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What powers your HTPC?

  • AMD/ATI Graphics

    Votes: 27 35.5%
  • NVidia Graphics

    Votes: 14 18.4%
  • Intel Graphics (Sandy Bridge or newer)

    Votes: 24 31.6%
  • Intel CPU (Sandy Bridge and newer) with AMD/ATI Graphics

    Votes: 12 15.8%
  • Intel CPU (Sandy Bridge and newer) with NVidia Graphics

    Votes: 10 13.2%
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Since going with 4x 360s as extenders, my HTPC has become headless. So Intel Ivy Bridge iGPU. Before that I had an Nvidia card when the HTPC got used as a viewing device.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's not a scientific poll by any means so I'm ok if people with extenders want to answer the poll with what they *would* be using if the extenders were PCs.
 

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That's why I let you know what I was using when I was using my HTPC for viewing purposes



It was a GeForce 210 for a long time seeing as I preferred the Nvidia PQ over AMD and didn't do any madVR or the like; just needed HDMI. I also used a GeForce 650 Ti Boost 2GB in it for a while as well when I was gaming on it also via Steam Big Picture. My setups have changed a lot over the years. I've since gone for just simplicity in my current setup.


If I were to ever go back to viewing on the HTPC, I would throw the 210 back in; or the 650 if I planned on gaming on it again. Though with Steam in Home Streaming (which I am in the Beta for), I would probably try using the 210 first. It works pretty well on low end hardware (which I am testing on another rig ATM).
 

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Current system is an Ivy Bridge i3 with Intel onboard graphics and it's just not quite good enough. 1080p playback is flawless but certain standard definition files (not all) stutter and I can't stand it. Hopefully my new rig with a Haswell i5 & Radeon R9 270 + MadVR will cure that problem for me.
 

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I'm still rocking my 3570k and 6870 Radeon.


I've been itching to replace/upgrade for about a year but I can never seem to find a good reason other than it simply would be cool.


I think I'm about to the point where my next HTPC is going to be a trickle down hand me down from my desktop (4770k + R270x) I'd like to upgrade that I think, which would let me use my desktop as the HTPC and the i5 3570k will become my office PC. My office PC now is only a G860 3.0ghz Pentium because I swapped that out from my Flexraid server for the 2600k i7 so I could transcode better on my media server.


I'm anxiously waiting for the next generation CPUs due soon before I make my decision.
 

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I'm using the HTPC as a DVR. CPU is a dual core Pentium G620. Originally used the Intel integrated graphics but was experiencing some stuttering due to the 29/59 bug on some older SD programs. So an HD6450 video card was added which took care of the stuttering problem.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by techmattr  /t/1520533/what-powers-your-htpc/0_100#post_24430328


For a standalone HTPC just used for media playback you can't beat AMD APUs in my opinion.

Well you certainly can beat them in terms of Noise/heat/Energy profile, and you certainly can beat them in efficiency and CPU power. Intel isn't just more efficient, but they are more powerful too.


But I do understand what you are saying, that for basic playback AMD are cheaper and handle video well.
 

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AMD A8-3820 in livingroom

Intel G620 in bedroom (soon to be replaced by a fanless E1-2100 Kabini system that uses only 18W max, 12-14W for live TV/movies - amazing stuff Kabini).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick  /t/1520533/what-powers-your-htpc#post_24430766


Well you certainly can beat them in terms of Noise/heat/Energy profile, and you certainly can beat them in efficiency and CPU power. Intel isn't just more efficient, but they are more powerful too.


But I do understand what you are saying, that for basic playback AMD are cheaper and handle video well.

AMD APUs aren't really designed to compete against Core series CPUs in terms of core processing power. They are designed to be cost effective graphics power houses. Which they are. Most of the Richland and Trinity APUs are 65W which is competitive with Intel's mainstream Core CPUs. If you aren't using madvr or encoding on the same box then you don't need the CPU power. Plus I can build an entire AMD HTPC for the cost of a single i5-4670k


And in my experience the video looks better with AMD APU graphics, the bitstreaming works flawlessly and when sound processing is required it sounds better. That's all my opinion though. My overall experience with HTPCs has just been better with AMD.

All my PCs (gaming/workstation) and Servers are Intel and all of my HTPCs are AMD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion  /t/1520533/what-powers-your-htpc#post_24432323


AMD A8-3820 in livingroom

Intel G620 in bedroom (soon to be replaced by a fanless E1-2100 Kabini system that uses only 18W max, 12-14W for live TV/movies - amazing stuff Kabini).

Does it do full lossless audio?


Does it do MadVR at Level 5?


I haven't heard of it before now and my interest is peaked on this for a client unit.
 

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Recently went headless and clustered all the standalone HTPCs using VMware with Apple TV3s as the front end. So my compute is Intel Ivy Bridge.
 

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My main HTPC is still a 45w Athlon II 245e and AMD4670. Plays everything perfect, and is low power to boot. Recently upgraded the O/S disk to an SSD, but that's about it. All other media playback around the house are dedicated units (NeoTV 550, 2 x Roku 2 XS and a Chromecast - all running off Plex).


If I was to upgrade now, I'd seriously consider an AMD APU. Nothing comes close for VFM.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1520533/what-powers-your-htpc#post_24433402


Does it do full lossless audio?


Does it do MadVR at Level 5?


I haven't heard of it before now and my interest is peaked on this for a client unit.


I'd also love to know if the E1-2100 Kabini can do HD audio. Been searching around a bit and found that Openelec says they introduced HD audio support for AMD GPUs in 3.2.3 in October and in the posted response to the release announcement one user with an E350 (Asus E35M1-I Deluxe) confirmed they got it to work. That would be with HD 6310 onboard graphics vs. HD 8210 w/the E1-2100 so if that report is true then it seems like it should work at least with Openelec. Would love to get some more confirmation of that of course but it at least sounds promising.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1520533/what-powers-your-htpc#post_24433402


Does it do full lossless audio?

It's supposed to but I haven't tried it. My bedroom HTPC is just stereo via TV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1520533/what-powers-your-htpc#post_24433402


Does it do MadVR at Level 5?

Not sure. It won't do Netflix HD in WIndows 7 (Silverlight). It does all other 1080p I've tried just fine though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1520533/what-powers-your-htpc#post_24433402


I haven't heard of it before now and my interest is peaked on this for a client unit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135364

Wait for it to go back down to $58.99 and becomes only $35 after rebate.


I am powering it with a external hard drive AC adapter (12V 2A) and a picoPSU-80. I have a Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD and 4GB (1 x 4GB) stick. It draws 18W with Prime95. It's quick enough in Windows, does live TV fine, 1080p fine and interactions in WMC were fine. The only slowness I noticed is it's a little longer to launch an app and installing apps is pretty slow when unzipping.
 
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