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The slim-skinny on HTPC's, 6800k's, God, and everything

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

OK, so I admit it... I must’ve been in a coma.stun.gif I had an hour to kill and checked out an ad in Newegg about a 6800K and an HTPC?

I've known about mini mobos for a long time but I had no idea that they're apparently used for something called an "HTPC". And then there's the AMD's 6800k which at first, didn't catch my slow-moving thought process, (still warming it up from that coma).
Then I start seeing reviews like "4.9Ghz on stock cooler" being stated one after another.

Alright, so if you're still with me, is this the 'up and coming' direction of more powerful and faster responding PC's?

Or is this the old; "If I can't make it around the 1 mile track any faster, I'll shrink the track instead of training harder" kind of mentality?

The processors of the Two leading companies, (we all know who they are), seem to have hit a limit for a while. So maybe someone’s cutting the power demand of the other components like mobos, (i.e. shrinking the track), and combining GPUs with CPU's.

So now, the power draw of a pair of $280.00 Graphic cards is no longer a concern, (I don't know about that). Yet I still see you-tube vids with people adding an external GPU to their rig that's built with the 6800k APU, (why buy an APU if you're not going to use half of it?headscratch.gif).

Anyway, I don’t know what to make of it all. While I’m trying to figure out the next move to make regarding the latest ‘full-size’ mobo’s, memory, graphics and CPU’s and how much better they can handle high draw programs, open browser pages and image editing software, all running simultaneously compared to what I’m running now, all this other stuff is shooting right by me!jealoussmiley.gif

… I’m tired…tiredsmiley.gif
post #2 of 8
UM, tanfl, but progress is good.
You are aware of AMD Piledriver? Anyway AMD stuffed 5/6 series GPU on die in something called "fusion."
FM1 socket was the original, using AMD Athlon architecture and HD 5450, 5570, 5670 on die. APUs were 2 or 4 core, and used system memory. And can "dual crossfire" onboard iGPU with a similar video card.
Note iGPU scales with system memory speed.
Note these are 65 or 100 watt processors.
FM2 socket switched to Piledriver modules (one or two, 2 or 4 cores) and improved video performance.
Richland , A6800 is an improvement on the A5800 series. Video has considerable improvement, CPU not much.
FM2 APUs consist of the "two or four core models" of an FX-4100/4300 and the latest version with added instruction sets of the HD 5450, 5570, 5670 architecture.
You can also buy the CPU with the iGPU disabled if you miss the point or want to run a discrete video card stronger than an HD 6670 or an Nvidea card.
The FX-SERIES which does not contain iGPUs (IE motherboard video or none).

Anyway both AMD and Intel would like to sell a lot of budget pc and especially laptop chips, so there is a minor iGPU war going on. Be aware there are limitation.
So both are building "video on a chip" for the budget market, And progress has been good.
Haswell mobile is as good as AMD mobile and close to desktop.
Where's the money?
APU prices have scaled with performance so you start arguing Intel CPU efficiency Add video card vs AMD APU.
What level of performance are you after?

UM, HTPC do not have to be mini, though there are very desirable cases for mini builds.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that brasslad!
The post was more or less a ‘for what it’s worth’ statement about how fast things change in the world of technology.

I can't say that I followed everything you've said there because I'm not up on much of the APU chips. My mobo happens to have an iGPU, but I turned it off and pretty much skipped over any literature about it in the manual.

I didn't do that because I have some problem with iGPU's, I did it because I wanted to stay focused on the mobo options that I was planning to use.

I have no intention of building a 'mini' system anytime soon. But as I had said, I suddenly saw all this info regarding HTPCs and for me, it felt like it shot right by me and therefore was a 'new thing'.

But did I misunderstand you, or did you say that they can run an external graphic card in a kind of 'Crossfire' configuration with the APU's graphic side? I probably misunderstood you on that point.

I don’t necessarily agree that ‘Progress is good’; (the definition of “progress” is dependent on one’s POV).wink.gif
Thanks again, Rich
post #4 of 8
OK, AMD invested in a strong iGPU configuration for inexpensive builds.
Yes the APUs (AMDs name for a CPU and strong iGPU chipset) can crossfire the chip iGPU with an matching HD 6 series video card.
The APU and particularly the APU dual crossfire allows modest gaming on a budget.
It works, it is good, and it is still not HD7750 level
The advantages of the APU for HTPC is you can start with a $50 motherboard and $50-$70 APU chip and have reasonable Home Theater Personal Computer.
Or for the price of H61 or B75 Motherboard$50-75 and a cheap discrete video card $45-65 with a Celeron or Pentium dual core CPU $50-70 you can go intel.

If you know your needs an APU can be a "perfect fit."
If you want to include serious CPU upgradability go Intel.

Your Sandy Bridge iGPU HD3000 is much better than the video that came on motherboards or the early I series.
You can do web surfing and streaming with it.
No it does not match APUs. Primarily because the "top" Intel iGPU does not appear until the I3 XXX5 series that start around $140.

I have built web surfer video streamers using both depending on sale prices.
H61, Pentium 620, GT430
FM2 A75, A5400
Both work well, owners are happy.

For confusion sake the iGPU for FM1 is HD6XXXD video, same chipset, FM2 is HD7XXXD, and "Ricland" is HD8XXXD.
I forget if the first FM2 was Bulldozer or Piledriver based, think it is piledriver.

And if you have missed all the arguments the FX-4300/6300/8300 (and 4350/6350/83xx) are decent precessors, at $180-200 the FX-8350 is hotter but falls between the I5 and the I7 for the most part.
You will note the exponents of APUs omit graphics from their FX chips and Intel gets no credit for theirs.

There may or not be software based crossfire/sli even across brands of video cards. Not following this.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I got it now! Yes, thanks, that did clarify a few things in your first post that I didn't follow earlier. INCREDIBLE though! I'm glad to see that the downsizing and reduced costs can still produce a half decent system.

I have to admit, when I first started building, I thought; "wow! I can save a lot of money this way!". And the fact is that I can, but it turned out to be 'relatively speaking': (pay $1000. and build your own rather than buying it prebuilt for 4 - 6 times as much).

Truth is, I'm likely never to go with a HTPC rig. I'm not really a gamer; I'm a sim pilot when it comes to 'games'. FSX is hard on the CPU and if I'm not flying, (and lately it seems I've been too busy to), I'm writing tech manuals on how to fly a new sim aircraft.

That turned out be even harder on the system; Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium 12, MS Office 2010 pro, Adobe PS CS6 Extended, at least 4 to 6 browser pages opened, and Acrobat XI Pro are all involved and almost all running simultaneously more often than not!

I just upgraded the memory to Crucial and added an additional 8gb to the system and that improved things quite a bit. I have another build that’ll be up and running inside of a week that’s AMD based.

I had a bunch of new or near new hardware items laying around that where AMD-based before I switched over to Intel.

So rather than throw them out or spend a lot of time trying to sell them, I bought a FX 6350, an OCZ 120 GB flash drive, and that old boat (that was at Dragon NS Premium 12 mis-type), they both go, (that's what Dragon was supposed to type tongue.gif), together with the Asus M5A97 EVO and an HD 5770 and Corsair H100. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do, but I just didn’t like seeing that stuff lay around collecting dust.

I call it “my wife’s computer” but I will likely use it for the lighter work and take some of the pressure off of this system.
Thanks again for the update.thumb.gif
Edited by wingclip - 6/20/13 at 10:14am
post #6 of 8
Glad to help,. good luck and , hopefully enjoy. What works is all that is important, though "new" gets all the "excitement."
HTPC is usually a small form factor computer to live among audio visual components, low power and quiet are desirable.
Otherwise it is "just" a dedicated purpose computer holding whatever AV components you use.
post #7 of 8
is this an amd question? lol...htpc on ocn means still able to game..
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post #8 of 8
Sometimes it is a case of how many gaming computers you can afford or are allowed. Or so I am told.
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