• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Processor suggestions for HTPC/light gaming

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
So I have never built an HTPC and need some advice on the cpu. I want to do some light gaming on this, and have an old HD 5670 that I could potentially use. So my question is should I go for an intel processor (probably sandy bridge unless you have some other suggestions), or should I buy a trinity/llano cpu and just ditch my old card? I have a gaming pc on the side, so I don't need the absolute best. Just something I could fire up if my other computer is being used by someone else.

Basically what I'm looking for is what will use less power, allow me to play some games with acceptable settings, and whether it's practical to use my old 5670 or if the integrated graphics will be enough. Price is important but I can afford whatever is the best of the low end. Thanks for any help.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
81
I haven't kept up on the newest APUs and what they are capable of, but based on the fact that I'm always using yesteryear's hardware anyway, I'd say they're probably capable for light gaming. It really depends on the game, and I'm sure you can find a review out there that tests a new APU with a few games you might use.

That said, I would strongly lean towards the integrated solution based on heat and noise alone. You may game one or two hours a week on the HTPC, but the HTPC itself will be on between 8 and 24 hours a day. I don't know what the idle power draw of the 5670 is, but its probably more than insignificant.

Thats just my 0.02, others may feel differently depending on how much gaming performance they're looking for.
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
I haven't kept up on the newest APUs and what they are capable of, but based on the fact that I'm always using yesteryear's hardware anyway, I'd say they're probably capable for light gaming. It really depends on the game, and I'm sure you can find a review out there that tests a new APU with a few games you might use.

That said, I would strongly lean towards the integrated solution based on heat and noise alone. You may game one or two hours a week on the HTPC, but the HTPC itself will be on between 8 and 24 hours a day. I don't know what the idle power draw of the 5670 is, but its probably more than insignificant.

Thats just my 0.02, others may feel differently depending on how much gaming performance they're looking for.
Thanks for the reply. The APUs are alright for what I'll be doing, but because I have the GPU I didn't know if it was worth saving a few bucks to use it. I'm not too familiar with the integrated graphics on Intel processors, but they will probably work ok if I go for a slightly more expensive one. Do you have any suggestions on which processors are good to use?
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,861
514
126
Thanks for the reply. The APUs are alright for what I'll be doing, but because I have the GPU I didn't know if it was worth saving a few bucks to use it. I'm not too familiar with the integrated graphics on Intel processors, but they will probably work ok if I go for a slightly more expensive one. Do you have any suggestions on which processors are good to use?
Don't use Intel integrated graphics for gaming, period. The only one that's borderline useful is the HD4000 and you need to get an i3-3225 to get that.

And a question; how light is "light" gaming, are we taking flash-based or "real" games...?
 

saratoga172

Golden Member
Nov 10, 2009
1,564
1
81
I didn't see a price point mentioned so I'll throw out a recommendation for an i3 proc. if memory serves correct you should be able to get a dual core (4 thread) for around $100.

That would definitely meet all your htpc needs and work well with the vid card you've got.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
81
Anything will be fine, really. Plenty of people build HTPCs around i3s and Celeron G620s, and those are the people that build from new hardware. My upstairs PC, an x2 4200+ on an AM2 board would be more than powerful enough for most tasks if paired with a video card that can do H264 decoding, which anything halfway modern can.

I would base it around price, power consumption, and noise more than anything else. Every 50W of power draw is going to cost you about $50/year in electricity cost if left on 24/hrs a day, not including air condition costs that go along with that. So if that extra video card uses 50w of power idle, its costing you $50-100/year to power and cool it.

The exception to this, of course, is how much transcoding you do (sending video to extenders or converting formats for phones/tablets, ripping blu-rays).

If I were building an HTPC today from only new parts, I'd build either an i3 with the stepped up graphics or a comparable trinity system.
 

saratoga172

Golden Member
Nov 10, 2009
1,564
1
81
Don't use Intel integrated graphics for gaming, period. The only one that's borderline useful is the HD4000 and you need to get an i3-3225 to get that.

And a question; how light is "light" gaming, are we taking flash-based or "real" games...?
I take light gaming to mean the occasional game and some browser based gaming.

The big question I have is what resolution will the gaming be at. That'll really determine performance. And cpu with that gpu won't make a ton of difference. I still say an i3 4 thread would be perfect.
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
Don't use Intel integrated graphics for gaming, period. The only one that's borderline useful is the HD4000 and you need to get an i3-3225 to get that.

And a question; how light is "light" gaming, are we taking flash-based or "real" games...?
Just something like league of legends or team fortress 2. I don't expect to play anything on max settings either; just something acceptable
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,861
514
126
Anything will be fine, really. Plenty of people build HTPCs around i3s and Celeron G620s, and those are the people that build from new hardware. My upstairs PC, an x2 4200+ on an AM2 board would be more than powerful enough for most tasks if paired with a video card that can do H264 decoding, which anything halfway modern can.

I would base it around price, power consumption, and noise more than anything else. Every 50W of power draw is going to cost you about $50/year in electricity cost if left on 24/hrs a day, not including air condition costs that go along with that. So if that extra video card uses 50w of power idle, its costing you $50-100/year to power and cool it.

The exception to this, of course, is how much transcoding you do (sending video to extenders or converting formats for phones/tablets, ripping blu-rays).

If I were building an HTPC today from only new parts, I'd build either an i3 with the stepped up graphics or a comparable trinity system.
Just something like league of legends or team fortress 2. I don't expect to play anything on max settings either; just something acceptable
You can actually drop down to a Celeron G465 without sacrificing too much functionality. The Celeron G465 really sips power. If you need something with a bit more performance the A6-5400K is a good choice, based on the reviews available...

Look at this thread;
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2277666
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
7,013
2,127
136
I have an i3-2100 paired with an MSI hd7770 in my HTPC.
Very quiet, low power usage and "light gaming" at 1080p

Max settings on following titles - dirt2, shift 2, Skyrim, COD series, Trine 1 and 2, Rayman Origins,Sonic generations portal 1 and 2. Orcs must die....
 

Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,378
2
0
While integrated graphics CAN play those games, your pre-existing Radeon will probably be better (maybe up to 2x?). Since you already have it, why not?
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
Alright thanks guys. I'll definitely look at the pentium and celeron processors more but this is really helpful. I have yet to choose most of the other components but this is a good start for me.
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
Is there anyone that can help me find info on the Celeron G465? No matter where I look, I can't seem to find much on this processor. It seems like the G465 is about the most efficient I can get, and I am curious about whether the performance is good enough, or if I should aim a little higher. I've decided to use the HD5670 unless I go with AMD, so for Intel cpu's I'm really looking towards power draw in regards to performance.
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
Of course, here is the link to Intels ark:

http://ark.intel.com/products/69363/Intel-Celeron-Processor-G465-1_5M-Cache-1_90-GHz

You could also look at the Celeron G530T ("real" 35W dual-core but without HT), its only a few $ (list price $37 vs $42) more and should be easier to find...

http://ark.intel.com/products/53415/Intel-Celeron-Processor-G530T-2M-Cache-2_00-GHz

For shopping, where are you located...?
Thanks for the links. I'm in the U.S. Which of the two would you recommend? I like physical cores but I don't know much about hyperthreading, so that's just me.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,861
514
126
Thanks for the links. I'm in the U.S. Which of the two would you recommend? I like physical cores but I don't know much about hyperthreading, so that's just me.
Depends. For the absolute lowest possible power consumption its the G465. For performance-per-watt its the G530T.

A simple explanation for HT is that it tries to fill the cores unused parts of the CPU core with something meaningful instead of idling them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperThreading

Unfortunately I can't be of much help finding them, as I am not American...
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
Depends. For the absolute lowest possible power consumption its the G465. For performance-per-watt its the G530T.

A simple explanation for HT is that it tries to fill the cores unused parts of the CPU core with something meaningful instead of idling them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperThreading

Unfortunately I can't be of much help finding them, as I am not American...
That's alright you've helped me a bunch! Thanks again
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
Cool I think I'm gonna stick with either the g530 or g620. I would like an i3 but I'm trying to keep this a little cheaper. I'm splurging and getting a Z77 mobo for upgrading to sandy/ivy bridge later on if I want it
 

nextJin

Golden Member
Apr 16, 2009
1,848
0
0
That videocard will be great for 1080p gaming with no AA and on High, I used it with a i3 550 for a good long while playing L4D2 on my HTPC. Just get almost any intel CPU you want with 2 or 4 cores.
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
That videocard will be great for 1080p gaming with no AA and on High, I used it with a i3 550 for a good long while playing L4D2 on my HTPC. Just get almost any intel CPU you want with 2 or 4 cores.
Alright that's good to know! I used it in my other desktop before I decided I wanted to switch to high end gpu's. It's nice to know that it can save me a bit of money on this build. I think I'm going with the Celeron g530. Thanks everyone.
 

wirednuts

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2007
7,121
1
0
and dont forget an ssd for your os drive. it will help tremendously. even if its just a 64GB one, thats all you really need as you can install most stuff onto a 2nd regular type drive.
 

Greenlepricon

Senior member
Aug 1, 2012
468
0
0
and dont forget an ssd for your os drive. it will help tremendously. even if its just a 64GB one, thats all you really need as you can install most stuff onto a 2nd regular type drive.
Alright sounds good. I have an extra one that will work perfectly for this! Thanks i'll figure out how to set it up right i hope
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY