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A8 vs G860 gaming, htpc, yet again

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August 13, 2012 3:47:43 AM

Greetings all. New to the forum. Been poking around for a while now. Getting back in to building computers, haven't really done it since the days of the P3 and Athlon at the 1Ghz milestone lol our phones are faster than that now. anyway

Something that has been beaten to death.. An A8-3870K vs a Pentium G860 or an I3-2120.. Its gonna be for what will basically be an HTPC, lots of streaming and youtube and netflix, but also for gaming, and maybe ripping and converting the occasional blu-ray, which takes forever on my I3-370M laptop. I would be buying a graphics card, probably a Raedon 7750, so that makes things interesting.

And another thing is that i will be building an all out gaming rig later so i'm not terribly worried about getting the best this or upgrading it, i just want to build something that's usable until i build the real deal.

so i'd love to hear what you guys think on this opinionated topic

thanks
-Robbie

More about : g860 gaming htpc

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August 13, 2012 4:02:21 AM

You can't crossfire the A8 with the 7750, so the Pentium G860 would be the best option.
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August 13, 2012 5:40:52 AM

if you go with a dedicated graphic card for a htpc the Intel arhitecture its superior and faster then the AMD, so go with Intel. If you plan to use only the IGPu the...i suggest AMD. Intel HD Graphics its lame :p . BTW you can only Xfire a Radeon 65xx series with the A8 and i dont know how it scales...
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August 13, 2012 8:42:13 AM

For a pure HTPC A8 this what its meant for if you want to game though you will need to hybrid xfire it with a cheap GPU and accept your gaming at low res/low detail.

Heres are some benches that show performance

COD using hybrid Xfire

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/amd-a8-3850-llano,review-...

Metro 2033 Hybrid Xfire

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/amd-a8-3850-llano,review-...

Synthetic benches a8 no GPU VS Pentium with GPU

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/amd-a8-3850-llano,review-...

BF3 Bench A8 no GPU VS Pentium with GPU

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/pentium-g620-amd-a8-3870k...

Heres a comparison of the A8 asnd the Pentium

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/399?vs=404

As you can see in anything multithreaded the A8 is much better when we go down to single threaded tasks though the gaps close with the pentium taking a narrow lead in some things. (Ignore the gaming benches here as they use a high end GPU s not relevent to your scenario)

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/399?vs=289

Here we see the i3 against the A8 the i3 clearly takes a lead (again ignore the games)

Hope that wad of charts and data helped.

If I was doing the build I would take the A8 as its better for the HTPC role. As you said your building a true gaming rig soon after I wouldnt even bother putting a GPU in this but if you do I would get the correct GPU for the hybrid Xfire.



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August 13, 2012 9:20:24 AM

The hd-7750 will be disappointing for 1080p gaming and so will dual graphics.

I am running a A6-3650@3.5ghz with two toxic sapphire hd-4870's 780mhz core/1000mhz ddr5. Creative pci x-fi. Sony 500watt 5.1 analog, 46" phillips 240hz lcd tv.
To be honest, 1080p gaming needs alot of gpu muscle.

A used card like a hd-5870,hd-5850, hd-6950, would be the best here. Or a pair of smaller cards like hd-5770's/6770's. Don't go with hd-4870's as they lack dx11 support and run fairly hot. It was mostly i had them already so i just reused them.

You could opt for the bit cheaper A6-3670K since the gpu gets disabled anyway when you run discrete cards.

For a htpc you wont want to run the realtek sound unless you have a receiver with hdmi sound support then the radeon hdmi sound is ok.
Something like a used X-fi, or the new models. Or something better than the onboard realtek.
Most people end up playing music alot on a htpc, or playing music while gaming.
The difference between the realtek and x-fi is like comparing fm radio to CD or LP's, it's that big a difference.
Make sure the board you pick has a slot open for your sound card with two dual slot pcie video cards in it.

The A8 might be a good option where you could run the integrated gpu while you shop and save for a new or used card or cards.

A good trick is to pick a large roomy gaming case and flip it on its side. Make sure you pick dvdrw's that can work sideways. Lots of 12cm fans running slower is better than a few 8cm fans screaming.
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August 13, 2012 9:28:40 AM

Once you start gaming on the large screen with a decent stereo, you wont want a smaller screen on a desktop for gaming, the htpc will end up being your main gaming rig.
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August 13, 2012 9:36:24 AM

You will also want a coffee table that is a bit higher so your mouse and keyboard is easy to use. Usb extension cables so your wireless box is in your coffee table so your wireless mouse and keyboard work properly. A decent usb joystick with usb extension cable. A wireless xbox style joypad.
Rechargeable metal hydride aaa's or aa's that are needed for your keyboard and mouse because the ni-cad ones that come bundled are usually junk.

The coffee table top must be woodgrain, or have some sort of pattern to it, glass wont work for your mouse.
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August 13, 2012 11:25:06 AM

I used to use a Pentium G620 for my HTPC, which is a bit slower than the G860 you're considering. I then had to get a new CPU and went with an i3-2120, and it was much snappier for an HTPC...so I'd recommend that CPU if you go Intel. You don't need a hugely powerful dedicated GPU for an HTPC...check my sig for a decent build (bear in mind I stream from a home server, hence the small SSD). An A8 is hotter than a Pentium CPU, but has an integrated GPU which maybe better for you...in either case, a good aftermarket cooler with a slow spinning 120mm fan will bring noise levels as low as possible.

IMHO, if you're getting a gaming rig later I'd wait until then to get gaming performance. If you try and get your HTPC to do both, you will end up with either on over-specced HTPC (and over-noisy) or an under-specced gaming system and be dissatisfied with the performance until you build your dedicated rig. One temporary fix is to build your HTPC and get your gaming GPU now, then swap out the gaming GPU when you build your gaming rig. AFAIK, Intel onboard GPUs are sufficient for HD playback and I believe they can now bitstream also (although I haven't done this myself).
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August 13, 2012 8:51:04 PM

wow thank you all for your responses

@wr6133 thank you those were the benchmarks i needed! are there any benchmarks of the two cpus head to head but using the same dedicated graphics for both?

@diellur Your right, i don't want to waste my time building an over specd htpc when i gonna build a gamer later.. I didn't think about getting a good GPU now thats a good idea since it'll carry over.. do you think there will be any "next big thing" in GPUs in the next lets say six months or would i be safe with going with the best of whats available now..

@need4speeds is the 7750 good enough for 1080p gaming or what would you guys recommend.

I've always known that intel is slightly better than amd in most cases, i just thought maybe their 4 true cores would give an i3's two HT's a run for its money but i guess not..

I think i'm gonna get a i3-2120 or similar

also i forgot to mention that the HTPC will still be a ATX tower case

thanks again
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August 13, 2012 9:00:49 PM

Well i have bother reading whats prevously been said. You can't crossfire an a8 with 7750 but trinity right around the corner i'm sure the trinity a10 will be able to crossfire with an 7750 which will be interesting to see how that performs.

anyways best option is intel either i3 or the pentium. perferably i3
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August 13, 2012 9:50:07 PM

actually, preliminaries that I've seen posted the other day say the a10 wont h-xfire with the 77xx series.
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August 13, 2012 10:33:56 PM

popatim said:
actually, preliminaries that I've seen posted the other day say the a10 wont h-xfire with the 77xx series.

Well that just makes AMD dumb! Since that feature attracted people to buy the old apu's.
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August 14, 2012 1:01:07 AM

Best answer selected by rtlarson3.
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August 14, 2012 6:48:00 AM

rtlarson3 said:
@diellur Your right, i don't want to waste my time building an over specd htpc when i gonna build a gamer later.. I didn't think about getting a good GPU now thats a good idea since it'll carry over.. do you think there will be any "next big thing" in GPUs in the next lets say six months or would i be safe with going with the best of whats available now..


It depends on your budget. The AMD 7950 is mid-range, and will trump the 7750. At a higher price point is the AMD 7970, or the Nvidia GTX 670, depending on your preference. Nvidia should be releasing the GTX 660Ti to compete with the 7950 in the near future, so it could be worth waiting for that...not sure exactly when it comes out, maybe within the next month or so going on current information.
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