HTPC: Atom 330+NVidia ION ---OR--- Pentium Dual Core+GeForce 9300+$40 for HTPC - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Which HTPC is better?
I'll take the Atom 330 dual core option and save $40 0 0%
I'll take the Pentium E5300 dual core option because the extra $40 is worth it 0 0%
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-27-2009, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I discussed this in another thread and received a lot of great opinions.

Assume all other parts are equal.

Option #1:
Atom 330 dual core + NVidia ION + $40 savings

Option #2:
Pentium dual core E5300 + GeForce 9300 + Additional $40

In my research I was able to spec these 2 machines and option #2 was about $40 more.

So the question here is which one would you rather have and why...
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-27-2009, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I discussed this in another thread and received a lot of great opinions.

Assume all other parts are equal.

Option #1:
Atom 330 dual core + NVidia ION + $40 savings

Option #2:
Pentium dual core E5300 + GeForce 9300 + Additional $40

In my research I was able to spec these 2 machines and option #2 was about $40 more.

So the question here is which one would you rather have and why...

If your only concern is cost, then yes, the extra $40 for a Core 2 processor is well worth it, imho. I actually have 2 ION systems and have been fairly satisfied with both. However, there are times when I felt things would be easier if I had gone with more regular parts. I didn't choose the ION+Atom 330 due to economic reasons. Rather, it was the only option that would fit in the Mini-ITX case I have chosen (Apex MW-100 w/65W PSU). If option 2 were available to me, I'd have gladly gone that route.
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post #3 of 24 Old 12-27-2009, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm just curious as to the reasons that someone would build these aside from the financial reasons.
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-27-2009, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I'm just curious as to the reasons that someone would build these aside from the financial reasons.

substantially lower power useage and plenty of ooph for basic day to day use with the ability to watch HD video. It's an inexpensive option that does everything that 90% of the world uses their computer for, if not more, while fitting in a smaller case, with less cooling requirements and drawing less power.
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post #5 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 12:02 AM
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The ION is precisely the point if you have other means of handling the heavy duty tasks, everything you want in a client yet not limited in functionality.

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post #6 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 08:25 AM
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IMO The poll should have included.
Option #3:
Pentium dual core E5300 + G45 + Additional $
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post #7 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 08:30 AM
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I just rebuilt original HTPC using a 9300 motherboard and I'm quite happy with it.
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user4avsforum View Post

IMO The poll should have included.
Option #3:
Pentium dual core E5300 + G45 + Additional $

I have a G45. Let me just say, HELL NO!

I'd take option 2 any day.

With option 1 you will find times when you may not be getting HA for one reason or another and it will be nice to have a faster CPU. I've run into that a few times myself.

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post #9 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 08:59 AM
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I'd consider E1500 or E3200 + 9300 as a middle ground solution... do you need the smaller form factor or low power consumption? If not, I'd lean towards full-size components for easier future upgrades.

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post #10 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 09:54 AM
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@assassin, I decided to go with the E5300 after reading on other forums about it as well. Even with the existing flash 10.1, the Atom330 cannot handle Hulu HD, YouTubeHD, and Vimeo without some stuttering and/or frame-rate drop issues. And you said you want to be a little more future proof, well---E5300 should be good for most apps for a while. I read in other forums where people had some menu lag with their Atom CPU's. Why risk the regret/frustrations for just $40? I would rather have the safe road and know I can run Boxee/XBMC/Hulu Desktop/etc. without lag because 6 months down the road, I won't care about that extra $40.
PS: I bought all my parts (except MB) off of Amazon (processor, case, memory) because it was the same price as Newegg (or cheaper) but there is free s/h and no tax...so take a look there b/c you'd be surprised @ what components Amazon carries.
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post #11 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlogank View Post

@assassin, I decided to go with the E5300 after reading on other forums about it as well. Even with the existing flash 10.1, the Atom330 cannot handle Hulu HD, YouTubeHD, and Vimeo without some stuttering and/or frame-rate drop issues. And you said you want to be a little more future proof, well---E5300 should be good for most apps for a while. I read in other forums where people had some menu lag with their Atom CPU's. Why risk the regret/frustrations for just $40? I would rather have the safe road and know I can run Boxee/XBMC/Hulu Desktop/etc. without lag because 6 months down the road, I won't care about that extra $40.
PS: I bought all my parts (except MB) off of Amazon (processor, case, memory) because it was the same price as Newegg (or cheaper) but there is free s/h and no tax...so take a look there b/c you'd be surprised @ what components Amazon carries.

Amazon charges tax where I am where newegg doesn't so for me its a wash
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post #12 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user4avsforum View Post

IMO The poll should have included.
Option #3:
Pentium dual core E5300 + G45 + Additional $

++

Forced to vote, I'd take option 2.
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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post #14 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Just curious where you would rank the Dell Zino HD here.

#1?

#2?

#3?

Just looking at the specs I believe it would be ok, if you have it configured the right way. I may put it above the ion option but below everything else.

HTPC: Intel e6300 2.8ghz, Intel DG45ID, 2gb DDR2, Radeon 5570, MCE IR receiver, Yamaha RX-V663 receiver via HDMI, panasonic ax100u, 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 2x Roku 3's, chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Vizio M602i-B3
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 01:26 PM
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What do you think about AMD option ?
AMD 785G or AMD 790GX with AMD Athlon II X2 235e ?

Is it better choice than Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H(nvidia 9400) + intel e5200 or e6300 for HTPC ?
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger7 View Post

What do you think about AMD option ?
AMD 785G or AMD 790GX with AMD Athlon II X2 235e ?

Is it better choice than Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H(nvidia 9400) + intel e5200 or e6300 for HTPC ?

Excellent idea. My apologies to the AMD crowd.
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post #17 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger7 View Post

What do you think about AMD option ?
AMD 785G or AMD 790GX with AMD Athlon II X2 235e ?

Is it better choice than Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H(nvidia 9400) + intel e5200 or e6300 for HTPC ?

no, it's worse. The 785g can't do more than 2 channel uncompressed over HDMI. I don't think the 790gx is any different.

edit - more info here: http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=629

HTPC: Intel e6300 2.8ghz, Intel DG45ID, 2gb DDR2, Radeon 5570, MCE IR receiver, Yamaha RX-V663 receiver via HDMI, panasonic ax100u, 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 2x Roku 3's, chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Vizio M602i-B3
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post #18 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

no, it's worse. The 785g can't do more than 2 channel uncompressed over HDMI. I don't think the 790gx is any different.

Yes, you're right and 790gx can't do more than 2 channels uncompressed over HDMI.
But if you'd like to play some games you need a discrete graphic card that probably supports 8 channels uncompressed audio over HDMI.
And you can always use coax or toslink connection with your AVR. Am I right ?
So let assume with have a discrete graphic card in our htpc.
Which is better option amd/amd or intel/nvidia? Any performance, power consumptions, compatibility issues ?
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post #19 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger7 View Post

Yes, you're right and 790gx can't do more than 2 channels uncompressed over HDMI.
But if you'd like to play some games you need a discrete graphic card that probably supports 8 channels uncompressed audio over HDMI.
And you can always use coax or toslink connection with your AVR. Am I right ?
So let assume with have a discrete graphic card in our htpc.
Which is better option amd/amd or intel/nvidia? Any performance, power consumptions, compatibility issues ?

Well if you want to game you'll have to get something that will work well with your games. And then you're building a different beast.

Yes, you can use coax or optical, if you like being limited to 5.1 compressed audio. I just can't see a good reason whatsoever to buy either of those boards.

If you are using a discrete card then you'd get a ATI 5000 series if you want HD bitstreaming. You can get a ATI 4000 series for Nvidia GT220 or GT240 if you aren't HD bitstreaming. In terms of Intel or AMD processors it doesn't really matter.
Though if you aren't bitstreaming HD audio and you aren't gaming on it then i'd most definitely get the Nvidia 9300/9400 based board. Or 8200/8300 based for AMD and skip the discrete card.
Or wait for the upcoming Intel core i3 and supporting boards to see how the HD bitstreaming is with that.

HTPC: Intel e6300 2.8ghz, Intel DG45ID, 2gb DDR2, Radeon 5570, MCE IR receiver, Yamaha RX-V663 receiver via HDMI, panasonic ax100u, 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 2x Roku 3's, chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Vizio M602i-B3
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

Well if you want to game you'll have to get something that will work well with your games. And then you're building a different beast.

Yes, you can use coax or optical, if you like being limited to 5.1 compressed audio. I just can't see a good reason whatsoever to buy either of those boards.

If you are using a discrete card then you'd get a ATI 5000 series if you want HD bitstreaming. You can get a ATI 4000 series for Nvidia GT220 or GT240 if you aren't HD bitstreaming. In terms of Intel or AMD processors it doesn't really matter.
Though if you aren't bitstreaming HD audio and you aren't gaming on it then i'd most definitely get the Nvidia 9300/9400 based board. Or 8200/8300 based for AMD and skip the discrete card.
Or wait for the upcoming Intel core i3 and supporting boards to see how the HD bitstreaming is with that.

Do you think the core i3 systems will be low power = low noise? What current system would you compare it to in terms of power usage?
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post #21 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by scsnospam View Post

Do you think the core i3 systems will be low power = low noise? What current system would you compare it to in terms of power usage?

I would hope they would be low power and noise but we won't really know until they arrive.

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post #22 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

Well if you want to game you'll have to get something that will work well with your games. And then you're building a different beast.
Yes, you can use coax or optical, if you like being limited to 5.1 compressed audio.
If you are using a discrete card then you'd get a ATI 5000 series if you want HD bitstreaming. You can get a ATI 4000 series for Nvidia GT220 or GT240 if you aren't HD bitstreaming. In terms of Intel or AMD processors it doesn't really matter.
Though if you aren't bitstreaming HD audio and you aren't gaming on it then i'd most definitely get the Nvidia 9300/9400 based board. Or 8200/8300 based for AMD and skip the discrete card.
Or wait for the upcoming Intel core i3 and supporting boards to see how the HD bitstreaming is with that.

Thanks for explanation!
So 8-channel LPCM could only be sent over HDMI ?
Does geforce GTX 260/275 support it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

I just can't see a good reason whatsoever to buy either of those boards.

You mean amd 780/790 ?
If I need discrete card (that supports 8-channel lpcm) for games is there any reason to buy more expensive intel/nvidia geforce 9400 combo ?
Are those platforms comparable : power consumption, efficiency ?
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post #23 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger7 View Post

Thanks for explanation!
So 8-channel LPCM could only be sent over HDMI ?
Does geforce GTX 260/275 support it ?

Yes, 8 channel LPCM needs HDMI

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger7 View Post

You mean amd 780/790 ?
If I need discrete card (that supports 8-channel lpcm) for games is there any reason to buy more expensive intel/nvidia geforce 9400 combo ?
Are those platforms comparable : power consumption, efficiency ?

If you are using a discrete card then probably not.
I haven't really paid attention to or cared about power consumption so I can't help you there.

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post #24 of 24 Old 12-29-2009, 09:39 AM
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I voted for option 2. I went with a E6300 processor and the Zotac 9300-G-E mini ITX board. Similar size as a ION build and it runs at <50W idle so it's not a big power hog either. My only problem is the case I picked has a loud power supply fan so I have to do something with it. I just didn't see any point to start with a combo that could be CPU limited out of the gate with the only chance for upgrade being replacing the board.

Peter
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