HTPC CPU Processors Options - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by StanF View Post
I typically recycle older components into PCs for my kids or family. I would recommend spending a little extra now, to have a more flexible processor in the future. We're talking $10, right?
Just $10 but it's somewhat pointless. The GPU is only marginally faster. Sure, percentage-wise, it might be considered a big improvement but in actual operation? Still kind of worthless. By the time you recycle and if you actually need better graphics, it's likely the HD 3000 wouldn't be good enough and a $50 GPU (assuming they still exist) would perform loads better.

Quick Sync, perhaps, may be the only reason to go for the i3-2105 instead of the i3-2100. However, I read one review comparing QuickSync performance of the i5-2500K and i3-2100 and there was very little difference. It was just 167s for the i5-2500K/HD 3000 compared to 188s for the i3-2100/HD 2000 encoding a 30-minute MPEG-2 video to basically iPod format (using MediaEspresso). Worst case, the entire 21s can be attributed to the difference between the HD 2000 and HD 3000 so you get the same difference between the i3-2100 and i3-2105. Unfortunately, there haven't been any Quick Sync performance comparisons between either i3-2100 vs i3-2105, i5-2500 vs i5-2500K or i7-2600 vs i7-2600K to be able to discern just how much of a difference the 12 EU's in the HD 3000 make vs 6 EU's in the HD 2000.
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post #32 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Ahh...for $15 more I can get the i3-2105 that has better transcoding abilities, without losing a single feature of the i3-2100.
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post #33 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post

Ahh...for $15 more I can get the i3-2105 that has better transcoding abilities, without losing a single feature of the i3-2100.

To be more accurate, for $15 more you can get the i3-2105 that might have better transcoding abilities, without losing a single feature of the i3-2100. Since no one has actually tested HD 2000 vs HD 3000 for Quick Sync performance (with all other parameters - # of cores/threads, clock speed, etc - controlled), there's no way to know for sure if there's a benefit or not.

Of course, that only matters if you actually plan on using Quick Sync (is there even a free application that supports it?). If you're using Handbrake (which uses x264) or similar freeware/open-source software, then there's no difference between i3-2100 vs i3-2105.
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post #34 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

To be more accurate, for $15 more you can get the i3-2105 that might have better transcoding abilities, without losing a single feature of the i3-2100. Since no one has actually tested HD 2000 vs HD 3000 for Quick Sync performance (with all other parameters - # of cores/threads, clock speed, etc - controlled), there's no way to know for sure if there's a benefit or not.

Of course, that only matters if you actually plan on using Quick Sync (is there even a free application that supports it?). If you're using Handbrake (which uses x264) or similar freeware/open-source software, then there's no difference between i3-2100 vs i3-2105.

Good point. I suppose if someone is willing to pay $15 extra for the hardware, they can probably spend more for the commercial software.
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post #35 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post

Good point. I suppose if someone is willing to pay $15 extra for the hardware, they can probably spend more for the commercial software.

That depends. An extra $15 is easy enough on the pocket. However, if you have to spend another $30~60 on top, that might be a turn-off for some folks.
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post #36 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

That depends. An extra $15 is easy enough on the pocket. However, if you have to spend another $30~60 on top, that might be a turn-off for some folks.

The problem is you can make this argument for just about every component in a HTPC.

Upgrade the CPU
Upgrade DDR3 1333 to DDR3 1600
Upgrade the PSU to modular
Upgrade the SSD from 40GB to 64GB to 80GB

etc, etc. Eventually it adds up. I just don't pay for something that I won't use.


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post #37 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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You guys are so right. It adds up very quickly, now I need to trim!
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post #38 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

etc, etc. Eventually it adds up. I just don't pay for something that I won't use.

Upgrade the CPU - additional expense depends on what you're upgrading to
Upgrade DDR3 1333 to DDR3 1600 - nowadays, barely any price difference; I usually see them for around the same price: $40 2x2GB kit
Upgrade the PSU to modular - a big expense either immediate or long-term (sometimes even both); personally not worth it
Upgrade the SSD from 40GB to 64GB to 80GB - 60GB around the same price as 40GB nowadays with good sales, 80GB still a big expense

I've already paid the price of going too low on the hardware totem pole (Popcorn Hour A110 NMP, Atom 330/ION) so I can appreciate the wisdom of buying more hardware than you need right now. It's just a matter of distinguishing between having sufficient buffer and going for total overkill.

I don't think you could go wrong with the i3-2100. Given Quick Sync performance is only ~12.5% behind the i5-2500K, I don't really see it doing any worse compared to the i3-2105. The i3-2100 can also be found on sale at $110~115 online or $100 or less at Micro Center which makes for a bigger pricing gap. Since the i3-2105 is a more specialized part, I doubt we'd see similar discounts on it.

Besides, you wouldn't want the i3-2105 for gaming anyway. If that's your goal, you're better off going with Llano.
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post #39 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 12:18 PM
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I wasn't saying to make or not make these upgrades. Merely pointing out that you can extrapolate the 2100 to 2105 example to just about every component inside and outside the HTPC.


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post #40 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 12:35 PM
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I haven't 'bought' an Intel CPU in years. They've always been way too overpriced for what you get. AMD have always offered far greater value for money. AMD CPU's may not offer all the performance of an Intel CPU, but when most of that 'performance' sits idle most of the time, what's the point.

The sub $100 CPU market is huge, but the margins are smaller. Intel have made most of there money in the corporate market, leaving AMD to mop up the consumer end, which is why AMD are so popular with a lot of home users. AMD know this, but they're still trying to compete at the higher end with their multi-core Opteron's, which are actually very good CPU's. Trouble is, everyone thinks a benchmark result is the be all and end all of a CPU "oh my god, their CPU is 5% slower in that synthentic test, so it must be rubbish".

The new AMD Fusion line has a great amount of potential, and to be honest, AMD are ahead of Intel in their CPGPU designs, but Intel are so cash rich from businesses who see nothing else other than 'Intel Inside', they probably can't be bothered at the moment.

If it wasn't for AMD, you'd probably be paying $1000 for a single core Pentium 5 now!
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post #41 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 12:49 PM
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The OP also asked about recording and playing back OTA HD. Isn't it true that Llano will deinterlace 1080i better than the Intel IGP? I'm sure Anandtech reported similar.
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post #42 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

I haven't 'bought' an Intel CPU in years. They've always been way too overpriced for what you get. AMD have always offered far greater value for money. AMD CPU's may not offer all the performance of an Intel CPU, but when most of that 'performance' sits idle most of the time, what's the point.

The sub $100 CPU market is huge, but the margins are smaller. Intel have made most of there money in the corporate market, leaving AMD to mop up the consumer end, which is why AMD are so popular with a lot of home users. AMD know this, but they're still trying to compete at the higher end with their multi-core Opteron's, which are actually very good CPU's. Trouble is, everyone thinks a benchmark result is the be all and end all of a CPU "oh my god, their CPU is 5% slower in that synthentic test, so it must be rubbish".

The new AMD Fusion line has a great amount of potential, and to be honest, AMD are ahead of Intel in their CPGPU designs, but Intel are so cash rich from businesses who see nothing else other than 'Intel Inside', they probably can't be bothered at the moment.

If it wasn't for AMD, you'd probably be paying $1000 for a single core Pentium 5 now!

+1
Every time I've checked for comparable performance the AMD chip was always the best buy for mainstrem uses and the motherboards far cheaper. The last Intel chip I bought was the 386DX.
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post #43 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by winterescape View Post

Most of my computers, including my HTPC are AMD based. I think the price advantage has evaporated recently. Price a x2 250 + a 880G HDMI MB VS a Intel G620 + MSI H61 HDMI MB

soooo... we are talking $8 now...

Or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813138283 for $54 + http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103933 $44

Minimal differences but not $8.
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post #44 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

I haven't 'bought' an Intel CPU in years. They've always been way too overpriced for what you get. AMD have always offered far greater value for money. AMD CPU's may not offer all the performance of an Intel CPU, but when most of that 'performance' sits idle most of the time, what's the point.

Not really that bad. Higher than $100, AMD offers you more cores (and with Llano, a better GPU) for the money but overall performance in applications (not just benchmarks) at similar price points is more or less the same. Intel is usually ahead, even, since a lot of applications just aren't programmed to take advantage of multiple cores which is where AMD solutions shine. Below $100, yeah, AMD usually offers more value.

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Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

The sub $100 CPU market is huge, but the margins are smaller. Intel have made most of there money in the corporate market, leaving AMD to mop up the consumer end, which is why AMD are so popular with a lot of home users. AMD know this, but they're still trying to compete at the higher end with their multi-core Opteron's, which are actually very good CPU's. Trouble is, everyone thinks a benchmark result is the be all and end all of a CPU "oh my god, their CPU is 5% slower in that synthentic test, so it must be rubbish".

Not really. In programs optimized for 1~2 cores, the difference is pretty significant - usually in the order of ~25% (SNB vs K10).

Competition drives the market. Sure, AMD's existence means more reasonably-priced processors from Intel. However, if Intel weren't around, I expect we'd probably still be at K8 performance right now (AMD kind of rested on their laurels after that which is why they're scrambling to catch up now).

Heck, just look at the IGP market. When AMD and NVIDIA were competing, we saw a big jump from GeForce 6150/7150 to GeForce 8300/9400 and 690G to 780G/790GX with both companies promising better IGP's every year. When NVIDIA exited the chipset business, we were pretty much stuck at the same features and performance levels. The 785G, 880G and 890GX didn't really provide any GPU performance or feature improvement over 780G/790GX. Why? Because they didn't need to - Intel was still far behind.
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post #45 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by xxturbowesxx View Post

Or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813138283 for $54 + http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103933 $44

Minimal differences but not $8.

Latter is an OEM chip with no HSF so not a very fair comparison.

Cheapest for either (Retail Box):
Biostar A880G+, $55 & Athlon II X2 250, $60 = $115
Biostar H61MH, $60 & Pentium G620, $78 = $138 ($128 after $10 MIR)

Incidentally, if you're looking at M-ITX, Intel is currently cheaper.
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post #46 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post


Not really. In programs optimized for 1~2 cores, the difference is pretty significant - usually in the order of ~25% (SNB vs K10).

Sorry to go off topic, but...

Fine, take it as an guestimate then. People have become totally pre-occupied with benchmark performance, which have often been proven to be way off real world usage. Vendors (and I mean Intel/AMD/NVidia here) have, I'm sure, cheated and bribed their way to the top of the benchmark charts in the past. Modifying drivers, offering 'discounts' etc. A PC will likely sit idle for >90% of its usable life, so why does everyone get so carried away with what it could do, when what it does do is often totally different.

Sure, nobody wants to buy a turkey, but if I can buy a descent processor with a iGPU that can turn it's hand to most things and not get ripped off in the process, then I'm all for it. AMD fill this price/performance requirement exactly as needed at the moment. Until Intel are put under some serious pressure, it'll be business as usual for them.
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post #47 of 48 Old 07-06-2011, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

Fine, take it as an guestimate then. People have become totally pre-occupied with benchmark performance, which have often been proven to be way off real world usage. Vendors (and I mean Intel/AMD/NVidia here) have, I'm sure, cheated and bribed their way to the top of the benchmark charts in the past. Modifying drivers, offering 'discounts' etc. A PC will likely sit idle for >90% of its usable life, so why does everyone get so carried away with what it could do, when what it does do is often totally different.

Frankly, I never look at synthetic and 3D rendering benchmarks. Why? Because I'm not building a PC to run those benchmarks. I look at performance in real-world applications I'm likely to use - WinRAR, 7-zip, iTunes, Starcraft II, PCSX2. For 4 out of 5 of those apps mentioned, Intel wins.

For your average Joe, I'm betting there's only one benchmark he looks at - price. Indeed, he doesn't really need to look at others. Assuming all other parts being equal, you wouldn't notice any difference web browsing or checking email on a $50 Athlon II X2 240 versus performing the same tasks on a $1,000 i7-990X.

That said, I didn't really read snakyjake's first post. Given you have no preference regarding Intel or AMD, I suggest going for the 65W TDP A6-3600 or A8-3800 when those come out. Llano APU's provide a better balance of CPU+GPU performance compared to SNB. That should give time for motherboard prices to stabilize, too.
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post #48 of 48 Old 07-08-2011, 09:31 AM
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Ahhh! The old AMD Intel argument. These days it's come down to personal preference more than anything.

Anyway, since the OP is planning a whole new system. make sure to check out Assassins guide and remember not to cut yourself short trying to go too small (case-wise). Put a lot of thought into what you want now and MIGHT want in the near future. Damned annoying when you run out of room for improvements.

BT

Just remember, to the MPAA "We're all guilty until..............."
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