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"Low-power" HTPC - advice?

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Beginning of next year, I'm updating my HP Pavilion Slimline which I currently use as a server and turning it into an all-in-one HTPC.

It will still act as a server, upgrading the HDD with a big SSHD hybrid one and a reasonable NAND size (anyone have any experience with these?). Will also be updating the mITX mobo+ram. Waiting for AMD's Kabini board from AsRock (A4 preferably or A6), as the ECS board currently available doesn't inspire much confidence... and it's weird that Kabini only seems to use a single channel memory. I'm estimating the upgrade will cost me around 200-300 EUR.

This combo will give me a server with even lower power consumption and I think it has enough graphics to play digital/indie games on my TV. Could even use it to stream my desktop PC to the TV like a SteamBox and maybe even use WiiU's Gamepad as remote desktop/controller option.

I could also try Temash, or an Ivy Bridge/Haswell Intel i3? I still prefer low power (and heat) build; a silent, always on HTPC-server.
You think the Kabini board will be enough to play downloadable games? Still deciding if to stay on Win7 or go 8.1...



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Stay away from Kabini as it uses AMD's Jaguar architecture, it is a slow heap of molasses, don't expect to do any gaming or anything demanding for that matter, I would rather a Core 2 Duo over it.
Plus Puma (Beema and Mullins) is just around the corner, which is Jaguar's replacement.
You need to keep your expectations of AMD's CPU's on the low side, Jaguar/Kabini is an evolutionary replacement for Brazos which are the E-350 and E-450 CPU's that were found in Netbooks, so don't expect performance radically any different from that.

I actually use a Phenom 2 x6 1090T for my HTPC and use a Scythe shuriken Low profile cooler for it.
With the Phenom 2 x6 underclocked I can get some impressively low power consumption on idle and still have the performance when I need it. (For encoding and light gaming.)
I also have a Phenom 2 x6 1045T that I picked up from a swap meet for next to nothing which I intend to try my hand at under-volting in the HTPC to try and lower the power consumption. (As it's a 95w CPU rather than 125w.)

If I was in your position though I would rather opt for a Core i3 4130T (Low power), ITX 1150 Board, Bitfenix Prodigy ITX case, And use a Noctua NH-L12 to keep the CPU quiet or a Corsair H80i equipped with a couple of Noctua fans.
Then grab a passively cooled Radeon 7750.



--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

Youredutch.. Really should ask around tweakers.net 

http://tweakers.net/reviews/3295/5/desktop-best-buy-guide-november-2013-special-htpc.html




 

Face the future.. Gamecenter ID: nikkom_nl (oh no he didn't!!) 

Pemalite said:
Stay away from Kabini as it uses AMD's Jaguar architecture, it is a slow heap of molasses, don't expect to do any gaming or anything demanding for that matter, I would rather a Core 2 Duo over it.
Plus Puma (Beema and Mullins) is just around the corner, which is Jaguar's replacement.
You need to keep your expectations of AMD's CPU's on the low side, Jaguar/Kabini is an evolutionary replacement for Brazos which are the E-350 and E-450 CPU's that were found in Netbooks, so don't expect performance radically any different from that.

[...]

If I was in your position though I would rather opt for a Core i3 4130T (Low power), ITX 1150 Board, Bitfenix Prodigy ITX case, And use a Noctua NH-L12 to keep the CPU quiet or a Corsair H80i equipped with a couple of Noctua fans.
Then grab a passively cooled Radeon 7750.

I already have the case from the OP which fits perfectly in my media hub, so I just wanted to upgrade it slightly to add slight gaming capabilities as a bonus. And yeah, AMD's current CPU sucks, but I think graphicly they are okey and you get your money's worth from the hardware as they are relatively cheap compared to Intel. If I'm currently waiting for a Kabini motherboard, I wonder how much I will have to wait for a Puma one... fall 2014?

Still an Ivy Bridge Core i3 could be more than enough. Going to look at all those items at the end and see if the fit in my small case and at that Core i3 4130T. Thanks for the advice!!!

NiKKoM said:

Youredutch.. Really should ask around tweakers.net 

http://tweakers.net/reviews/3295/5/desktop-best-buy-guide-november-2013-special-htpc.html

I'm becoming Dutch, not one yet!

Bedankt voor de link, didn't know tweakers had htpc guides.



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What about Intel NUC?



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Dissapear heathen!

TomaTito said:

I already have the case from the OP which fits perfectly in my media hub, so I just wanted to upgrade it slightly to add slight gaming capabilities as a bonus. And yeah, AMD's current CPU sucks, but I think graphicly they are okey and you get your money's worth from the hardware as they are relatively cheap compared to Intel. If I'm currently waiting for a Kabini motherboard, I wonder how much I will have to wait for a Puma one... fall 2014?

Still an Ivy Bridge Core i3 could be more than enough. Going to look at all those items at the end and see if the fit in my small case and at that Core i3 4130T. Thanks for the advice!!!

I'm becoming Dutch, not one yet!

Bedankt voor de link, didn't know tweakers had htpc guides.

Well. There is sucky... And then there is sucky.
Kabini falls under the latter, it's horrible and will not be graphically "okay".
It's Netbook class hardware, worse than even a low end PC.

I've played with Notebooks with the Kabini APU's in it... They didn't meet my expectations that's for sure, good enough for Minecraft, Cheap Facebook games and web browsing, but that's about as far as I would push it.

walsufnir said:
What about Intel NUC?

That's an option.
Or a Gigabyte BRIX.

If money is no object, you can't look past the ASRock M8. :)



--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

The NUC's are nice if you are buying everything new and are happy with what it comes with, although the additional parts such as storage (mSATA) and low profile memories can increase the price further, and it is not really upgradable.

Think I'm going to go with the mini-ITX i3 route and upgrade with a passively cooled low profile graphics card in a year's time.





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NECRO-BUMP, well really, UPDATE

In the end I didn't modify that HP to be an HTPC. For bluray it could be interesting, though it is obvious things are going online for media consumption. I might update it to become a better server or maybe a reasonable Steam machine? No rush there.

I've been using an Acer Timeline 3810t laptop I had that's been falling to pieces, the first thing that broke was the screen, and since then the keyboard and power cable also went down. Bought a new cable and stripped down the machine, and now I have this beautiful thing (sorry for the cable mess, but you know).

I was planning to do something like this HTPC, but the motherboard is split in pieces...

Thinking of removing the old fan (it's the next thing that's starting to fail), so was going to adapt a new cooling method. Do you guys have any advice? The CPU and GPU were one of the first for the CULV platform.



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You say tomato, I say tomato 

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I'm very happy with my Q1900DC-ITX.
- powerful enough for 1080p, disk sharing, torrent, any HTPC tasks, all at the same time, with ease
- 100% passive, the MB, the CPU/GPU, but also the power supply (AC/DC)
- extremely inexpensive, 120$ with a built-in CPU/GPU. With 4GB,
- very low wattage, not only the MB, CPU/GPU, but also the AC/DC adapter
- extremely simple to mount, no pico controller, not CPU to mount,
- worked out of the box with XBMC

Still, there are cons:
- I don't think it's able to manage 4K HD. But when I will need it, I will just buy the 120$ build of this time
- No game, really
- The point is that you don't use a PC power supply but an AC/DC adapter (like a laptop). But it's hard to find a case with no power supply case, so you can't really benefit from a small case