu to decode and gpu for post process. I use vlc with no post and there is no difference between my 1.8 turionx2/x1270 or i5/560ti and the gpu idles, cpu decodes at 1080p. Edit: Your 3D is probably active shutter which just alternates each frame to each eye so is probably twice the fps (48 for movies).
Score
0
February 4, 2012 5:34:28 PM

amazing... opposite of what alot of people have said, similar to a few , but the first person going as low as the atom...

An i was thinking that g620 + h61 + 6770/gts459 + Hti omega striker/xonair dx WOULD'nt be enough lol!!!

What i have mentioned abouve is something that fits well within the budget.


At the same time what i need a HTPC for , like i mentioned above - 3d projection + HD video /movies to LED,
and most importantly lossless music to my next door hi-fi stereo system.

Besides this .. i happen to live in an old fort, therefore i need to stream all the data ( ie 1 sata hdd + 3 WD (1+ 1 +2 tbs) of data to 2 different entertainment centers...

So there maybe a day i will be watching as well as streaming different blu ray content...

MOST IMPORTANTLY trying to build something that can be close to my brother in laws setup (he's an audiophile, which is a dedicated music player in one room and streams hd video to another. For which he uses usb into a converter which goes into a 3-4000$ DAC plays music through his tube amps to his crazy speakers ... so i am trying to do the same under 1000$s....
Score
0
a c 106 à CPUs
a c 95 V Motherboard
February 4, 2012 5:59:16 PM

My HTPC is an old Gigabyte SKT775 Pentium DC E5400 + 4GB DDR3-1066+ ATI 5450 512MB + 2x1TB SATA2 storage and 1 x 80GB SATA2 for OS.

Handles everything I throw at it to a 42" TV via HDMI, yes even 1080p.
Score
0

Best solution

a c 102 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 4, 2012 6:34:41 PM

daebis said:
amazing... opposite of what alot of people have said, similar to a few , but the first person going as low as the atom...

An i was thinking that g620 + h61 + 6770/gts459 + Hti omega striker/xonair dx WOULD'nt be enough lol!!!

What i have mentioned abouve is something that fits well within the budget.


That will be plenty and sounds very appropriate, except perhaps for swapping out the HD 6770 for something a little less overkill like an HD 6450. I would avoid the Atoms, mostly because the motherboards most are on are mini-ITX boards with only one expansion slot, and a PCI or PCIe x1 slot at that. You want a mini-ATX or ATX board with at least a few slots to take the sound card, GPU, tuner card(s) that an HTPC needs.

Quote:
At the same time what i need a HTPC for , like i mentioned above - 3d projection + HD video /movies to LED,
and most importantly lossless music to my next door hi-fi stereo system.


The lossless music can be done with an optical out from your sound card. It takes virtually no CPU to play audio any more, and video processing is usually done by the GPU with very little CPU load.

Quote:
Besides this .. i happen to live in an old fort, therefore i need to stream all the data ( ie 1 sata hdd + 3 WD (1+ 1 +2 tbs) of data to 2 different entertainment centers...

So there maybe a day i will be watching as well as streaming different blu ray content...


Do yourself a favor and use gigabit Ethernet to do this. Streaming video over wireless is painful due to packet loss and latency even when you do technically have enough bandwidth to do it. It's like listening to an old dirty record, nothing but skips and stutters. I guess I may be dating myself with that comment :D 

Current discrete GPUs, even low-end ones, do decode acceleration of Blu-Ray codecs at the appropriate bit rates. If in the future you encounter something your GPU won't decode, get yourself a new $35 GPU and then it will.

Quote:
MOST IMPORTANTLY trying to build something that can be close to my brother in laws setup (he's an audiophile, which is a dedicated music player in one room and streams hd video to another. For which he uses usb into a converter which goes into a 3-4000$ DAC plays music through his tube amps to his crazy speakers ... so i am trying to do the same under 1000$s....


A decent sound card like you listed that provides an optical output to a decent receiver with decent speakers will produce good sound quality, provided your source material is high quality as well. I personally think a lot of the audiophile stuff is hokum (like Denon's "directional Ethernet cabling"); mostly you just need to get decent parts and feed it something remotely approximating CD quality source material. That can all be done with well under a thousand bucks' worth of parts.

Stig:

My HTPC uses a TYAN i7520SD with two 2.0 GHz Xeon LVs, 6 GB of DDR2-400, a 1 GB NVIDIA GF210 connected with a flexible PCIe x8 to x16 cable, a Pinnacle pcHDTV capture card, an 80 GB laptop drive for the OS, a 500 GB Seagate 7200.12 for data, and powered by an Antec EA300D PSU. I made it from some surplus, spare, and extremely cheap new-old-stock parts. It runs MythTV on Gentoo x86 and outputs to a 51" plasma. Think of this setup as a pair of Core 2 Duo T2500s on an ATX-sized i915/ICH5 board and you're pretty close. It handles everything I throw at it, including HQ deinterlacing of 18 Mbps 1080i OTA rebroadcasts. The GPU really does most of the work, the CPUs sit back and do commercial flagging (quickly, it's multithreaded) and background tasks. Not bad for a setup that maybe cost about $200 out of pocket over the course of a couple years and is darn near silent.
Share
a b à CPUs
February 4, 2012 7:50:52 PM

Daebis, this is the 4th thread (that I've seen) you've started on essentially the same topic. You're not going to make friends by asking different permutations of the same question over and over.

Score
0
February 4, 2012 11:45:01 PM

@at diellur, totally agree, but there are so many opinions and i live in a small town and leave for a city in 4 days time, and more you ask more confused one gets. But things have averaged out. This thread was being a bit more specific.

Rest now is just going ahead and buying.

@ MU_engineer... Thanks, really helped. Just ordered the ethernet runs on monoprice.

@ esrever thanks!
Score
0
February 5, 2012 12:52:05 AM

"While obscure multi-cadence support might be responsible for the bulk of point advantage, their real strength is superlative noise-reduction options. This comes in real handy with compressed video, so if you plan to play back any files that aren’t optimally encoded at HD resolution, the Radeons have a real advantage. It’s also noteworthy that the sub-$100 Radeon HD 5670 can offer slightly better playback quality than a GeForce GTX 470, even when multi-cadence tests are left out of the mix, and that a ~$120 Radeon 5750 card can boast the same ultimate PC playback quality right alongside more expensive Radeons like the 6850."

Is what the link says.... excellent comparrison.. As all of us do not play HD "all of the time".

Also seeing the "6570 and the 6670" have exactly the same results as that of 5570".

Paired with an AMD would be i guess a better options, as many prefer the radeons with the AMD as seen in various threads...
Score
0
February 5, 2012 2:50:01 PM

Best answer selected by daebis.
Score
0
a c 158 à CPUs
a c 109 V Motherboard
February 5, 2012 3:00:49 PM

Do you mean amd cpu with amd gpu? Because it doesn't make a difference. And right now intel has better price/performance.

The articles are a year old and 5000 series are a bit low on stock so prices are higher than what I see the 6000 series at. At $100 the 6770 is hard to beat but since you don't need that much power, you could go with 6670 which gets the same score as the 6850.
Score
0
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2012 7:15:32 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
Score
0
!