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Torn between i3-2100 & i5-2500k...for a SFF.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I am building a very small form factor pc, for daily use, no (real) gaming. I'm using a rather small case, the SG-05.

My main concern is keeping it quiet and cool. Here are the main differences I care about.

Core i3-2100:
TDP: 65W
Tcase: 69.1*C
Intel HD 2000

Core i5-2500K:
TDP: 95W
Tcase: 72.6*C
Intel HD 3000

I will probably be using a dedicated GPU: (GTX460), but I may remove it if I end up not needing it, depending on my workload.

My real question is: how big is the heat signature difference between the two? I understand everyone here wants me to get the i5 because it is overkill (which we are all about), but i am much more concerned about price and low power consumption. If the power consumption and heat generation aren't a noticable difference, I'll grab the i5. I just want some honest thoughts.
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post #2 of 20
Honestly, the performance you require should be the deciding factor. The heat of even a 95W CPU is not difficult to manage with the quality of coolers we have available now. If you will be running apps which may benefit from the added cores it's the way to go. Your idle power usage (which your machine will see most of the time) will only vary by a handful of watts between the two.
    
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post #3 of 20
The i5 runs very very cool at stock. It also overclocks a LOT further. If you can squeeze something like an H50 into your SFF case, you can be silent, AND overclocked quite high.

The i3 won't be a bad choice either, if you're more worried about power consumption. It won't overclock very far at all though.

Either will be a fine choice. Get the i3 if power consumption is a concern (like if its an HTPC and on all the time). If you don't mind a slightly raised power bill (a few bucks a month), go for the i5. Either will be fine in a SFF build.
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post #4 of 20
The TDP for the i3 2100 is 65w, but on an efficient PSU during 3dmark vantage and IBT on the CPU, it was pulling something like 40 watts from the wall in a test I saw.

Both chips are very power efficient for the performance they give, but I would go with the i3 for the price if you don't need the 2500k's power. It's still a very good CPU
    
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post #5 of 20
I am surfing the web and watching a Netflix video on my 2500k and the CPU is only using 17.9 watts. I can even watch 1080P movies on one monitor and surf the web on another and my core speed doesn't jump up from 1.6Ghz. Just because you get a chip that can draw more power doesn't mean it will unless it needs to.
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post #6 of 20
The i3 is a dual core, and is clocked lower. In practical use, it will probably top out around half the power consumption of the i5.

At idle, power consumption won't be very different (both will be extremely low power), assuming power saving features are left enabled.

If you aren't gaming, the on-chip video should be more than sufficient.
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post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
I wont be doing any real gaming. I may play some World of Warcraft, but I could care less about the performance difference for Wow, lol.

It's a 450W PSU, so power consumption also plays a vital role. I am confident the i3 won't be a problem, but from what I've read, the i5 could draw up to 50 watts more.
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post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hondajt View Post
I wont be doing any real gaming. I may play some World of Warcraft, but I could care less about the performance difference for Wow, lol.

It's a 450W PSU, so power consumption also plays a vital role. I am confident the i3 won't be a problem, but from what I've read, the i5 could draw up to 50 watts more.
The 450W PSU will be more than capable of supplying power to whatever processor you choose, and virtually any video card which will fit in the SG05.

450W is a lot of power.
    
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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hondajt View Post
I wont be doing any real gaming. I may play some World of Warcraft, but I could care less about the performance difference for Wow, lol.

It's a 450W PSU, so power consumption also plays a vital role. I am confident the i3 won't be a problem, but from what I've read, the i5 could draw up to 50 watts more.
If you stuck with the onboard graphics chip, you could easily run that SFF build on a 150w PSU (assuming you could find a decent one). A good 300w is more than enough, a good 450w is completely and utterly overkill, even with a GPU in there.

Granted with the price of the Corsair CX430, Rosewill Green 430, and the Antec Neo ECO 400 usually being around $30 on sale, it'd be kind of silly to spend more for less power.
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post #10 of 20
If you weren't worried about price at all, I'd say 2500k all the way. But for your application, the i3 2100 will do nicely.

95w is relatively easy to dissipate, even with stock cooling.
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