which would you buy for HTPC?

xXaNaXx

Gawd
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May 15, 2003
Messages
935
i'm thinking about building a new HTPC that's much smaller and much less power-hungry than the current C2D E8400 system that i'm using right now, and i've got a couple different systems spec'ed out.

i already have a PSU & an old SSD that i will be using, so all i need is case, RAM, APU & mobo.

what do you think of these (case & RAM are the same in both)?:

AMD Setup:
Case: DIYPC HTPC-Cube-BK $39.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB $34.99
Motherboard: MSI AM1I Mini-ITX $29.99
APU: AMD Athlon 5150 $42.99
TOTAL: $147.96

Intel Setup:
Case: DIYPC HTPC-Cube-BK $39.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB $34.99
Motherboard: ASRock H61MV-ITX $48.99
APU: Intel Celeron G1610 $49.99
TOTAL: $173.96

i know the AMD APU is only single-channel on the memory controller and the intel is dual-channel, but will that really make any difference if the only thing it will be doing is playing 1080p content? i'd be saving $26 going the AMD route, and would be getting a stronger iGPU, and the AMD chip is quad-core vs dual-core for the intel, although it has a lower clock per core. with that $26 savings, i could also get an ARCTIC Alpine M1 Passive Cooler or an ARCTIC Alpine M1 Whisper-Quiet Cooler and still come out less expensive overall.
 

skiddy

2[H]4U
Joined
May 31, 2003
Messages
2,640
Both iGPU's should decode your standard H264 1080p video just fine.

Intel = Faster CPU
AMD = Lower Power & lower cost

I've never used anything from that Athlon series, but I'd expect you should see similar video playback performance between the two, and snappier system performance on the Celeron (Celeron has 20% better passmark score).

If you do decide to go with Intel, I'd suggest looking at a s1150 Celeron (G1820) for a few bucks more. It could give you the option of upgrading to a better Haswell/Broadwell chip at some point, which could allow full/partial VP9 and H265 hardware decoding. I'd imagine you could find a cheap s1150 board for a similar price.
 

munkle

[H]F Junkie
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Jan 16, 2005
Messages
11,550
I'd go with neither, the amd is piss poor cpu, probably much slower than your c2d, its on par with current atom processors.

The intel is last generation, get the newer haswell celeron, its only $4 more and you can get a mobo for the same price or less if you want cheaper board.

For video playback, this review is showing the intel celeron is going to be less stressed, it also doesn't use a whole lot more power, biggest difference was 19w loading both cpu and gpu. Also the haswell celeron handles 4k video playback, the amd didn't do so well.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon-5350-sempron-3850_8.html#sect0
 
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Streiw

Bad Santa Gifter 2016
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May 9, 2015
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Cheapest route would be to do the LGA 771 mod on your current motherboard.
 

xXaNaXx

Gawd
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May 15, 2003
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Cheapest route would be to do the LGA 771 mod on your current motherboard.
yeah, but that also leaves me with a huge case and a power-hungry (and semi-loud) system....i'm looking to decrease the footprint to the point of basically being invisible, since i will be able to hide away the case i linked, and have as few fans as possible for as close to absolute quiet as i can get.
 

cortexodus

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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I recently built a little ITX fileserver box with one of these. The J1800 is probably not up to the task of great 1080p streaming but there are a number of the J1900 boards that would work great.

this one and this one would probably both work for your described purpose.

The highest power draw I've seen from my j1800 system so far is 31W and that was while copying some stuff to it over the network and running Prime95 at the same time. It usually sits at about 19W.
 

Verge

Supreme [H]ardness
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May 27, 2001
Messages
6,621
Correct me if I'm wrong but don't done of these cheap Celestine not support hd bit streaming?

Talk about a deal breaker if true.
 

Streiw

Bad Santa Gifter 2016
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
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yeah, but that also leaves me with a huge case and a power-hungry (and semi-loud) system....i'm looking to decrease the footprint to the point of basically being invisible, since i will be able to hide away the case i linked, and have as few fans as possible for as close to absolute quiet as i can get.
Sure, you use a bit more electricity, but you're also not on some gimpy processor either. With the money you save, you can easily get some quiet fans, AIO cooler and enough HDMI cable to put the HTPC away from the viewing room. I'd do that, and wait for Skylake.
 
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cortexodus

[H]ard|Gawd
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Correct me if I'm wrong but don't done of these cheap Celestine not support hd bit streaming?

Talk about a deal breaker if true.
If, as OP indicates, the only thing they will be doing is playing 1080p content, then the Bay-Trail SOC units (in particular anything with the J1900 under the hood) will do that, no problem.
 

Logan321

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
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I built my htpc around the Asrock QC5000-ITX with imbedded AMD A4-5000. I ditched the tiny fan and just installed a el-cheapo heatsink with some modding, and just have a single intake fan for cooling.

Runs 1080p content no problem.
 

xXaNaXx

Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
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this one and this one would probably both work for your described purpose.
If, as OP indicates, the only thing they will be doing is playing 1080p content, then the Bay-Trail SOC units (in particular anything with the J1900 under the hood) will do that, no problem.
while the two units linked above don't fit my needs (one only has DVI & i need HDMI, and one only accepts DDR3L memory), i think others in the same range may work well for my needs. i don't want to use one that only supports DDR3L memory because i have sticks upon sticks of regular DDR3 laptop memory laying around, so that would cut the cost of this project by probably 33% - 40%. thanks for linking those to put me on that track! :cool:
 

xXaNaXx

Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
935
these two actually look like they'd work well for me, at least at first glance...i'll have to do some research on them for sure:

ASRock Q1900B-ITX

ASRock Q1900-ITX

those both support regular DDR3 (non-L) SO-DIMM slots and have the J1900 CPU on them.
 

xXaNaXx

Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
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i actually decided to go with an ASRock H61MV-ITX motherboard with the case linked in the first post. i got a free PC from work that they were throwing out due to water damage, but the i3-2120 & the 4x1GB sticks of ddr3 ram in it all work fine (although i'll only be able to use 2 sticks due to the motherboard only having 2 slots, but that should be plenty for a HTPC).

i've also already got a fanless Radeon HD 6450 in my current HTPC that i can re-use in this system, since the Sandy Bridge CPU's seem to have all sorts of hitching/framerate glitches with hardware video decoding.

all told, i'm out the door under $100! :cool:
 
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