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New low power APUs for HTPC?

 
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gjaky



Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Posts: 2472
Location: Budapest, Hungary


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:18 am    Post subject: New low power APUs for HTPC? Reply with quote


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I am planning to build a new HTPC around the new low-power APU solutions. Since I am planning to use this PC as a network drive too the lowest power consumption is the goal, but it has to drive the NEC too for movie watching.
There are two candidates, the intel J1800 CPU (int. HD graphics, 10W TDP) and AMD Sempron 3850 (AM1 socket, int. Radeon R3, 25W TDP), both CPU is powerful enough to play HD movies the intel eats less power and is slightly cheaper, the AMD is more powerful, but also eats more power. My goal is a completely fanless machine...
My biggest concer however is the setting of my custom 1080i timings to these boards. Intel was always a PITA to set custom resolutions, but on my previous machine (i945 + C2D) I could do it, now they built in custom resolution tool in the intel driver, but as I read the interlaced resolutions are not really working in the newer generations, moreover depending on the driver version not always have an interlaced option at all to set.
I have no doubt it is not easier to do interlaced resolutions on the AMD either, but the CRU utility is pretended to work on AMD cards, but the question is are they working on the integrated solutions (like the R3) just as well?

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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interlaced resolution seem to be a problem for the newer stuff from what I read. I'm really interested to see what becomes of this.

If I were running something like this I'd probably run out at 1080p into a scaler and interlace there. I know, more power consumption but, hey, I have one or two laying around.

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gjaky



Joined: 05 Jun 2010
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Location: Budapest, Hungary


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no scalers laying around unfortunately, and they are rather expensive here. My target resolution by the way is 1080i-96Hz I am not even sure that any (cheap) scalers can put out that.
My concern about power consumption only goes for the PC's idle, as it would be on most of the day as a "NAS" and would only serve as a mediaplayer few times a week.

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AnalogRocks
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh yes 1080i 96Hz. That's what I ran my Ampro at much of the time. Nice resolution.

When I got my Win7 laptop with VGA and HDMI out with ATi 4xxx series graphics (2011) I tried setting a custom resolution. Didn't work. Never could get that one to do much as compared to the HTPC with ATi 3870 card an WinXP.

What operating system will you run on the new HTPC?

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gjaky



Joined: 05 Jun 2010
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Location: Budapest, Hungary


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first thought was Windows 7, because the other two PCs in the household are also running on win7, easy sharing, remote desktop, etc.
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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you have good luck with it. I didn't try too hard with that lap top as its standard resolution was 720p anyways and ran fine with 99% of the stuff I plugged it into.
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gjaky



Joined: 05 Jun 2010
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PostLink    Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The intel support just confirmed that the J1800 does not support 1080i, so intel is out...
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you need to build something at all? Maybe you don't need to reinvent the wheel. There are lots of SFF/USFF computers out there, and some of theme are pretty inexpensive and pretty low-power, though running Windows at all does add to power consumption.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4GH1ZX1165

For that matter, what about a notebook computer?

What's your target budget? A Mac mini is $500, tiny, nearly silent, and is only like 5w at idle. That would no doubt go up significantly if you run Windows on it, but a couple of WD Green drives in an external enclosure, and it's about as quiet and energy-efficient as it gets.

Just a few thoughts.

SC
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gjaky



Joined: 05 Jun 2010
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Location: Budapest, Hungary


PostLink    Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very price sensitive. I already have the HDD to use in the new computer, also it doesn't have to look good, in fact it doesn't have to be seen at all. So I'm primarily not looking at off the shelf solutions. I can buy the AMD mobo+cpu+ram rig under 100USD, so it is hard to beat from that aspect. I also was thinking about laptops as well, but their cooling system makes them less friendly in an otherwise quiet living room (idle), plus there is the screen which is not needed at all still I'd have to pay it.
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CasetheCorvetteman



Joined: 09 Nov 2008
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost any Windows based computer will use next to nothing at idle if you have it set up correctly.
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Bodi79



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 120
Location: Austria


PostLink    Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@gjaky

Hope my reply isn't too late, you could build mediaplayers and nas Systems around amd Fusion Boards. Cheap Quad cores, hardwaredecoding and costum timings arent' a problem.

And u can use the small Form factor. TDP is around 15tdp and can be undervolted.

Maybe it helps u..

If it werent for the nas Part i just use Raspberry pi2 Boards as mediaplayers with openelec now. U can write timings easily in the config Files. And i overclock these with a passive heatsink alot and they are rocksolid and the pi2 is really Quick. Even use it as a Frontend for my Linux Server with tvheadend so i stream my dvb-s anywhere i wan't

Cheers
Ronald
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gjaky



Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Posts: 2472
Location: Budapest, Hungary


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I already bought rig. Went with an MSI AM1I mobo. an Athlon 5150 APU and 2GB of RAM. it seems to be work quite well, and it looks liket it indeed consumes very low power.
As I understand the most popular AMD fusion CPU were the E350, this athlon runs circles around it, and even consumes less power. Actualy I used this PC as main for two days and I must admit it really good for non serious use, in fact I barely noticed any difference between this and my other pc (Core 2 Quad Q6600, 4GB RAM, SSD), I am seriously thinking of building another one for daily use instead of the Core2 Quad...
..Oh and 1080i-96Hz seems to be working fine (pity they removed the gamma control from catalyst)!

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Jeremy112



Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 2620
Location: Fond du Lac, WI


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gjaky wrote:
I already bought rig. Went with an MSI AM1I mobo. an Athlon 5150 APU and 2GB of RAM. it seems to be work quite well, and it looks liket it indeed consumes very low power.
As I understand the most popular AMD fusion CPU were the E350, this athlon runs circles around it, and even consumes less power. Actualy I used this PC as main for two days and I must admit it really good for non serious use, in fact I barely noticed any difference between this and my other pc (Core 2 Quad Q6600, 4GB RAM, SSD), I am seriously thinking of building another one for daily use instead of the Core2 Quad...
..Oh and 1080i-96Hz seems to be working fine (pity they removed the gamma control from catalyst)!


I have one of the AMD Triple core APUs, on stock cooling I was able to Overclock it over 3.2GHz to 5GHz stable! On stock cooling that is quite rare, much less it being so stable and cool on stock cooling.

I have to admit, I really do prefer intel, but these newer AMD CPUs sure do perform better than I expected. I actually have the triple core in a mini-ITX ASRock motherboard that im probably going to custom install into my HP LD4200TM touch monitor for a built in PC. I intend to use the setup for a jukebox as well as HT control/movie posters Very Happy I got a smokin' deal on the touch monitor, just had to spend $200 to replace backlights and the backlight film in front and behind them to get it working again (and de-yellow the image. it has over 20,000 hours on it, but with the new inverter and backlights you'd never know!

Sorry to steal you thread Razz

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