Most appropriate intel cpu for htpc

Poffertjesporem

Standard Member
Hello all,

I hope someone can give me some quick advice: I'm currently assembling a htpc with these core components:

2 gb 800 Mhz DDR2 (Kingston)
Asus P5N7A-VM (Geforce 9300 chipset)

to build in a Antec New Solution NSK1380

The only question is which Intel cpu would be best for this pc for running 1080P content when the GPU does not support the format? Of course, it needs to be cheap, power efficient, run cool (hope to cool it passively) and still have some horsepower :). I currently have my mind set on a Dual Core E5200 (@2.5 Ghz) which I found for around 60 euro's. Would this be enough for 1080p if the GPU fails to decode properly? Is it worth investing more money for a core 2 duo (even though the cheapest is twice as expensive?)

Hope someone knows, thanks in advance!
 

Huggy

Active Member
Could you clarify what you mean by "when the GPU does not support the format"? I have that mobo and the onboard GFX happily copes with 1080p. Make sure that you set the framerates to be equal to that of (or a multiple of) the media (eg Blu-Ray runs at 24fps), to ensure it is totally smooth.

Regarding the CPU. If not gaming or video encoding, I think an E5200 would be perfectly fine. I am running a mildly overclocked E2160 (from 1.8Ghz to 2.2Ghz) and everything is AOK. Note that mobo comes with preset mild overclocks in the BIOS which sets everything for you (ie no need to learn the dark arts). You could get that E5200 close to 3Ghz for nothing!!
 

MikeK

Novice Member
You can usually get an E5200 to 3.3-3.6GHz on stock cooling and voltage, though I suppose it's a moot point for a HTPC.

A standard E5200 should be fine for a HTPC - even for those instances where the graphics card can't accelerate the video. Given your other requirements/wishes, it would seem to be the most ideal candidate!

I have no experience of attempting to cool one passively though, so I can't offer any real advice there as to whether it's feasible or not, though IMHO you may get away with a passive heatsink if the case fan draws or pushes an air current over it, but if not you may struggle with temps - same for passive graphics cards I've found, especially in very small cases!
You could also look into underclocking (lowering core speed and voltages) to see if you could lose some heat there too - though as every CPU/motherboard combination is different, you'd have to experiment a bit!
 

Razor

Member
Another vote for an E5200. Its plenty for a htpc and only costs £60. :)
 

Poffertjesporem

Standard Member
Could you clarify what you mean by "when the GPU does not support the format"? I have that mobo and the onboard GFX happily copes with 1080p. Make sure that you set the framerates to be equal to that of (or a multiple of) the media (eg Blu-Ray runs at 24fps), to ensure it is totally smooth.

Regarding the CPU. If not gaming or video encoding, I think an E5200 would be perfectly fine. I am running a mildly overclocked E2160 (from 1.8Ghz to 2.2Ghz) and everything is AOK. Note that mobo comes with preset mild overclocks in the BIOS which sets everything for you (ie no need to learn the dark arts). You could get that E5200 close to 3Ghz for nothing!!
Hey guys, thx for the replies. What I meant with the GPU not supporting the format is for example if you watch some HD videos on the internet that are presented in those flash movie players, or for instance quicktime HD movies. These I've never been able GPU accelerate, so they heavily rely on the processor. For these rare instances, I was just wondering what would be the minimal cpu to choose from to be able to play these fluently. It's only for movies, not for gaming or encoding or other cpu intensive stuff. I found on other fora that the e5200 runs very cool, so I don't think passive cooling would be a problem (Scythe Ninja Mini?). Don't plan to do any overclocking, since power consumption is also something I'd like to keep low, and 2.5 ghz should be more than enough I think.
 
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: CES 2021 Special - Sony, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, TCL and Hisense TV news and more...
Top Bottom