Htpc cpu

Hey everyone, I am looking to build a htpc in the near future to serve as a htpc and a set top box replacement. I am going to purchase a ceton infiniTV tuner to use with this build. Ideally I would like to get this to consume as little power as possible. Right now I am looking at the Intel Core i3-2120T Sandy Bridge because it has a TDP of 35w and is $135. But the Ivy Bridge Intel Core i3-3220 was recently released with a TDP of 55w and is $130. But at the TDP of the core i3-3220 id rather just get an AMD apu at 65w and pay roughly half the cost. I'm going to use a ssd to keep the power and noise levels down as well. What do you guys think? Does anybody have any power readings from a kill-a-watt with similar hardware?

Thanks
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  1. The difference in cpu shouldn't be too much, unless you maxed out it's usage.

    If you are doing htpc I think the ivy bridge i3 version that has HD4000 would be a better choice, does it matter to you? Or just go AMD trinity; since it's so cost effective you might as well. I think most of the power is going to come from the components, rather than cpu, if you buy the non K version.

    If you buy Trinity apu you should be able to upgrade to the next gen APU when it comes out next year, should have lower power (if non k) since it's a shrinkage to 28nm.

    That's just conjecture though, I don't have power readings from anything other than cpu usage from reading reviews, and that is low in kilowatts. (barely any money at 11cents a kilowatt, anyway)
  2. NoUserBar said:
    The difference in cpu shouldn't be too much, unless you maxed out it's usage.

    If you are doing htpc I think the ivy bridge i3 version that has HD4000 would be a better choice, does it matter to you? Or just go AMD trinity; since it's so cost effective you might as well. I think most of the power is going to come from the components, rather than cpu, if you buy the non K version.

    If you buy Trinity apu you should be able to upgrade to the next gen APU when it comes out next year, should have lower power (if non k) since it's a shrinkage to 28nm.

    That's just conjecture though, I don't have power readings from anything other than cpu usage from reading reviews, and that is low in kilowatts. (barely any money at 11cents a kilowatt, anyway)


    it doesn't matter to me what cpu I get. I should've added that I currently am using a computer with a q6600 and ati 5450 as my "htpc" and its uses like 100watts at idle (from kill-a-watt). I really want to get the power consumption down as low as possible. I mean I wouldn't mind buying a i3 ivy bridge or AMD apu and I realize that the TDP is the max power that the cpu will use and I don't plan on having a very high load on the cpu, so the power consumption will be lower. I'm really just looking for opinions and if anyone has any similar builds with power readings that they'd like to share that'd be cool.
  3. Here's another thread that might help: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/349864-28-cost-power-system

    The guy asked a similar question.
  4. I used to own an Acer Revo, it was pretty good as a htpc. Used an intel atom processor. Drew very little power. Are you going to build it yourself, or buy a pre-assembled setup?
  5. thanks for the info, I think im gonna just wait until the black friday deals start coming out and make my decision based on what is on sale lol.
  6. Just stopping by to chime in with my own Kill-A-Watt measurements:

    Full System:
    Gigabyte GA-H77N-WiFi
    Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz
    Sapphire Radeon HD7750 LP
    Samsung 2x4GB DDR3-1600 LP
    LG CT21N blu-ray drive
    Crucial M4 64GB SSD
    Hitachi 120GB HDD
    Antec ISK 310-150

    Kill-A-Watt measurements for total system draw:

    Idle = 46.8W
    Intel Burn = 83.3W
    Gaming (Skyrim) = 99.3W
    3DMark Vantage = 109W

    According to this review, the HD7750 draws about 43W at load and 6W at idle, so that should help give you an estimate for power draw without a video card using an i3-3220 in an ITX setup.
  7. TDP is not the amount of power the CPU uses. It represents the amount of heat generated by the CPU.

    Ivy Bridge CPUs does in fact use less power than Sandy Bridge CPUs, but because they use a paste based thermal conductor within the CPU itself rather than a solder based thermal conductor Ivy Bridge CPUs do not dissipate heat as well as Sandy Bridge CPUs. Therefore, Ivy Bridge has a higher TDP. Hopefully Intel will go back to solder when they release Haswell next year.
  8. rwpritchett said:
    Just stopping by to chime in with my own Kill-A-Watt measurements:

    Full System:
    Gigabyte GA-H77N-WiFi
    Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz
    Sapphire Radeon HD7750 LP
    Samsung 2x4GB DDR3-1600 LP
    LG CT21N blu-ray drive
    Crucial M4 64GB SSD
    Hitachi 120GB HDD
    Antec ISK 310-150



    If YOU DON'T MIND! -Do you recallhow much your HTPC cost and where you bought you parts? I am beginning to look around for a living room unit and trying to get an idea of price ranges. Thank you.
    Mrwirez :)
  9. jaguarskx said:
    TDP is not the amount of power the CPU uses. It represents the amount of heat generated by the CPU.

    Ivy Bridge CPUs does in fact use less power than Sandy Bridge CPUs, but because they use a paste based thermal conductor within the CPU itself rather than a solder based thermal conductor Ivy Bridge CPUs do not dissipate heat as well as Sandy Bridge CPUs. Therefore, Ivy Bridge has a higher TDP. Hopefully Intel will go back to solder when they release Haswell next year.



    Uh, Mr jaguar, the amount of power a CPU uses = the amount of heat the CPU generates! All the power used is dissipated as heat. TDP is a manufacturing spec to tell a designer how much cooling capacity to provide the CPU. It's generally margined up from a high-usage profile.
    If an Ivy Bridge core runs hotter than a Sandy Bridge core, when they are using the power, then the thermal resistance is greater on Ivy Bridge. Under that scenario, they could have the same TDP. But you could try to implement a more efficient heat sink solution to lower the overall junction-to-ambient thermal resistance [theta ja] on the Ivy Bridge, to lower its temperature.
    Cheers.
  10. I have just built a new HTPC. With maybe a little bit of light gaming thrown in.

    I went with an A10.

    My other choice was a 3220T.

    The fact that the AMD build was a touch cheaper and I find the A10 concept quite interesting swayed my decision.
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