Replacing the old (HT)PC ¯ what should I be considering? - Page 7 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #91 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-13, 08:58 PM
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My last few PCs have been AMD.
As long as not overloading them/running them too hard (which as an HTPC, it shouldn't be... more stuff like heavy gaming, etc), that's the only time I have found them heating up (which AMD can run a little hotter than intel sometimes).

But AMD motherboard/CPU.. you could shave 150+ off the price.

Just make sure you have proper ventilation. with the right fans/fan sizes, etc.. can have this and still be quiet.

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post #92 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-13, 10:08 PM
 
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I've found that the AMD black box unlocked CPUs come with sub-standard fans. The AMDs are so cheap that cost isn't really a factor in getting a fast CPU. The A10-6700s are quite reasonable as are the black box 6800s.
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post #93 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-14, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
....
On drives: There is no reason these days not to use multimedia drives. These are generally designed to provide better performance and be more reliable than standard 'green' drives. I've seen a few drives fail in NAS and multimedia (24hr/day) applications and no longer recommend them for HTPC or NAS use.
....
On that note, googling multimedia drives, the 2TB WD LIVE HUB popped up. I gather this is now discontinued. Why did it not catch on? Seemed be an effective and simpler alternative to regular HTPC + storage + media centre software + media player + remote all in one box. This plus an HD Homerun network tuner would have been a nice setup.

So what was the down side. Too much in one I suppose, ie no flexibility?




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post #94 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-14, 11:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MyMedia08 View Post
I gather this is now discontinued.
Still there
http://www.shopbot.ca/m/?m=wd+tv+live+hub
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Originally Posted by MyMedia08 View Post
Why did it not catch on?
I believe it is a solution looking for a problem.
It is not flexible enough for the DIY crowd and too complicated for the iPod generation...

If gaming is in the list of potential interests in your household, it can affect your parts selection
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/1...-own-computer/
Dual booting will allow this from the same box...
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post #95 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-14, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
On that note, googling multimedia drives, the 2TB WD LIVE HUB popped up. I gather this is now discontinued. Why did it not catch on? Seemed be an effective and simpler alternative to regular HTPC + storage + media centre software + media player + remote all in one box. This plus an HD Homerun network tuner would have been a nice setup.

So what was the down side. Too much in one I suppose, ie no flexibility?
Flexability, etc is part of it.
Comparatively.. a PC can do anything there is an app for right?
Those types of boxes (or even anything even like a Roku, etc).. you are limited to what the developers create for it. (so can be missing apps sometimes).
If people stop developing for that platform, you can be stuck. (EG: the boxee box).

That is the one thing that has kept me away from all in one boxes like those.. just seem like more built in obsolescence.. vs with PC you have a few more options.

(EG: I enjoy having my plex app on my TV, no need for an extra box on the TV (as it does Netflix as well).... BUT.. plex has released a lot more features recently in their media
player software... BUT, the TV app hasn't been updated for those new features yet )

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post #96 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-14, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Any specific suggestions for mATX motherboards from MSI vs ASUS vs GIGABYTE? What CPU/GPU? Looking for USB3, HDMI, integrated graphics and HD audio, Gigabit ethernet.

Also looking for specific suggestions on mATX cases with suitably size power supply and silent fans.

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post #97 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-14, 10:59 PM
 
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I don't use mATX.
But all of them (not older than a year) have the features listed...
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post #98 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-15, 08:54 AM
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SPECIFIC boards might be hard to narrow down, without choosing what processor your going with on it.. as that narrows your range.
As for brand. PERSONALLY I prefer to use ASUS when I can.. have had great luck with them over the years. But I have used MSI before.. not used gigabyte personally.

Again, I usually get from Canada computers as they are local to me, so is usually my reference point.
http://www.canadacomputers.com/produ...item_id=049445
A lot is style. I would get one with the largest size fan slot if possible. The larger fans, run at lower RPM, so are more quiet, but move larger volume of air.

Looks like a lot, at least there.. don't come with power supplies, so you can add your own specific one in. Which could be good. Getting a modular supply, ensures you are only putting in as many connectors as needed.

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post #99 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-15, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by gdkitty View Post
SPECIFIC boards might be hard to narrow down, without choosing what processor your going with on it.. as that narrows your range...
Yes exactly what I am trying to do - narrow the range. but I dont yet know what the conventional wisdom is for one re Intel 3 vs AMD FM2+ vs FM2 vs AM3+ vs AM3 for a non-gaming USB3/HDMI/SSD HTMC application.

I was hoping between that, and some cautions/preferences re MSI, ASUS and GIGABYTE I could start to hone in on a short list of mATX form-factor boards. I would then start figuring out what case works best.

More research planned for tonight!

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post #100 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-15, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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My browsing to date for newer motherboards suitable for HTPC, has led me here:
http://www.asus.com/Microsite/2013/M...ment/index.htm

This still gives me choices for Intel Z77, B75, and H61 chipsets, as well as AMD A85X and A55 chipsets..... so I'll be ruling these in or out next.

One surprise was that to date I thought micro ATX = mATX = uATX and these were typical 24 x 24 cm But looking at the ASUS descriptions in the reference they appear different, ie

Intel uATX 24.4 x 17.8
Intel mATX 22.6 x 18.0
AMD uATX 23.6 x 18.8

Other than size, are there other difference between uATX and mATX - why are both term in use?

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post #101 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-15, 09:49 PM
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yes, generaly a uatx is short for MU-ATX (Mu being micro in greek letters I think?)


Boards can vary in size.. depending on what they all have on them header wise.. and what other ports to plug in etc.
Much like full size boards.. there can be varying sizes, but they all fit in a standard ATX size case.

That board looks pretty good, and a variety of processor options

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post #102 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-15, 10:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MyMedia08 View Post
This still gives me choices for Intel Z77, B75, and H61 chipsets...
Why H61? It is 2+ years old.
Zx7 is the overclockable version of Hx7. You don't need either.

For Intel, look at the latest Haswell H87...
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post #103 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-16, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdkitty View Post
...That board looks pretty good, and a variety of processor options
Quote:
Originally Posted by four View Post
...
For Intel, look at the latest Haswell H87...
Thanks guys.

INTEL
When starting with the ASUS 2013 'home entertainment boards", for the ones on an Intel platform, in mATX form-factor, they dont show the H87...but do have B75.

But looking futher into H87...Some quick googling suggests these are similar, differing only is some port combinations. Other references say they are different in the H87 support Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT) (pre-launch name SSD Caching) and explain this as meaning you can use a small SSD to give a standard platter drive very fast performance. It caches commonly accessed files to the SSD for quick boot and load times.",,, which suggests its not all that relevant if SSD is teh only drive (the boot drive) in the system. Yet another reference states "If you have no intention of overclocking, don`t need multiple graphics cards and only a few sata 6gb/s ports, there is nothing wrong with the H81/B85 chipsets at all. They would do very well for future upgrades as well. It all depends on the maker of the motherboard. Asus is my personal favorite.".

HOWEVER looking further into H87, I assume the more important distinction is the H87 is Intel® Socket 1150 for 4th Generation Core Processors where the B75-A is Intel® Socket 1155 for 3rd/2nd Generation Core Processors. So I gather H87 is the safer choice?

The H87 is available as mATX in three models : H87M-E(uATX), H87M-PLUS(uATX), H87M-PR0(uaTX).Of these H87M-PRO is the more fully featured. Other models are not mATX : H87I-PLUS(miniITX),H87-PLUS(ATX), H87-PRO(ATX)

Specs:

H87MPRO: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/H87...specifications
H87ME: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/H87ME/#specifications
H87MPLUS: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/H87...specifications

Ironcally no info on what GPU their intergrated graphics are based on.
AMD
When starting with the ASUS 2013 'home entertainment boards., for the ones on an AMD platform, in mATX form-factor, there is:
A55M-A/USB3 (AMD A55 FCH (Hudson D2 chipset) ;
A85XM-A (AMD A85X FCH(Hudson D4 chipset)

Both are based on Integrated AMD Radeon™ HD 7000/8000 Series Graphics in A-series APU

But I gather the Haswell equivalent is actually FM2+ series ie A88 lineup.. will look there next.

Specs:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/A55...specifications
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/A85XMA/#specifications
So short list on ASUS boards is:
B75M-A - third generation Intel ; based on ??? graphics
H87M-PR0 (or variations) - fourth generation Intel ; based on ??? graphics
A55M-A/USB3 - AMD AMD A55 FCH (Hudson D2 chipset) ; based on HD 7000/8000 Series
A85XM-A - AMD A85X FCH (Hudson D4 chipset) ; based on HD 7000/8000 Series
AMD FM2 + series : "
  • Asus A88XM-A based on AMD A88X chipset
  • Asus A55BM-A/USB3 powered by A55 chipset
  • both are:
    - micro-ATX motherboards
    - with FM2+ sockets that
    - support existing accelerated processing units (APUs) from AMD (Trinity, Richland) as well as future code-named Kaveri chips that were supposed to be released late in 2013, but will most likely hit the market only in 2014.
    - support not only new power states of AMD’s upcoming APUs, but also PCI Express 3.0 as well as new mainboard design innovations"


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post #104 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-16, 10:54 AM
 
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One surprise was that to date I thought micro ATX = mATX = uATX and these were typical 24 x 24 cm...
mATX means each side not longer than 24.4cm (9.6"). Shorter is within the specs...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyMedia08 View Post
So I gather H87 is the safer choice?
Yes, it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyMedia08 View Post
Ironcally no info on what GPU their intergrated graphics are based on.
Intel Haswell has essentially 3 IGPs: HD4600, Iris and IrisPro.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6993/i...950hq-tested/2
Only the first is available in the socket 1150 CPUs Intel is selling to consumers, aka all Haswell CPUs you can buy use HD4600.
Iris/IrisPro is offered only in BGA, aka soldered to the motherboard format. There could be exceptions but I haven't seen them...

IIRC, the first Iris IGPs went into the Haswell updated retina MacBooks...

Comparison
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7032/a...-8670d-hd-4600
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post #105 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-16, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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So for the non-gaming, live tv/media streaming use, where one strives for the "appropriate" balance of cpu performance, functionality, compatiblity , heat consideration, support etc, is there a clear favourite re Intel Haswell(HD4600) versus AMD Richland (Radeon HD8670) or is it all down to personal preference?

I thought I read in the past that for HTPC/entertainment use, the nod goes to AMD, but that opinion may be dated.

The anandtech article is kind to AMD:
Despite Haswell's arrival on the desktop, AMD is in no trouble at all from a graphics perspective. At the high end, Richland maintains a 17 - 50% GPU performance advantage (~30% on average) over Intel's HD 4600 (Haswell GT2). All things equal, even Trinity is good enough to maintain this performance advantage - a clear downside of Intel not bringing its Iris or Iris Pro graphics to any socketed desktop parts.
Another comparison is here : http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu...ell-gpu_7.html , which favours Intel on the surface..
"The Richland design has its downsides, though. Such APUs have high practical power consumption and heat dissipation. They need twice more power than the Intel Core i5 in a lot of applications, both 3D and multimedia ones. The 4000 series Core i3 is going to widen the gap even more. That’s why the A10, A8 and A6 series APUs may not be the optimal choice for small and quiet home computers or HTPCs, especially as the Richland’s multimedia engine looks outdated in comparison with the Haswell’s. It cannot cope with 4K content and has rather low performance in video transcoding tasks.

Still, the Richland-based APUs are quite good at playing conventional Full-HD video in popular formats, which makes them suitable for inexpensive multimedia configurations as well."
Then again, the user comments imply the opposite ! :

X-Bit Labs is notorious for posting inflammatory articles particularly directed at AMD. They do this to get their page hit count up which means increased ad revenues. This is a dirty little secret of web forums.

BTW, anyone with a clue knows that Richland's GPU section is far superior to Intel's Haswell and that AMD's Crossfire is superior to Nvidia. Well everyone except X-Bit Labs...
So its quite hard for users like me to make informed decisions based on what is out there... which I why I truly do value the opinions here !

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