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Recommendation for new low power Win8 setup with Uefi

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I currently have an Athlon 605e setup with AND 785 chipset which gives me a 45w cpu and hardware h264 descaling. My biggest annoyance is that Win7 takes about 20secs to boot up into Media Center and I have experienced much quicker times with Win8 and the new fast boot when used in conjunction with UEFI. However, I am a bit out of touch with the current low power cpus so I was wondering if someone could recommend a setup. Ideally I would like all of the following:

1. Low power cpu as the htpc will be on for extended periods
2. UEFI compatible motherboard bios for fastest possible boot times
3. No need for gfx card to keep power down to a minimum.

I will be putting it inside a Silverstone CW03 case and connected via hdmi to a 1080p TV.
Thanks
Allan
post #2 of 23
Use an SSD for the fastest possible boot times on your current or any future HTPC. On a fairly low-powered system I recently built, an SSD booted a clean install of windows and Media Center so fast the network connection hadn't even started yet!
post #3 of 23
Intel i3 3220 + Asrock B75 PRO 3 (full ATX). Sips power, slaughters that old AMD CPU in anything you'll throw at it.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Intel i3 3220 + Asrock B75 PRO 3 (full ATX). Sips power, slaughters that old AMD CPU in anything you'll throw at it.

WOW, Tiddles recommending an Asrock board. Guess that Geico commercial with pigs flying really happened smile.gif
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Use an SSD for the fastest possible boot times on your current or any future HTPC. On a fairly low-powered system I recently built, an SSD booted a clean install of windows and Media Center so fast the network connection hadn't even started yet!

I should have said, but I am already using an SSD drive and it made a huge difference in booting times for Win7. Now the computer spends most of the time in POST, hence the want for UEFI.
Thanks
Allan
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Intel i3 3220 + Asrock B75 PRO 3 (full ATX). Sips power, slaughters that old AMD CPU in anything you'll throw at it.

Thanks for the recommendation. I just had a quick read up on this and it would seem that for the extra few bucks, the i3-3225 would be worth going for. I don't play many games on this machine but just in case it would be nice to have a little extra grunt.

Having said that, the 'equivalent' AMD chip would seem to be the A10-5800K. Looking at the specs, it consumes less power but doesn't have quite the CPU grunt as the i3, however the on-board gfx performance of the AMD seems to be a lot better than the i3.

So, what do people generally think about the AMD chip? I am leaning towards it mainly due to the lower power, but with a benefit of better gfx over cpu performance in mind too.

Thanks
Allan
post #7 of 23
Low power and trinity (especially a8 and a10) don't exactly go together which is one of the op's key requests.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanmb View Post

I should have said, but I am already using an SSD drive and it made a huge difference in booting times for Win7. Now the computer spends most of the time in POST, hence the want for UEFI.
Thanks
Allan

Anandtech has been recording post times of motherboards now for awhile. Take a look at the chart at the bottom: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6516/z77-mitx-roundup-five-of-the-best-msi-zotac-asrock-evga-and-asus/17

Unfortunately, to get really fast post times, you pretty much have to buy a pre-built OEM system. My home system takes more time to post (roughly 12 seconds with just about everything disabled) than to boot Windows 8 (roughly 10 seconds). If I didn't have to wait on post, I'd be way more inclined to fully shut my system down when I'm done using it. I guess I'm just horribly impatient, and should be glad that it's faster from power-on to using the system than it was ten years ago. Of course, it's also much longer than what power-on to using the system was twenty years ago.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

Anandtech has been recording post times of motherboards now for awhile. Take a look at the chart at the bottom: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6516/z77-mitx-roundup-five-of-the-best-msi-zotac-asrock-evga-and-asus/17
Unfortunately, to get really fast post times, you pretty much have to buy a pre-built OEM system. My home system takes more time to post (roughly 12 seconds with just about everything disabled) than to boot Windows 8 (roughly 10 seconds). If I didn't have to wait on post, I'd be way more inclined to fully shut my system down when I'm done using it. I guess I'm just horribly impatient, and should be glad that it's faster from power-on to using the system than it was ten years ago. Of course, it's also much longer than what power-on to using the system was twenty years ago.

I'm not sure if they are setting the UEFI boards correctly for fast boot. It's possible to get into Win8 from flicking the on switch in under 5 seconds! That is POST time plus windows 8 boot time. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdOAvlncCOw
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanmb View Post

So, what do people generally think about the AMD chip? I am leaning towards it mainly due to the lower power, but with a benefit of better gfx over cpu performance in mind too

What makes you think that it's lower power?

For the usage you initially described, I'd say an ivy i3 would use less power

The Asrock boards I've used (H61 and Z77) offer UEFI and an instant boot utility. Their FM1/FM2 boards offer this as well

Based on your first post, I can't see what you'd want a quad core for but if that's what really suits your fancy then I'd lean towards an ivy i5. I'm fortunate to live near several large computer retail stores that offer motherboards and boxed processors. If you are also near such an area, remember that you can purchase an i5-3570k and z77 motherboard for $235+tax (anywhere that will price match Microcenters printed ads)
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

What makes you think that it's lower power?
For the usage you initially described, I'd say an ivy i3 would use less power
The Asrock boards I've used (H61 and Z77) offer UEFI and an instant boot utility. Their FM1/FM2 boards offer this as well
Based on your first post, I can't see what you'd want a quad core for but if that's what really suits your fancy then I'd lean towards an ivy i5. I'm fortunate to live near several large computer retail stores that offer motherboards and boxed processors. If you are also near such an area, remember that you can purchase an i5-3570k and z77 motherboard for $235+tax (anywhere that will price match Microcenters printed ads)

The power ratings were quoted here: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/11/26/intel-core-i3-3220-review/7
It shows that the AMD is lower power on idle and higher power on load. For an HTPC the processor is much more towards the idle end so I think the AMD would be lower power on use as well as idle.

I agree though, I do not need quad core however if the power consumption is the same then I would go for the quad core over a dual core for the few times I could use it. Although it is not greatly important to me to have the quad core.
post #12 of 23
What's shown in that bar chart is not the whole picture

Check out this guy's i3 http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/6112/85w-core-i3-based-desktop-computer-%28english%29.html

The idle wattage is very efficient in both Ivy Bridge and the Panther Point PCH. It's the PSU and other junk on the motherboard that keep us from really seeing 20W idles regularly

Here is a link with some Idle vs load comparisons of the same processor but used in different A75 boards. Idles vary a lot http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Roundups/amd_a75_motherboard_roundup/12.html

There are similar roundups out there for 6 series and 7 series Intel boards
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanmb View Post

I'm not sure if they are setting the UEFI boards correctly for fast boot. It's possible to get into Win8 from flicking the on switch in under 5 seconds! That is POST time plus windows 8 boot time. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdOAvlncCOw

I've never actually seen any proof of anyone doing that from a fully powered off system - forums are filled with questions on how to make that happen, and no success stories that I've found. I'd absolutely love to see it happen on consumer hardware, but I have yet to see it.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

What's shown in that bar chart is not the whole picture
Check out this guy's i3 http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/6112/85w-core-i3-based-desktop-computer-%28english%29.html
The idle wattage is very efficient in both Ivy Bridge and the Panther Point PCH. It's the PSU and other junk on the motherboard that keep us from really seeing 20W idles regularly
Here is a link with some Idle vs load comparisons of the same processor but used in different A75 boards. Idles vary a lot http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Roundups/amd_a75_motherboard_roundup/12.html
There are similar roundups out there for 6 series and 7 series Intel boards

His newer project is here:
http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/8217/fluffy2-59-watt-high-end-desktop-computer.html
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/135719-5-9-watts-the-worlds-most-efficient-high-end-computer

The DQ77KB that guy starts with is already has a pretty good built in DC psu though. I see nice low idles with my setups on the same board, I'll have to hook up the meter again and take some pictures.

It also has UEFI and can be set up to boot pretty fast. Also a lot of people forget to tweak the windows part of the boot to skip the logo and such, easy way to lose a few seconds.
post #15 of 23
Intel should hire this guy if they wanted to start making their own ultrabooks
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

I've never actually seen any proof of anyone doing that from a fully powered off system - forums are filled with questions on how to make that happen, and no success stories that I've found. I'd absolutely love to see it happen on consumer hardware, but I have yet to see it.

Its definitely possible. My desktop PC boots into Win8 in around 7 seconds!
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanmb View Post

Its definitely possible. My desktop PC boots into Win8 in around 7 seconds!

Is this an OEM system, or custom built? And is that from full power off to desktop/login screen (not sleep/hibernate)?
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanmb View Post

The power ratings were quoted here: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/11/26/intel-core-i3-3220-review/7
It shows that the AMD is lower power on idle and higher power on load. For an HTPC the processor is much more towards the idle end so I think the AMD would be lower power on use as well as idle.
I agree though, I do not need quad core however if the power consumption is the same then I would go for the quad core over a dual core for the few times I could use it. Although it is not greatly important to me to have the quad core.

Its 55w for Intel and 100w for AMD. No contest. Get the i3, faster, cooler and the onboard GPU is sufficient for your needs.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

Is this an OEM system, or custom built? And is that from full power off to desktop/login screen (not sleep/hibernate)?

It's a custom build using this mobo: Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE Z77 Socket 1155 8 Channel HD Audio ATX Motherboard

And that is from power off into Windows 8 desktop
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Its 55w for Intel and 100w for AMD. No contest. Get the i3, faster, cooler and the onboard GPU is sufficient for your needs.

You are correct. I have, however, just read about the AMD A10 5700 which has a TDP of 65w. It would seem that this chip is much lower power than the Intel during Idle and lower under full load unless you are using the IGPs. This is my current preference so far as I think it would be :

- the lowest power of the bunch
- has best IGP perfomance if needed

Bearing in mind that I don't need the CPU performance that any of these chips deliver, if I did then the Intel would be the winner. Also, I will not have a separate gfx card in the setup to reduce power so the AMD provides the best balance for my needs, I think!
post #21 of 23
TDP comparisons are completely irrelevant for the duty these chips will see in an HTPC

I don't know if it wasn't clear before, but if you compare the least efficient AMD mobo with the A10 5700 with the most efficient Intel mobo and an i7 3770k THEN the Intel would idle at lower wattage

Look at the links Aluminum posted, the guy in that blog built an i5-3570k to idle at 5.9 watts

Try and find any A10 that idles less than 2 times that
Edited by Dark_Slayer - 1/10/13 at 1:18pm
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

TDP comparisons are completely irrelevant for the duty these chips will see in an HTPC

I don't know if it wasn't clear before, but if you compare the least efficient AMD mobo with the A10 5700 with the most efficient Intel mobo and an i7 3770k and the Intel would idle at lower wattage

Look at the links Aluminum posted, the guy in that blog built an i5-3570k to idle at 5.9 watts

Try and find any A10 that idles less than 2 times that

I understand that TDP is not the only indication of a low power build. I had a look at the links provided and I am not willing to go to those extents of soldering the motherboard. I would also like a larger motherboard as I have a couple of TV capture cards to attach, so mATX is the smallest I would be willing to go to.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanmb View Post

I understand that TDP is not the only indication of a low power build. I had a look at the links provided and I am not willing to go to those extents of soldering the motherboard. I would also like a larger motherboard as I have a couple of TV capture cards to attach, so mATX is the smallest I would be willing to go to.

If you're looking for a low-power micro ATX motherboard to pair with the A10-5700, I recommend the GIGABYTE GA-F2A75M-D3H. If I recall correctly, Silent PC Review found that it idles a few watts lower than the ASUS A85 chipset mobo.
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