Kaveri vs Haswell for new HTPC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all!

I'm about to embark on building a new HTPC to replace my old Core 2 Duo system. I can't decide between a new A10-7850k or an i3-4130?

 

Uses

1) Local viewing of ripped BR and DVD. Possibly move to LiveTV. View pictures/music thru WMC too

2) Maybe HuluPlus or Netflix

3) Transcode PLEX to a Roku or serve 1 XBOX extender, never both at once

4) Store media locally and share in house only

 

Or is there something new in the pipeline that will drastically change the HTPC world in the next few months?

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post #2 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 09:36 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Can you elaborate a little more on what you are considering building?

If you've read any of the build recommendations on this forum, It's not that easy a question.

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post #3 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 10:00 AM
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I think the short answer is both AMD and Intel are great CPU choices for HTPC and A10-7850K or i3-4130 are both great choices for the things you want to do.

It will come down to your personal preference, and the available prices in most cases. I personally prefer Intel in most cases, but the AMD is actually a better choice if you do light gaming. Both are enough for HTPC and what you want to do.

The GPU and CPU of the AMD A10-7850K APU with Radeon R7 Graphics is impressive and better than the i3 you listed. In a very strict sense, I would be tempted to say the AMD is better in this exact situation.

It gets more confusing if you jump up to the i5 though, which is more about the price of the AMD chip. The AMD chip is about $50 more than the i3, but it is better. i5 vs the AMD A10-7850K is tougher. i5 is better CPU while AMD is a better GPU.

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post #4 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 10:43 AM
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Graphics aside, Intel CPUs are generally faster and runs cooler than AMD's counter parts. For the purpose of OP's requirement, GPU is not that an important factor. AMD APU has an edge for light gaming but it's not to say intel's iGPU is that much worse. Both are far behind dedicated GPU card.
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post #5 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Graphics aside, Intel CPUs are generally faster and runs cooler than AMD's counter parts. For the purpose of OP's requirement, GPU is not that an important factor. AMD APU has an edge for light gaming but it's not to say intel's iGPU is that much worse. Both are far behind dedicated GPU card.

True but actually the two CPU he choose the AMD CPU has a higher passmark CPU score and is more powerful than the i3.

By your logic both are enough because in terms of CPU both are enough for what he wants to do and in terms of GPU both are enough for what he wants to do- even if the AMD he lists is better at both.

That's why I mentioned the i5 because it's more in line with the price of the AMD he's looking at and would boost the CPU performance higher for about the same costs.

EDIT: My reply and quote to you in no way shows I disagree with you. biggrin.gif

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post #6 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the quick replies!

 

When I say build, I do mean build from the ground up. I've got an Lain-Li Q25B case and all the storage drives. Everything else is up for replacement.

These will be constant: 120gig SSD boot (suggestions?), 5x 2TB WD green drives (Flexraided), Seasonic SSR-360 80 Plus Gold PSU

 

I'm thinking either A10-7850k/ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+, 8GB GKsill DDR3 1600 ram

or

i3-4340 (I had the wrong number before) and ASUS H87I-Plus or ASRock Z87E-ITX plus 8GB ram of some sort. I didn't realize the i5-4570 was so close to the A10 in price at microcenter! I guess we could throw that in the mix as well. Would I be better off adding a cheapish PCIex4 controller card to a cheaper mobo to get the SATA ports I need?

 

This isn't my first rodeo building computers, but it is my first as a dedicated HTPC instead of using hand-me-down scrap parts. My Core 2 build started as a pure server, but plans changed (mostly I got married), space is now at a premium, and the wife-acceptance-factor has to remain high!

 

I've got a Microcenter nearby, but that doesn't mean I'm stuck shopping there.

 

I'd be thrilled if I could do some light gaming on the system actually, but that wouldn't be my priority. GRID and GRID 2 are my favorite PC games, and the wife like old fashioned Command and Conquer.

 

This is in theory a 24/7 system, so low power is good, but from what I saw on Hardware Cannucks, Kaveri and Haswell both idle very well.

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post #7 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 11:27 AM
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In that case I would get the 4670K because it would transcode better and is generally faster- it's also pretty power efficient. The microcenter combo deal puts it right inline with your budget and prices you are looking at. You can overclocked it a little (just raise the multplier in the BIOS from 34 to 39) even on the stock cooler and it should run normal activities very power efficient and cool- it will drop down to 800mhz at idle and would only engage the high clock speed under heavy stress when needed (which basically is never) but it's there if you need it.

I run my 4470K this way (4200mhz) and it's almost always 1600mhz or 800mhz anyways but it's super fast and super nice to jump to life when opening a program for a split second or doing something intensive like quickly unzipping a winrar file.

It's kind of like having your cake and eating it too. Your HTPC won't get hotter or consumer more power under normal activitiy but the performance envelope is expanded upon and boot and program launches are much quicker.

Also- because PLEX and MB server tend to transcode to a file locally in chunks it increases the performance in those activities but won't necessarily heat up your system because it's more like burst events- not a constant maxing out of your PC. It actually does them better in the event you have a few transcodes at once- and prevents stuttering.

I never thought this would be an issue for me, but it seems like as my media grew and my server grew I was more inclined to share it. My parents stream from my plex via their ROKU- and I watch on my ipad all the time too. Wife might be watching somthing on the plasma on our own ROKU... It's not so crazy to think you might have this happen at some point so I'd choose the CPU over the GPU in your case and grab the i5 unless you want to game. Usually you can just add a GPU card later pretty easy instead- and the 4670K is a better gaming CPU too with a GPU card.

As far as SSD the Samsung EVO is the best choice for budget and the Samsung PRO is the best choice period. Notable mentions if deals are found are OCZ VERTEX 450/460 and VECTOR series- (uses better NAND inside than the EVO more equal to the PRO) the Corsair Neutrons, and Plextor M5 PRO. I'd avoid crucial at all costs unless it' super cheap- and I would avoid a Sandforce based drive unless it's cheap (they usually are) and you are tight on budget.

The best two SSD controllers these days are the Indilix Barefoot controller (OCZ) and the MDX controller (Samsung) so I tend to choose either of those based on price. The difference in product lines is usually what NAND they use inside. VECTOR would be like Sammy PRO- basically equal. I'd choose the Sammy at the same price, but barely. The Vertex450 and 460 are more in line with the EVO sammy. All are good choices. I don't see deals on the others as often.

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post #8 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 11:44 AM
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Same situation few days ago, probably better Amd if you don't want to add a video card, but if you are planning to add a video card in the future choose intel
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post #9 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Mfusic, the i5 in my price range is a non-K. Would you still go with the i5?

 

I'd rather not put a GFX card in the HTPC for simplicity and power's sake. Are the integrated Haswell and Kaveri graphics plenty for now? I know past IGP's were crap, but I've not built something that wasn't an office PC without a dedicated card in a long time. Would the new AMD graphics be good enough to play GRID at 1080? It plays nicely (65+ FPS) on ultra graphics on my 4GHz e8400 and GTS 250 at 1050...

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post #10 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preludeman92 View Post

Mfusic, the i5 in my price range is a non-K. Would you still go with the i5?

I'd rather not put a GFX card in the HTPC for simplicity and power's sake. Are the integrated Haswell and Kaveri graphics plenty for now? I know past IGP's were crap, but I've not built something that wasn't an office PC without a dedicated card in a long time. Would the new AMD graphics be good enough to play GRID at 1080? It plays nicely (65+ FPS) on ultra graphics on my 4GHz e8400 and GTS 250 at 1050...

Both graphics are more than enough either HD4600 Intel or AMD. I think both CPU would be an upgrade for you. A 4670K would probably blow your mind how fast it was on something like a 128GB Samsung PRO for the OS drive. It's a huge difference. I had an E8500 @3.8ghz on a Vertex2 and the difference is night and day.

If you want to play DIRT get the AMD, but the non K Intel would still pull it off just fine.

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post #11 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 12:45 PM
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K model is unlocked for easy overclocking. Since this is an HTPC, stability and noise is the priority over overclocking. I'd pick non-K model to save a few bucks.

Also, for AMD, don't forget you often need an aftermarket CPU cooler because it runs hotter and OEM cooler maynot be enough. Add that into the cost, you will see AMD is no longer that cost effective.

And I agree with moving up to core-i5 if transcoding is important to you.
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post #12 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post


Both graphics are more than enough either HD4600 Intel or AMD. I think both CPU would be an upgrade for you. A 4670K would probably blow your mind how fast it was on something like a 128GB Samsung PRO for the OS drive. It's a huge difference. I had an E8500 @3.8ghz on a Vertex2 and the difference is night and day.

If you want to play DIRT get the AMD, but the non K Intel would still pull it off just fine.


I'm a mechanical engineer running SolidWorks almost all day every day at work, so they keep my hardware pretty current. Since gen 2 "core" architecture I've been working with the low level i7s but they have never given me a SSD to go along with 8-24 GBs ram and a nice Quadro GFX card. I suppose that's why my desktop is still rocking an E8400 at 4GHz. It just never seemed much faster for general use. However, I just put an Intel 335 SSD in my Core2 rig at home and it flies most of the time... it's definitely slow when I go to convert video or do some Solidworks analysis, but it's generally fast enough.

 

You think the IGP on either setup would actually play 5 year old games at reasonable frame/detail rates? I'd like to avoid building another computer simply so I can play what few games I play on it for whenever that Core2 setup dies.

 

I suppose I'd really like to avoid doing anything to the computer for 4-5 years and I'd rather not do an add-in GFX card in the near future.

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post #13 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preludeman92 View Post


I'm a mechanical engineer running SolidWorks almost all day every day at work, so they keep my hardware pretty current. Since gen 2 "core" architecture I've been working with the low level i7s but they have never given me a SSD to go along with 8-24 GBs ram and a nice Quadro GFX card. I suppose that's why my desktop is still rocking an E8400 at 4GHz. It just never seemed much faster for general use. However, I just put an Intel 335 SSD in my Core2 rig at home and it flies most of the time... it's definitely slow when I go to convert video or do some Solidworks analysis, but it's generally fast enough.

You think the IGP on either setup would actually play 5 year old games at reasonable frame/detail rates? I'd like to avoid building another computer simply so I can play what few games I play on it for whenever that Core2 setup dies.

I suppose I'd really like to avoid doing anything to the computer for 4-5 years and I'd rather not do an add-in GFX card in the near future.

Yup. You can't understate the benefits of a fast SSD for your OS, it breathes new life into even older systems. On modern higher end machines it makes them fly !

Either iGPU would serve you well. The intel is the better CPU but the new AMD is very nice, and it has a better GPU. Pick your poison.

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post #14 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay. It's too bad I didn't get the wife to want this back in February when Microcenter had everything on sale :(

 

I guess now I need to figure out FlexRaid vs SnapRaid? I'm stuck with an all in one solution for HTPC and its media since I'm desperately lacking space for 2 towers, so unraid is not an option...

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post #15 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preludeman92 View Post

Okay. It's too bad I didn't get the wife to want this back in February when Microcenter had everything on sale frown.gif

I guess now I need to figure out FlexRaid vs SnapRaid? I'm stuck with an all in one solution for HTPC and its media since I'm desperately lacking space for 2 towers, so unraid is not an option...

I prefer FlexRAID because it combines drive pooling with the parity based software RAID features all in one easy to use package. Less points of failure and fewer pieces of software than using seperate programs for each means that if something goes wrong it's easier to fix and more stable and consistent.

You could use SnapRAID + something like drive pool to get the same effect but then you'll need to trouble shoot and figure out which software caused the issue, and if you require support it's a pain to obtain.

Flexraid also allows you unlimited amounts of PPU drives (parity drives) so if you want to grow it's a much better option IMO, since with Snapraid you are limited here. If you wanted support for 3 or 4 simultaneous failures or wanted to build say a 30+ drive server you basically couldn't with SnapRAID but you could with FLEXRAID.

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post #16 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for asking maybe a stupid/simple question, but both Kaveri and Haswell both support 7.1 audio via HDMI, correct? While I'm not super worried about 24FPS (I think my AVR strips that and makes everything 60FPS) I do want/need good audio support. That is something I've always missed and probably the biggest reason I never ripped all of my BRs.

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post #17 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 07:35 PM
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Yes. They can both stream 7.1 HD audio via HDMI to your AVR.

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post #18 of 44 Old 03-14-2014, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Flexraid also allows you unlimited amounts of PPU drives (parity drives) so if you want to grow it's a much better option IMO, since with Snapraid you are limited here. If you wanted support for 3 or 4 simultaneous failures or wanted to build say a 30+ drive server you basically couldn't with SnapRAID but you could with FLEXRAID.

False. SnapRAID supports up to 6 parity drives.
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post #19 of 44 Old 03-15-2014, 07:31 AM
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False. SnapRAID supports up to 6 parity drives.

When did that change ?

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post #20 of 44 Old 03-15-2014, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

When did that change ?

This happened in November of last year. From the SnapRAID changelog:
Quote:
5.0 2013/11
===========
* Added support for up to six levels of parity.
* Added a specific and faster triple parity format for CPUs that
don't support SSSE3 instructions like ARM and AMD Phenom, Athlon
and Opteron.
* Faster RAID5 and RAID6 implementation for ARM 64 bit CPUs.
* If a silent error is found during a "sync" command, directly marks
the block as bad like in "scrub", without stopping the the "sync"
process.
* Sort files by inode when listing the directory. This improves
the scanning performance.
* For files with changes only in some blocks, updates the parity
only for blocks that really are changed.
This improves the performance in sync for modified files.
* Added a new "list" command to see the stored list of files.
* Removed the detailed list of errors from the screen output.
To get it you must explicitely use the -l, --log option.
It's now too detailed for the screen, because it contains a lot
of info.
* Changed the output format of some commands to make it similar
at the new "list" one.
* Reduced memory usage removing some unnecessary allocations.
* Added a memory test on the memory buffers used in sync/scrub/check/fix
before using them.

I tried to get the word out here by posting on the SnapRAID thread here on AVS. Link to that post, which is still the latest one as of today:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1329348/snapraid-an-open-source-alternative-to-unraid-and-flexraid/210#post_23961683

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post #21 of 44 Old 03-15-2014, 12:05 PM
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Learn something everyday I guess. I'm a Flexraid guy anyways.

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post #22 of 44 Old 03-15-2014, 04:09 PM
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Just thought I'd mention this -
According to the Micro Center sale flyer / catalog, only the K series Intel CPUs qualify for the $30-$50 bundle savings with a mobo. An i5-4570 is $30 cheaper than the i5-4670K but then you don't get the $30 bundle savings. IOW it will cost the same both ways. The i3-4340 is an exception & also qualifies for the bundle discount.
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post #23 of 44 Old 03-17-2014, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Many thanks to all for the help. I guess I'm going to look for the better deal. I've almost always used Intel, but have always wanted to try one of the new APUs. I guess it's down to where I can find a better deal.

 

Thoughts on W7 vs W8 now? I've got W8 on my HTPC now and the wife seems to like it. Her Surface RT has made her not turn on her W7 laptop since she bought it, but she doesn't have an issue working with W7. I'm mostly indifferent.

 

Also, to save me some cable tangle, I'm thinking of using an mSATA SSD instead of a 2.5" one. Luckily, both boards I'm looking at feature an mSATA port! Now, Plextor M5M, Seamsung 840 EVO, Curcial M500, or Mushkin Enhanced Atlas? The Mushkin seems to be the popular one on Newegg.

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Or am I better off just working with 1 more cable set to use a 2.5" SSD?

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post #25 of 44 Old 03-17-2014, 03:49 PM
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I'm still using W7

W8 is on my list of things to do.

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post #26 of 44 Old 03-17-2014, 08:42 PM
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Intel solution is more like an appliance (there is not much room to tweak). A10-7850K is a lot fun, that could give superior image quality (for DVD and 720p in a 1080p/4K display) with madVR.

Crucial M500 mSATA / 2.5" is cheap (120GB for ~$70) and good, highly recommended for HTPC.

Either W7 or W8 is good for HTPC. Personally I would never go back to W7, even though it's a lot cheaper. (BTW W8 OEM allows you to switch systems, while W7 OEM does not, accoding to the license.)
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post #27 of 44 Old 03-18-2014, 06:47 AM
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Intel solution is more like an appliance (there is not much room to tweak). A10-7850K is a lot fun, that could give superior image quality (for DVD and 720p in a 1080p/4K display) with madVR.

Crucial M500 mSATA / 2.5" is cheap (120GB for ~$70) and good, highly recommended for HTPC.

Either W7 or W8 is good for HTPC. Personally I would never go back to W7, even though it's a lot cheaper. (BTW W8 OEM allows you to switch systems, while W7 OEM does not, accoding to the license.)

I didn't know that about w8

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post #28 of 44 Old 03-18-2014, 02:31 PM
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I would go with the i3-4130T. 35w tdp is killer for htpc build. Like others have stated the gpu in both are plenty for htpc and light gaming but if you plan to game a dedicated gpu will of course be better no matter which one you get. 

 

If it is still i3-4130 vs a10 then a10. 

 

Both are on new motherboards so both will last the this generation and next generations worth of chips. 

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post #29 of 44 Old 03-18-2014, 06:57 PM
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Do not go with a 4130"T" i3. If you are going with the Intel i3, just get the regular 4130, there's no reason to get the more expensive "T" version for HTPC use. Chances are you will never reach the max wattage on an HTPC. It's not worth the extra.

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post #30 of 44 Old 03-18-2014, 07:02 PM
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T version is just the normal version (x34) with a lower max clock mulitplier (x29). You can easily turn the normal one to T by lowering the max clock mulitplier in BIOS setup (roughly).
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