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Discussion Starter #1



The time has come.




Tiiiime to upgrade the current HTPC to a sleek, more-advanced, more-efficient son of a gun with the new parts that will be available within a month or two. Can you believe that it will be here that fast? Haswell is right around the corner! With Haswell, we have new IGPs (Integrated Graphics Processor) which Intel claims to be 2-3x faster than last-gen IGPs. Add to that even more performance-per-clock and better energy efficiency (I hope). Of course the temps will be a little better with said energy efficiency. Wooooh!!


Here's a list of my possible Haswell build upgrades:

•i7 4770S (w/ Intel HD4600 Graphics)

•LGA 1150 ITX mobo

•8GB of DDR3 (CAS 7)

•Samsung 840 Pro SSD



Added to the two unannounced upgrades that were added to the base system :

•ASUS Xonar Essence STX PCI-e sound card

•HiFiMAN HE-400 headphones



I don't know about you, but, I'm pretty doggone enthusiastic about Haswell. But, what about you? How do you feel about Haswell? Are you planning an upgrade or two as well?



EDIT *10/27/2013* - A few performance runs from my Haswell build!
 

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The rumors I've heard say that GT3 and GT3e graphics will not be available on the socketed CPUs. Since only GT3 and GT3e have 40 execution units, and the GT2 that will be available for socketed CPUs has only 20 execution units, I would not expect a large increase in IGP performance over Ivy Bridge (GT2 = 16 EUs) if you are going to use a socketed Haswell CPU.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

 

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It appears there will be R-version CPUs with the GT3e graphics, but they are BGA-only (not socketed). Possibly you might be able to buy a motherboard / CPU combo with an R-version CPU already soldered on. This is breaking new ground for Intel, as Intel slowly executes their plan to cut down on socketed CPUs, so it is hard to say at this point what will be available.
 

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I am really hoping there will be -R version thin mini-ITX motherboards. Please, please, please.


There are -R versions of AMD Trinity ("eTrinity") but I haven't been able to find any mini-ITX motherboards other than some ridiculous Kontron ones I was quote for $450 (dual-core) to $600 (quad-core) each. I don't think so.
 

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It looks like Intel HD Graphics 4600 (GT2) is still a lot slower than AMD Trinity (no wonder, 16 EUs in Intel HD Graphics 4000 vs 20 EUs in 4600, only 25% increase). Intel Iris (Pro) graphics 5200 (GT3/GT3e) has 40 EUs and may be equivalent to the fastest Trinity A10-5400K, but available only in SoC models ("U series") without PCI Express x16 lanes (so no chance of adding a discrete graphics, that's the main reason why GT3/GT3e are implemented only in U series).




But the number of EUs has almost nothing to do with PQ in video playback. It's video processing algorithms and hardware to execute them that matters. Most of Intel's video playback algorithms are done in not EUs but ASICs (application-specific ICs). So PQ may be more or less the same as the current SNB / IVB, unless Intel implements new algorithms in the driver. (MadVR's best algorithms are out of question in Haswell anyway.)


There are a couple of things we want to see in Haswell related to video playback:


- Precise 23.976Hz. Hopefully Haswell is a lot better than SNB/IVB.

- Full-range RGB output support (perhaps we shouldn't expect this considering the current status of the driver)

- 4K UHD support (via DP 1.2, up to 60Hz) is a nice addition. But ASICs in Haswell are good enough to upscale SD/HD film/video to 4K UHD in its best algorithm (Lanczos)?


Other points to consider are:


1. There is a USB 3.0 bug in the 8 series chipsets C1-stepping. Motherboards with C2-stepping chipsets that fixes the bug are available only in late August - early September.

2. Only quad-core processors ($175-) are released in June. Dual-core processors are available in September.
 

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I am looking forward to this new chip because I am tired of AMD drivers. I was an AMD supporter for a long time, but they slowly wore me down. I hope to find a BGA micro ATX or ATX board (want a full sized board if possible). If not, then I go socketed.
 

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Both Sandybridge and Ivybridge works well in my HTPC's so I see no reason to upgrade. Is there a benefit that I may not be aware of?


David
 

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A lap around Haswell media: There are lots of improvements and new features, but not many of them are purely HTPC-related. Personally I am interested in Frame Rate Conversion.


What's new for Haswell media:




Let's look at each critically.


MFX (Multi-Format Codec; hardware decoder / encoder)


- SVC support: for, for example, multi-party video conference across different devices, no direct relation to HTPC.

- MJPEG decode: good for a low power system, but..

- MPEG2 encode: for example, good for low power DVD creation, no direct relation to HTPC of course.

- Improved Quick Sync encoder: nice if you use this encoder to shorten encoding time.

Video Processing


The following two look interesting in video playback:


- Smooth Video through Frame Rate Conversion: I am not sure which this is equivalent to, madVR's Smooth Motion FRC or SVP (Smooth Video Project). If it works, it will be nice anyway. (But I would like to see improved 23.976Hz first.)




- Gamut Expansion: Something new.




- Skin Tone Tuned Image Enhancement: If you like this type of image enhancements, this will be nice. (Personally I never turn it on.)




- Image Stabilization: removes shakiness from captured video, no direct relation to HTPC.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidT99  /t/1471924/new-build-incoming-getting-ready-for-haswell-are-you-ready#post_23295127


Both Sandybridge and Ivybridge works well in my HTPC's so I see no reason to upgrade. Is there a benefit that I may not be aware of?


David

Nope. You're not missing anything. ES chips have already been benchmarked and we've seen Haswell is providing a pitiful increase in performance with no improvements in temps. Intel regularly makes 10% jumps in performance across the board between generations and the Gen3 to Gen4 jump is only 3~5% with almost not useful feature enhancements or additions. Since Intel chips typically stay at the same price until they are at least 3 generations old I would only recommend Haswell to people building new. If you're running Sandy/Ivy there is no reason to upgrade.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb  /t/1471924/new-build-incoming-getting-ready-for-haswell-are-you-ready#post_23295619


Nope. You're not missing anything. ES chips have already been benchmarked and we've seen Haswell is providing a pitiful increase in performance with no improvements in temps. Intel regularly makes 10% jumps in performance across the board between generations and the Gen3 to Gen4 jump is only 3~5% with almost not useful feature enhancements or additions. Since Intel chips typically stay at the same price until they are at least 3 generations old I would only recommend Haswell to people building new. If you're running Sandy/Ivy there is no reason to upgrade.

My feelings exactly. If your Sandy/Ivy or AMD Trinity HTPC is running well then it's probably better to skip a generation to get any real advantage.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx  /t/1471924/new-build-incoming-getting-ready-for-haswell-are-you-ready#post_23295244


- Smooth Video through Frame Rate Conversion: I am not sure which this is equivalent to, madVR's Smooth Motion FRC or SVP (Smooth Video Project). If it works, it will be nice anyway. (But I would like to see improved 23.976Hz first.)

The slide says "motion estimation and motion compensation to interpolate the missing frames", that's not what MadVR is doing (it's not doing any motion estimation/compensation) but is what SVP and the "120Hz" mode on LCD TVs do.
 

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You are right, it's more like so-called frame interpolation. SVP requires lots of CPU / GPU processing power. It's interesting to see how effectively Intel's ASIC/EU does it.


MadVR's FRC remains unique.
 

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Well, I'm definitely building a Haswell media PC with the high-end 4-core/8-thread CPU. Probably with the Prodigy case or the larger sized ATX/mATX version of Prodigy that Bitfenix has teased.
 

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The thing about Haswell that I'm most interested in is the direction Intel is taking with low power states.


About a 90% decrease in minimum power requirements. PSU manufacturers appear to be lining up to follow suit. The more i/o they move into the PCH (or cpu) the better. Motherboard manufacturers don't really have any incentive or market to cater to in this regard, so as long as they are in charge of the design they'll take the quicker/cheaper way out which results in unnecessary power consumption. The more control Intel has of the i/o the more energy efficient it will become since they are trying so hard to make a splash in the mobile/embedded systems world.


I truly hope that NAND prices continue to plummet as well, then my overarching dream that my next server iteration could be capable of 1W idle would be that much closer to reality. Still a ways off, but it would be nice to have the grunt of a Xeon with the idle of a A6
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan  /t/1471924/new-build-incoming-getting-ready-for-haswell-are-you-ready#post_23299598


One dual core i5 cpu is being released in June but it'll probably be pricey by HTPC standards. http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/31336-two-desktop-haswells-are-35w-chips

Those -T series chips are generally harder to buy as an end-user, but I'll be very interested in the 35W i7-4765T or maybe the 45W i7-4770T myself for a gaming HTPC.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'll be running this build off a PicoPSU 150W, so, the 65W TDP is a plus.
 
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