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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently I have an E-350 in a mini itx case. I want to upgrade CPUs. I'm currently looking at the A6-5400K or Pentium G2020, though if another CPU is lot better or worth extra cash, feel free to slap me with a piece of fish and tell me what I should get.


What my HTPC does:
  • Windows Media Center 7
  • Streams/Records live TV from HD HomeRun prime
  • Netflix HD (this kills the E-350)
  • Youtube HD
  • SMB file server w/ USB external HD (this kills the E-350 sometimes)
  • Media center extender for an xbox (this kills the E-350 as well)
  • Sling catcher HD
  • MLB.TV HD
  • Plays 1080p H.264 DD/DTS 5.1 movies
  • Outputs 1080p & DD/DTS 5.1 via HDMI to Yamaha RX-V573 AV receiver. No 3D, nor do I plan on needing 3D.

EDIT: Specs:
  • MSI E-350 APU on Mini ITX board (want to upgrade)
  • 2x4GB DDR3-1333
  • Antec ISK300-65 Mini ITX case. Will upgrade power brick to around 120 watts - included mini PSU is 135W but stock power brick is 65 watts
  • 120 GB Kingston SSD
  • 1 TB USB 2.0 HD
 

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If you plan on using integrated graphics, go with the AMD chip.


The Intel chip will be lower power and more powerful CPU, but it's GPU suffers from the 24hz problem. In other words, it rounds the 23.997hz of films to 24hz. In order to keep audio from getting out of sync, this results in a skipped frame every x frames (forget how often.


Most of the time it's not noticeable, but during camera pans and a lot of mmotion, some people get really really bothered by it.


The integrated AMD GPU's do not have this problem.


Also worth noting is, if instead of upgrading hardware, you upgrade to Windows 8, you can download the Windows 8 Netflix app, which doesn't use Silverlight. Because of this, it can use proper GPU acceleration in video stream decodes, and SHOULD play netflix HD just fine.


(It plays just fine on my Athlon X2 at 1.5Ghz and Radeon HD3200 IGP in my Dell Zino.)


This won't be integrated into WMC though, but will be a separate program. The Windows 8 start screen looks obnoxious for desktops and laptops, but for a HTPC it actually looks pretty awesome, and is controllable using a WMC remote.


Also worth noting, they did a lot of optimizations, particularly as media is concerned in Windows 8. Going from Vista Basic to Windows 8, my old Dell went from skipping a little during particularly high bitrate encodes, to playing everything smoothly.


I was going to build a new HTPC using an ADM A10 socket FM2, but decided to try the windows upgrade (and some ram) first, and I'm happy I did, as now I think I can save the money the new build was going to cost me.


Just some things to keep in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I plan on using integrated graphics. Good to know about the 24hz problem. I don't plan on doing any gaming.


Although I like the idea, I don't think upgrading to win8 is enough, because even though it solves the netflix HD problem, I'd still have issues with the USB CPU %. The E-350 simply just isn't powerful enough for what i need this to do. It's constantly under heavy load, and I'd rather have a CPU than can handle it easily.


How are intel drivers? I know AMDs are bad.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesm113  /t/1468743/need-cpu-advice-a6-5400k-pentium-g2020-or#post_23219305


How are intel drivers? I know AMDs are bad.

I have (and have had) a few systems with both.


I'd say AMD's and Intels graphics drivers are pretty equivalent.


I think calling AMD"s drivers "bad" is a little bit of an exaggeration. I mean, they HAVE had some issues in Crossfire (multi-GPU gaming) but in single GPU/Multimedia type stuff, I ahve found them to be really rather good. Nothing lives up to the bar set by Nvidia though. Their drivers still rule the roost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is the 24hz Intel issue still a problem? Anandtech says it's solved


Bottom line though, I want to have enough processing power left over to decode Netflix HD while watching an 1080p movie on one extender and watching a 1080i HD home run stream on another extender. The E-350 falls way short of that. How would the A6 or G2020 handle those loads? What about the A8-5500?


Thanks!
 
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