Recommend HTPC.

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion' started by Silenus, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

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    So how does Medfield fit into that conspiracy theory?
  2. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna New Member

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    Not underestimating it at all. I reckon those mobile SNB chips would actually run faster than the E8600. Just saying the difference between quad and dual can be quite noticeable depending on what tasks you typically run. The HTPC in my room tends to double duty as workstation/gaming system so mobile dual-core SNB won't cut it.

    Smaller than the Wii, actually. And yes, I'm quite appreciative of the feats of engineering that went into the Mac Mini (not that I'd buy one myself). :p

    Of course they're not maxing out Turbo. They have no need to compete with AMD so what's the point? If they max out SNB, their next iteration of processors wouldn't look as impressive. Plus they do need to have a reason to sell more expensive P67/Z68 chipset boards and K edition processors. :p

    Besides, it seems Intel tends to be very, very conservative with their TDP and binning.

    Please give me one example of a mobile chip with higher Turbo than comparable desktop SNB. There are quite a number of high end mobile SNB that are dual-core while almost all the Core i5 models on desktop SNB are quad-cores (bar the 35W TDP i5-2390T). The desktop i3 don't have Turbo at all. Comparing quad-core to quad-core, it doesn't seem as if the mobile chips are reaching higher Turbo.
  3. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Level 9998

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    It actually does.

    Desktop Intel Core i5 2300 quad-core:
    http://ark.intel.com/products/52206/Intel-Core-i5-2300-Processor-(6M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz)
    Turbo to 3.1GHz.

    Intel Core i7 2675QM quad-core:
    http://ark.intel.com/products/53470/Intel-Core-i7-2675QM-Processor-(6M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz)
    Turbo to 3.1GHz

    Intel Core i7 2720QM quad-core:
    http://ark.intel.com/products/50067/Intel-Core-i7-2720QM-Processor-(6M-Cache-up-to-3_30-GHz)
    Turbo to 3.3GHz

    Intel Core i7 2760QM quad-core:
    http://ark.intel.com/products/53474/Intel-Core-i7-2760QM-Processor-(6M-Cache-up-to-3_50-GHz)
    Turbo to 3.5GHz

    Intel Core i7 2860QM quad-core:
    http://ark.intel.com/products/53476/Intel-Core-i7-2860QM-Processor-(8M-Cache-up-to-3_60-GHz)
    Turbo to 3.6GHz

    It's just one chip, but it still proves my point: mobile Sandy does Turbo a lot better than desktop Sandy.

    While Intel doesn't need to compete with AMD, their mobile lineup is creeping pretty close to their desktop lineup, and by Ivy Bridge, some mobile chips will outright cannibalize desktop parts in performance. ;)

    Of course those mobile parts are only in luxurious laptops that cost over $1000, but do take note that the situation wasn't anywhere this close in 2010. It was impossible to buy a laptop, regardless of how much you could spend, that would match desktop performance in any way. That's not the case anymore starting 2011.

    Also, you may be tempted to say that those Turbo speeds are only possible with only 1 core running and so on, but... I think we have had enough discussions about how much better it is to have one faster core than 4 slower cores, right? :p

    And Schumi, Medfield's existence makes Apple's ARM efforts look like a godsend. Medfield's current performance is nowhere near that of Apple's A5X, at least that's true when you consider the GPU. By the time Medfield phones come out, Apple would also have come out with their next ARM chip, which will further enlarge the gap. Do take note that Apple's flagship ARM SoC right now is still on 45nm tech. Imagine how it'll be when Apple fully migrates to 32nm...

    But hey, enough about that, right? Let's get back to Mac Mini. :p

    Talking about which, there is a quad-core configuration for the Mac Mini, rui. That is, if you seriously need that much power.

    I can only think of one task for an HTPC that really needs a quad-core: motion interpolation. But I don't think the motion interpolation tech we have as it is works that well. Plus most of the 120Hz and up TVs already have hardware chips built-in to do that task anyway.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  4. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna New Member

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    I said comparable. The i5-2300 is a purposely gimped CPU. Wasn't that the cheapest quad-core Sandy Bridge available back when SNB was first released? Not to mention all those mobile chips cost $370 and up. Better comparisons would be:

    Desktop
    • i5-2500T 45W 2.3GHz Turbo 3.3GHz
    • i5-2500S 65W 2.7GHz Turbo 3.7GHz
    • i5-2500 95W 3.3GHz Turbo 3.7GHz
    • i7-2600S 65W 2.8GHz Turbo 3.8GHz
    • i7-2600 95W 3.4GHz Turbo 3.8GHz
    • i7-2700K 95W 3.5GHz Turbo 3.9GHz

    On this point I agree. However, the desktop chips do still have the advantage when it comes to non-Turbo speeds. There are applications that can make good use of the extra clock speed on all four cores. :p I'm actually more appreciative of the fact that it's now possible to get E8400-level performance on inexpensive ultra-portable laptops with 10 hour battery life. :D

    At this time I don't see much reason for Intel to want to purposely increase the performance disparity between laptop and desktop parts. Before, it was just natural because of the big difference in power consumption and heat. Ever since Core 2 (stands to reason since its roots was in mobile), the line between desktop and laptop CPU performance and power consumption has become a lot thinner. It's practically non-existent in SNB. Nowadays, even low-end laptops are more than fast enough to meet most consumers' computing needs and we're well past the point when majority are buying laptops only as a supplement to desktops. Right now, I don't think Intel cares overmuch if laptop chips cannibalize desktop chips as long as they're still selling them. I reckon ARM and the emergence of consumer-oriented tablets is a much bigger problem for Intel.

    The one with 2GHz quad running Lion Server? Not quite good enough for my use. Sides, I need a much better GPU. However, it really is amazing the amount of computing power Apple was able to cram in the Mac Mini's tiny case. I have external USB hard drives that are bigger and still had overheating problems.
  5. n_w95482

    n_w95482 Gone Contributors

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    The HTPC case I'm currently using has been working very well for me. IMO it looks very nice alongside other devices in my living room. It's a bit on the big side though, so it may not suit your needs.

    Here's a smaller case that should work pretty well. I had a practically identical case (same case, 65w power supply instead of 150w) with my previous HTPC, the AMD E-350. The nice thing about that one is that it uses an external power supply, very similar to a laptop one. That'll let you tuck it out of the way somewhere.

    That case uses slim optical drives, the same kind in current laptops. DVD drives for them are easy to come by and nearly as cheap as regular 5.25" drives, but not quite as much for Blu-ray ($130 for the only one on Newegg). Depending on local pricing and availability, you may want to get an external one. Also, a slim internal drive may require a Micro SATA to regular SATA adapter.
  6. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

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    That Silverstone case looks very nice.
    I like it.

    Already got a buyer for my Touchpad, as soon as I sell it I'll start ordering parts.
  7. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

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    Personally I still prefer the much bigger (yet much smaller than a tower) Silverstone Sugo that I recommended, but whatever, as long as you don't get a Mac Mini.
  8. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna New Member

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    Just a heads up, that Silverstone Grandia GD05 case is huge. It's around the size of an AVR. You could probably fit 8 Mac Minis in the same space.
  9. n_w95482

    n_w95482 Gone Contributors

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    This. The GD05 is nice, but quite big. The ISK300 is around the size of a large hardcover book, maybe a little bigger. It fits a mini-ITX motherboard snugly.
  10. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Level 9998

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    Personally, I think the Silverstone GD05 is the nicer step-up from the Mac Mini if specs are also a concern. It has more room for cooling, so your computer would run cooler than if you were to cram more powerful chips into a smaller enclosure, plus power supply would be a problem as well.

    Trust me. I've been down that road before. If you don't plan on using an Atom board, you're much better off with a bigger case, if for nothing but that you can run Crysis 2 and so on without having the fan roar at you. :p
  11. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna New Member

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    I prefer the Silverstone Grandia GD06 which is around the same size but comes with some nice extras. :) Just thought OP should know the GD05's a big case in case there are any space constraints. :)

    Yeah, cooling (the HDD in particular) is a major pain when it comes to ultra-SFF builds. Thank goodness for SSDs. I don't think mechanical drives would have fared well with the constant 50C temps in some of the cases I've used (CPU and MB are well ventilated but the location for HDD isn't).

    For the workstation/HTPCs, I like using the Silverstone Sugo SG05 (with 450W PSU). Handles my quad-cores and GTX 460 with ease. Yeah, card is old but haven't really found any need to upgrade. Kinda amazing that LGA-1155 MB + 95W TDP quad-core SNB use less power than LGA-775 MB + 65W TDP C2D E8x00 even at load.
  12. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

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    So in short guys:
    The only reason not to go the Mac mini route is money right?

    Damn I wish I've payed my apartment already. In 3 years I'll finish that and will be mostly free of big debts.
  13. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

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    Power Silenus, Power. Not money. More Power for the same money.
  14. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

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    I said I'm not gaming.
    Aside from my current gpu the Mac mini trumps my laptop and I've been doing very well with it.
    My laptop hasn't lagged or hiccuped a bit on my current uses. Is just getting hot and I feel I'm wasting it.

    There is nothing not even similar in that power and size ratio.
    And those are my main points of interest.
  15. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

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    I'm not talking about gaming, I'm purely talking price VS performance. I'd much rather sacrifice size than performance.
  16. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

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    This is not going to be tucked away on a desk, my wife and everybody will look at it.

    [​IMG]

    That was in my old apartment.
    Now the cable box and the printer on top of it are not in that drawer.

    So again if price is out of the equation the Mac mini is an awesome htpc.
  17. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

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    I know that...which is why I'd been suggesting a shuttle case, which in this case you can keep on the floor next to that whole thing.
  18. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

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    I don't like computers on the floor.
    My next computer will be next to the Wii and PS3.
  19. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

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    I wonder why you guys haven't recommended something like this.

    [​IMG]

    Bluetooth
    Wireless
    HDMI
    AMD E-450 dual core with HD 6320 gpu.

    Very small and cheap.

    This might be enough for HTPC, browsing needs.



    I'll look for some benchmarks.
    I wonder how does that compares to intel's atom offerings.
  20. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

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    Cuz it's even weaker than the Mac Mini?

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