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post #1 of 58 Old 04-05-2012, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I keep thinking about dumping satellite & going OTA only. Then I would need an HD DVR. If building an HTPC the big question is which CPU, Intel or AMD.

I have no plans to use this HTPC for Blu-ray or as a server. It would be strictly for HD OTA recording & playback, and once in a while burning a program to a disc.

It seems either brand of CPU will work with no problem. Maybe the only real processing power concern would be when authoring & burning a disc, either a DVD-R, a BD-R or perhaps AVCHD. I know my quad core AMD is a whole faster than my old P4 when authoring a video.

And of course would like low power consumption for low heat & low fan noise.

I would also need to accommodate two dual tuner ATSC cards. I understand a graphics card would not be needed but I would like to be able to add one in the future just in case I wanted to tinker with things. It seems like some graphic cards are preferred & that some work better with different CPUs. IOW an Intel CPU might use less power but the preferred graphic cards might work better with an AMD CPU. Again this is to future proof the unit and may never happen.

Should I just figure on using an Intel I3 and be done with it?
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post #2 of 58 Old 04-05-2012, 03:34 AM
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Have you taken a look at Assassin's guides ? The free section covers all your questions and really is a diverse amount of info on various systems and set ups based on your needs. Go ahead and get the paid guides as well . INCREDIABLE amount of info and time saver for $25

Hands down for me on a vid card . It will not game heavily but I just bought this card and it runs flawless and is dead silent .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121448

For me AMD is not an option for cpu or vid cards . Drivers are to buggy

CPU :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...&Tpk=i3%202105

If you know for sure you are going to alway's use a discrete vid card then you can purchase the 2100 series i3 instead . For me , the extra few bucks the 2105 cost is worth the diversity of choice down the road .

The links i posted are for reference only .... you need to "shop" those parts around as pricing can very quite a bit
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post #3 of 58 Old 04-05-2012, 03:53 AM
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Oops
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post #4 of 58 Old 04-05-2012, 03:56 AM
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Trinity goes on sale next month so it might be good to wait at this point. Your stated requirements require very low CPU grunt so you could even get away with a passively cooled atom 2700 system. Keep in mind the atom will keep you from doing HD Netflix streaming. Also don't overlook the llano a6-3500, it makes a very good htpc.

For me AMD is a good option.

PS. there is no future proofing, build it for your current needs. New TV standards take forever to be implemented.
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post #5 of 58 Old 04-05-2012, 10:55 PM
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AMD buggy? Then again I don't anything exotic with my AMD based 5 year old build. Never have had driver related issues with AMD hardware or ATI either. Trinity will be more and not much different in performance unless you plan on doing some basic gaming and it will be better for encoding than Llano. I am building a workstation from a Trinity later. Already got my 3 core 3500 just waiting for a board, memory and an ssd. End of the month.....

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post #6 of 58 Old 04-05-2012, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been reading through this forum & guides for quite some time.

Every so often I come across a thread discussing problems with black levels or colors or frame rates. While most people don’t appear to have these problems, they do get mentioned from time to time. And it appears some graphic cards have more or better settings to correct these things. And some work better with certain CPUs. I’m just trying to sort out what works best with what, just in case I need a graphic card.
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post #7 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 03:13 AM
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AMD all the way for me. Never had any real problems, and far better value than Intel. GPU drivers are hit and miss from all major manufacturers. Find a version that works for you (tip: it's not always the latest one!) and stick with it. For an HTPC, you don't need the latest and greatest.

For a general purpose DVR, get WMC7. It's totally user friendly, and will do all you need. Add a dual (or quad) tuner, and you'll be set.
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post #8 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

far better value than Intel.

How so?

What's a better value than a $34.99 G530? Heck, the heat sink is worth $25, so you get a decent CPU and GPU for about $10.
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post #9 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

How so?

What's a better value than a $34.99 G530? Heck, the heat sink is worth $25, so you get a decent CPU and GPU for about $10.

I have yet to see an Intel Celeron G530 for less than ~$50 (total cost). I know that the suggested price is in the low40s.

Where can I get a G530 for $35?

PS: Xbitlabs reports that the DESKTOP AMD Trinity parts will be released AFTER May15, so maybe they will become available in June (2012).
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post #10 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flocko View Post

Have you taken a look at Assassin's guides ? The free section covers all your questions and really is a diverse amount of info on various systems and set ups based on your needs. Go ahead and get the paid guides as well . INCREDIABLE amount of info and time saver for $25

Hands down for me on a vid card . It will not game heavily but I just bought this card and it runs flawless and is dead silent .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121448

For me AMD is not an option for cpu or vid cards . Drivers are to buggy

CPU :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...&Tpk=i3%202105

If you know for sure you are going to alway's use a discrete vid card then you can purchase the 2100 series i3 instead . For me , the extra few bucks the 2105 cost is worth the diversity of choice down the road .

The links i posted are for reference only .... you need to "shop" those parts around as pricing can very quite a bit

From what I unserstand the 2000 graphics in the i3 2100 work just fine for HTPC use. So choosing the 2100 would not limit you in any meaningful way.
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post #11 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post


How so?

What's a better value than a $34.99 G530? Heck, the heat sink is worth $25, so you get a decent CPU and GPU for about $10.

Normal price is around $50
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post #12 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Normal price is around $50

If you live in any major metropolitan area you have a Micro Center nearby where it's always $34.99 and the G620 is always $49.99.
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post #13 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 11:58 AM
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Here is my current setup -
Rosewill RRC-126 Windows 7 Certified Media Center Infrared Remote Control with
Patriot Torqx 2 PT264GS25SSDR 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
HDHomeRun DUAL - High Definition Digital TV Tuner (Network Attached) HDHR3-US
Kingston HyperX X2 Grey Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3X2K2/4GX I
XFX HD-645X-ZQH2 Radeon HD 6450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP
Scythe SCSK-1100 100mm Shuriken Rev. B 3 Heat Pipes CPU Cooler
Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS
ASRock 880GM-LE AM3 AMD 880G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Quad Core CPU
AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner

I use mine as an DVR and Movie playback, ESPN3, etc

"Dang! You got shocks, pegs... lucky! You ever take it off any sweet jumps? "

Sony 55EX500 Settings
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post #14 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

If you live in any major metropolitan area you have a Micro Center nearby where it's always $34.99 and the G620 is always $49.99.

Thanks for that answer to the "where $35?" question. The closest store (Westbury, NY) is a decent haul away for me, but I'll keep them in mind.

If I had only known this when I was pondering the NE $95 special (w/ free shipping) for a barebones HonnHai H67 system a couple of weeks ago. I've been wanting to try out the SandyBridge based cheapo systems in a small form factor to see if they are "good enough".

Thanks again.

PS: If I had pressed the checkout button on the $95 special, with $20 for 4GB RAM & bought the CPU from MC, I would have blown a whopping $153 (including NY tax) for (hopefully) a "good enough" SFF system. I already have spare HDD, mouse, kybd & the display would have been a an existing HDTV...
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post #15 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkristof View Post

Thanks for that answer to the "where $35?" question. The closest store (Westbury, NY) is a decent haul away for me, but I'll keep them in mind.

If I had only known this when I was pondering the NE $95 special (w/ free shipping) for a barebones HonnHai H67 system a couple of weeks ago. I've been wanting to try out the SandyBridge based cheapo systems in a small form factor to see if they are "good enough".

Thanks again.

PS: If I had pressed the checkout button on the $95 special, with $20 for 4GB RAM & bought the CPU from MC, I would have blown a whopping $153 (including NY tax) for (hopefully) a "good enough" SFF system. I already have spare HDD, mouse, kybd & the display would have been a an existing HDTV...

I was actually sitting here earlier today figuring out what I would need for an ITX build for a bedroom. Already have on hand 2x2gb SDRAM, a 128GB SSD, a spare iOgear wireless trackball keyboard, and a spare Windows 7 license. Can get a Antec ISK 300-150 case and PSU ($79.99), Asus P8H61-I ITX motherboard ($79.99), an Arctic Cooling F8 PWM 80mm fan ($7.95) (all at Amazon) and a G530 at Micro Center for $37.14 after tax, and finish a very nice complete system for $205.07. $15 more if I decide to go with the G620, but there's no good reason to do so.
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post #16 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

If you live in any major metropolitan area you have a Micro Center nearby where it's always $34.99 and the G620 is always $49.99.

Well from where I was sitting in LA it was going to cost me more in gas and wear and tear on my car than I would save on the $15. Add in my time and the anger management course needed after driving in LA traffic and it just isn't worth it.

Thank god for ups and fedex.
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post #17 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 05:29 PM
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You have already answered your own question. Since you want low power, low heat and the most "future proof" then you need to go with the option that gives you the best CPU since in the future upgrading the video card is going to be by far the easiest way to "refresh" your HTPC.

So that answer right now is the Intel i3 and its not even close. Use the iGPU for now if you like and in 3-5 years put a graphics card in it and you will still have enough juice for it to be used as a HTPC in the year 2015. I don't think you can say that as safely about the Llano right now.

An i3 build with a SSD will idle at around 25-35 watts and not use much more than that when playing back video.
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post #18 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 05:34 PM
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post #19 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
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You have already answered your own question. Since you want low power, low heat and the most "future proof" then you need to go with the option that gives you the best CPU since in the future upgrading the video card is going to be by far the easiest way to "refresh" your HTPC.

So that answer right now is the Intel i3 and its not even close. Use the iGPU for now if you like and in 3-5 years put a graphics card in it and you will still have enough juice for it to be used as a HTPC in the year 2015. I don't think you can say that as safely about the Llano right now.

An i3 build with a SSD will idle at around 25-35 watts and not use much more than that when playing back video.

I'm pretty sure 2015 is going to see blue-ray discs and 1080p broadcasts and most people will probably still have a hard time getting enough internet bandwidth for HD netflix.
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post #20 of 58 Old 04-06-2012, 05:59 PM
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I'm pretty sure 2015 is going to see blue-ray discs and 1080p broadcasts and most people will probably still have a hard time getting enough internet bandwidth for HD netflix.

And things like more intensive online HD streaming, Madvr type renderers, better/different 3D, etc etc etc. Point is you never know what is going to come out and thus its hard to effectively "future proof". But picking a weak CPU even by today's standards is one way to ensure that you make upgrading/refreshing as difficult as possible to do in the next 3-5 years.
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post #21 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

And things like more intensive online HD streaming, Madvr type renderers, better/different 3D, etc etc etc. Point is you never know what is going to come out and thus its hard to effectively "future proof". But picking a weak CPU even by today's standards is one way to ensure that you make upgrading/refreshing as difficult as possible to do in the next 3-5 years.

Yeah, but a $35 CPU might be good enough at the moment. I assume that Intel will continue making LGA1155 CPU/APUs for at least a few years (till 2015??) so you should be able to upgrade your H61/H67? MB for a few years.

I base this longevity on the fact that I have a ~5 year old genuine Intel DP35DP socket LGA775 motherboard for which I can still buy CPUs for.

PS: I also figured out that, at $0.3/mile reimbursement for car use, I'd be paying about $56 to drive to MicroCenter and buy a Celeron G520. Though Westbury, NY might be beautiful in the spring...
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post #22 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 12:58 PM
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Yeah, but a $35 CPU might be good enough at the moment. I assume that Intel will continue making LGA1155 CPU/APUs for at least a few years (till 2015??) so you should be able to upgrade your H61/H67? MB for a few years.

I base this longevity on the fact that I have a ~5 year old genuine Intel DP35DP socket LGA775 motherboard for which I can still buy CPUs for.

PS: I also figured out that, at $0.3/mile reimbursement for car use, I'd be paying about $56 to drive to MicroCenter and buy a Celeron G520. Though Westbury, NY might be beautiful in the spring...

Sure. I never said anything about microcenter. You can routinely find the i3 2100 shipped for $99 online (I have posted a few in my sticky thread). So for an extra $20-30 you can increase the likelihood that you can update your HTPC in a few years if future proofing is something that you want to do. In this case I think the extra $20-30 is money well spent.

But you are correct. As of today you can easily get by with a lesser CPU for today's needs. But that wasn't the OP's question.
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post #23 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 02:19 PM
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Yes, very.

'

I have run AMD hardware for 6-8 years, no major problems that bios fixes and driver updates haven't fixed.

Like Intel is immune to such things... You just like Intel hardware = Overpriced, my Black butt can't afford Intel hardware with horrible 3D performance.

i3 is over $100. I paid $76.11 with tax for Triple Core A6, will crush not only the i3 in graphics but the i5 all Sandy Bridge.

How does that compare to a G series Intel? The OP wants just to watch OTA, a $40 Sempron with a $30 N-force based motherboard will do that = $70

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post #24 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 02:21 PM
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Well from where I was sitting in LA it was going to cost me more in gas and wear and tear on my car than I would save on the $15. Add in my time and the anger management course needed after driving in LA traffic and it just isn't worth it.

Thank god for ups and fedex.

I make Fry's Price Match to Microcenter - Problem Solved

LA Traffic is pretty bad, you tried Jakarta?

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post #25 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 02:36 PM
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'

I have run AMD hardware for 6-8 years, no major problems that bios fixes and driver updates haven't fixed.

Like Intel is immune to such things... You just like Intel hardware = Overpriced, my Black butt can't afford Intel hardware with horrible 3D performance.

i3 is over $100. I paid $76.11 with tax for Triple Core A6, will crush not only the i3 in graphics but the i5 all Sandy Bridge.

How does that compare to a G series Intel? The OP wants just to watch OTA, a $40 Sempron with a $30 N-force based motherboard will do that = $70

I think its funny when people think I care about Intel vs AMD vs something else. I could care less. I like what the easiest and best to use. There have been numerous opinions that the PQ of all three are the same. So to me I weigh in things like ease of use, biggest bang for the buck, most flexible for future use, etc when deciding what I think is the "best" overall.

We have always offered AMD custom builds and are starting to offer Llano/Trinity (when available) builds as well.

Do you build HTPCs for people? Do you take their calls/PMs/emails on which platform has the most issues/bugs?

Well I do. And people by far have more issues with AMD/ATI drivers than Intel or NVidia.

You can get an i3 2100 online for $99 if you are patient and know where to look. And you can get a G620 and discrete card for not much more than the A6 and have better CPU and graphics performance.

All are fine options depending on what you want. But the days of Intel being "overpriced" haven't really been relevant since Clarkdale/LGA1156.

And since you have said you use AMD I don't really know how you can compare the two from personal experience. I have used Intel, AMD/ATI and NVidia. And from my experience AMD has by far the buggiest drivers and it isn't even close.

Again, that's my experience and the experience of those who I have built HTPCs for on both a personal/friend and professional level.
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post #26 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 03:03 PM
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No I don't do Help Desk/Tech Support, not paid anyway.

I've built other PC's both Intel and AMD, no serious problems.

I would say if your building other people's stuff they aren't tech savvy, in which case maybe Intel is better for you and your customers.

A classmate recently spent $400+ to build a Intel i3 desktop because our instructor is an Intel fanboy that likes to post that old Tom's Hardware video of a Athlon single core smoldering without a heatsink before AMD started putting Cool'N Quiet in their processors.

I just find people like to bash AMD because Intel is the biggest company with the equation that "Bigger is Better". That seem to work for GM for a time until they started cutting back on quality....

If you have to buy Intel, I don't suggest i3's for an HTPC its overkill. You should really have a workstation doing things like ripping and encoding or even a server.

Intel hardware often has to be put on sell or discounted in some fashion to reach parity with AMD hardware.

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post #27 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 03:09 PM
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I often find this to be very much the same as the Ford vs Chevy argument.

At the end of the day GM still hasn't won Le Mans overall or a F1 race but GM is the preferred powerplant in motorsports by a wide margin for its interchangeability.

This is changing however as the Gen III blocks have nothing to do with the old 350 block family and old tech won't work on Gen III blocks.

When that is factored in, small block Ford performance has reached economic parity with GM small blocks.

When the argument over who's better really becomes an argument about loyalties and nothing else.

Just because the debate is over computer parts doesn't make it any more intelligent or mature.

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post #28 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
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No I don't do Help Desk/Tech Support, not paid anyway.

I've built other PC's both Intel and AMD, no serious problems.

I would say if your building other people's stuff they aren't tech savvy, in which case maybe Intel is better for you and your customers.

A classmate recently spent $400+ to build a Intel i3 desktop because our instructor is an Intel fanboy that likes to post that old Tom's Hardware video of a Athlon single core smoldering without a heatsink before AMD started putting Cool'N Quiet in their processors.

I just find people like to bash AMD because Intel is the biggest company with the equation that "Bigger is Better". That seem to work for GM for a time until they started cutting back on quality....

If you have to buy Intel, I don't suggest i3's for an HTPC its overkill. You should really have a workstation doing things like ripping and encoding or even a server.

Intel hardware often has to be put on sell or discounted in some fashion to reach parity with AMD hardware.

Very fair points.

But in regards to Intel being "overpriced" that's just not true anymore.

Like I said its easy to get an i3 2100 for $99 if you are patient and know where to look. That's $20 more than the A6. Now each have their pros and cons and I am not saying that one is always better than the other.

Or take the G620 ($65 online) or G530 ($45 online) plus an NVidia 430 ($30-$45) or ATI 6450 ($20-$40) and you have something equivalent or better from a hardware perspective for a range of $65 (actually $15 cheaper than the A6) up to $105 (only $25 more than the A6).

So the blanket statement of Intel being "overpriced" just isn't true anymore. Much like your classmate's instructor this statement is just outdated, incorrect and inaccurate.

There are very good reasons for someone to pick AMD/Intel/NVidia one over the other but price really shouldn't be one of them unless you are REALLY strapped for cash and a potential $25 difference is a big deal to you.
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post #29 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Very fair points.

But in regards to Intel being "overpriced" that's just not true anymore.

Like I said its easy to get an i3 2100 for $99 if you are patient and know where to look. That's $20 more than the A6. Now each have their pros and cons and I am not saying that one is always better than the other.

Or take the G620 ($65 online) or G530 ($45 online) plus an NVidia 430 ($30-$45) or ATI 6450 ($20-$40) and you have something equivalent or better from a hardware perspective for a range of $65 (actually $15 cheaper than the A6) up to $105 (only $25 more than the A6).

So the blanket statement of Intel being "overpriced" just isn't true anymore. Much like your classmate's instructor this statement is just outdated, incorrect and inaccurate.

There are very good reasons for someone to pick AMD/Intel/NVidia one over the other but price really shouldn't be one of them unless you are REALLY strapped for cash and a potential $25 difference is a big deal to you.

I am strapped for cash ATM...

When I built the last machine, that was after I returned from Europe. I still couldn't watch OTA HD content with my Dell 4550 P4. I've told this before, but I ended up spending what it would have roughly cost to build a new machine.

At that time people were excited and praising the Gigabyte GA-MA690 series motherboards. I bought the motherboard and CPU (5000+ BE) for about $150.

You could not buy a Core 2 Intel anything at that price point. If the CPU price didn't kill you, the extra $20-$30 you pay for a Intel based motherboard would.

I play games, not always so I won't call myself a gamer. With Intel Graphics I could not use Pete's D3D or Open GL plug-ins for ePSX. I had to use a software based plug-in, for which it looks the same as PSX hardware. If I wanted that, I would just use pSX which is a smaller program and is great otherwise, but visuals are not tweakable.

I had a GeForce 440 in the Dell (came with it) so that was fine.

With just the 5000+ and 690 chipset, I could fully tweak ePSX.

Sure all HD2K and HD3K can do this now, but how much more are Sandybridge boards?

Elite Group has continued the $25 rebate on its A75 boards. The top of the line A75 ATX board with all the trimmings is $59.99 after rebate.

About $230 for the rebuild of my HTPC including 4GB of memory and 60-64GB SATA III SSD.

With certain things the i3 and G series will be faster. Its a bit slower overall, but this is my HTPC not my desktop, its not an issue. I paid $300 for this Dual Core AMD laptop, cheapest i3 was $400-$450.

All this is off-topic but educational none the less.

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post #30 of 58 Old 04-07-2012, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Just to clarify, as mentioned I think about a graphic card just in case I wanted to tinker with things. My concern is that since others have had problems with black levels and/or colors I just want to be prepared in case I need a card.

If I want to author & burn a DVD will a Sandy Bridge Celeron be fast enough? There is a huge difference in processing times between my quad core AMD and my old Intel P4, so I’m a little leery about using a G530 or G620.

If there is some super duper graphics card that cures all known problems & it just happens to work better with a certain brand of CPU, then that CPU might be given strong preference. If that scenario does not exist then why not use whichever CPU consumes the least power & generates the least amount of heat?

From what I’ve seen so far, the cheaper motherboards do not have 2 - PCIe x1 slots and a PCIe x16 slot. Is there a cheap one for either Intel or AMD CPUs?
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