HTPC Help - CPU or GPU

Hi all,

I've been searching the forums/internet for a while now, but I haven't been able to come up with a clear-cut answer for my question. I'm hoping I can find some help here.

I'm building a new HTPC soon, and I want to know whether it would make more sense to go with a more powerful CPU or GPU. I'm torn between either a Sandy-Bridge Celeron build, which will have a stronger CPU, or a low-end A-Series APU build, which will have a stronger GPU.

The HTPC will be used for standard internet surfing, Netflix streaming (possibly), and Blu-Ray/HD content playback. There won't be any 3D video, so that isn't a concern.

I already know how I'm going to build either one, and the prices are very similar (within $20-$30). I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice/experience as to whether or not it's more important to have a more powerful CPU or GPU, or if either one would be more than adequate for what I need and just go with the cheapest.

Thanks for any help!
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    either will work fine

    The APU is probably stronger core for core as well as graphically
  2. I agree, the APU would be a much better choice for an HTPC. It's almost literally what it was designed for.
  3. I chose the E-350 for my htpc. what matters most is that both CPU and GPU can support what you plan to play on it, and that it uses as little power as possible (less heat, lower electricity bills, since it's probably going to be on all the time). Does sandy bridge celeron have HD3000? I'd think you'd want that. If it's only HD2000, I'd definitely go with AMD.
  4. a8 series all the way... when I upgrade mine (in a few years) I'm going with something along those lines... of course in a few years I may throw away my htpc as everything will probably already be built into my tv
  5. I have to agree with the other posters. You will be upset with the video performance of a even the best SB Celeron G540. If you are looking for stutter-less 1080P playback, I would go with an A6-3500 ($90) or A8-3800 ($130), depending on how many cores you want as these are both 65W parts.

    Keep in mind that laptops run around $500 MSRP for these systems, so building an HTPC may be less cost effective and energy efficient then buying a laptop and a USB remote.
  6. Best answer selected by Fmaj731.
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