It is currently Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:11 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Hi everyone. First post.

I'm thinking about updating my HTPCs and need a little advice before making a purchase.

I only run a simple HTPC that has windows 7 MCE output at 1080p. I use a networked TV tuner (HDhomerun) and don't use it to play or rip movies of any sort. Just OTA TV.

What I want is a low noise low power system that I can leave on 24/7.

I have one mATX case and the other PC is ATX. I'd like the same setup on both, except motherboards.

My thoughts were
i3 2400T (open to the 2400 as a second choice if needed)
1 stick 4gig ram
60gig SSD, main storage via NAS
H67 motherboard. I really don't know which is "best" The intel branded one seems hard to get hold of in Australia. Asus and Asrock are easy to come by.
PicoPSU 150 (already have)

Will this be enough horsepower to do what I want. I think it will be fine for video playback, but I don't want jerky menus etc.

Also any ideas on real world power usage? I have read some conflicting figures. I doubt the system will ever be under full load.

Thanks for any advice.

Cheers
Jamie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
wilsonj wrote:
H67 motherboard. I really don't know which is "best" The intel branded one seems hard to get hold of in Australia. Asus and Asrock are easy to come by.

Intel and MSI most likely have the boards which waste the least power. But ASRock prices are good.

wilsonj wrote:
Will this be enough horsepower to do what I want. I think it will be fine for video playback, but I don't want jerky menus etc.

A lot more than enough! Although I must say I have no idea what "jerky menus" are really or how they'd relate to "horsepower". It sounds like a software issue.
If you don't need the features of the 2100T (for transcoding for instance), you could pick a cheaper CPU such as the G620 (it has the same architecture, plugs in the same socket, should consume about the same amount of power but is slightly slower).
Regardless of your CPU, your main performance bottleneck is likely to be your drive so pick your SSD carefully (do you really need 60G by the way? you may be able to get a better 40G at the same price).

wilsonj wrote:
Also any ideas on real world power usage?

Less than 20W idle unless perhaps you pick a wasteful board and/or an inefficient brick.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1892
Location: Guatemala
HFat wrote:
If you don't need the features of the 2100T (for transcoding for instance), you could pick a cheaper CPU such as the G620 (it has the same architecture, plugs in the same socket, should consume about the same amount of power but is slightly slower).


Hfat is right, its very close into what they consume, according to Xbitlabs Pentium G850/G840/G620 vs. Core i3-2100T

Image Image
Image Image

Would been interesting to see G620T, but i think should be with in a watt from the 2100T. I would go with either for HTPC.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
These figures have little credibility. If you give them the benefit of the doubt (I wouldn't), they're only valid for H61. With H67 people have found smaller differences between CPUs in practice. If you could idle that low with a xxxxT CPU on H61, that would be great as you say because the G620T is cheap. But don't count on it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Thanks guys.

What I mean by "jerky menus" is on an older AMD low power system (4850e CPU I think) the menus wouldn't scroll smoothly in MCE. There was a slight jerk to them. When I used a more powerful CPU this went away. Reducing the resolution to 720 stopped the jerking too. I assumed the CPU was the bottle neck.

Wow, the G620 sure is much cheaper. Although I can't find a G620T anywhere ! (in Australia). Only the G620, 840, 850 etc All of which are cheaper than the 2100T. Going by that graph there isn't much difference in power usage.

Hfat, I don't really understand your last comment regarding the graph. Are you saying real world numbers will be all higher with the H67 ?

Finally, is there any reason to use a H67 board, instead of an H61 ? I see the only real difference for me would be the SATA3 6Gb, as apposed to SATA2 3Gb. And I'm not sure that would be an issue given I'm using a NAS for storage. Only say boot up times, but I plan to leave it on 24/7.

I assume a new fast SSD will probably be bottle necked by the the slower port though?

H61 boards are about half the money of the H67, so I could potentially build 2 H61/G620 PCs for the price of 1 H67/2100T PC.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Looking around I found this mobo. Intel BLKDH61BEB3. Says it has sata3. So it falls in between H61 and H67 for features and price.

Asrock are still the cheapest ($59), followed by MSI ($70) then intel at ($93). All H61. In H67 The starting point is $103 up to around $140 for intel.

I don't want to pay for features I just wont use.

I'm leaning towards a sata2 SSD too. I don't think I can justify a sata3 for HTPC. Which would remove the advantage the intel H61 board has over the others.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Oh dear, I didn't know about this AMD E35M1-M Pro.

Could this be a better option ?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
If you are right that the 4850e wasn't powerful enough then definitely avoid that board! The CPU is a good bit less powerful than a 4850e.
Are you sure the CPU is the only thing you changed when you stopped getting "jerky menus"? 20 years ago, computers were able to make menus scroll just fine. I know we're talking about Microsoft here but it would be a riot if a 4850e would have trouble drawing a menu.
Let's put it this way: lots of people are using even weaker CPUs than the E350 in the Asus board you noticed for HTPCs. Maybe they aren't using Microsoft software.

SATA3 is useless for an HTPC. You're right. At best, you'll copy video files 10% quicker or something (if you ever copy some to your SSD, that is). It's not so much that the SSD would be bottlenecked (it would be much slower than SATA2 when writing) but it seems SATA3 sometimes allows better performance even at fairly low speeds.

As to the power figures above, they're simply not credible in my opinion, H67 or not. They're using two 2G sticks of RAM and an Asus board or some such and they want me to belive that burns less than 10W? Compare their figures with SPCR's which are actually reliable and tell me if you can believe it!

The reason I went for H67 is simply that there's no H61 mITX board available here. If you get a G620, by all means go with H61 if you can. Even if you don't save much power, you'll save cash.
H61 doesn't have IGP overclocking or RST apparently. It also doesn't seem to support one of the ridiculous-sounding HTPC-related features that the 2100 has but the G620 doesn't. I don't know if there's any other difference. I have no idea why one would want RST but Abula seems to care (see today's SSD thread)...
Intel's market segmentation is such a mess! I can't tell the useful features apart from the fluff. Best ask an expert if you want to know for sure... or simply get the cheapest product. They work well enough.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Hfat, thanks for your detailed reply.

I have decided to go with this motherboard. Its cheap at $79 and offers SATA3 and USB3. Not needed, but it was only $2 more.
http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=H61M/U3S3

Teamed with a G620, A-ram 40gb SSD and 4gb ram.

I will use my picoPSU 150xt Although its much bigger than I need. I also have the 12.5amp brick, which again is bigger than needed. Not sure how much real world difference it will make though compared to say the 80 or 90 model.

Hope this system will do what I want. If it does, then I'll start looking to update my other PCs.

Cheers
Jamie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:22 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
Posts: 1522
Location: Sweden
Please provide us with a power reading later if you're able. Since the choice of motherboard has a big impact on idle power consumption it would be great to see how the Asrock board fares.

And perhaps you should look for a possible software issue. Like HFat points out, the 4850e should be plenty for the things you use it for. Even with MS software you would think.. ;)

_________________
Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 750 Ti | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | TJ08-E | G-360 360W
Server: Intel DH77DF | i3-2100T | 4TB+3x3TB | picoPSU | Idle 24W AC


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Yeah will do. I'm hoping it lives up to my expectations. My current pc draws 26 watts while turned off. Shouldn't be hard to beat.

Might be worth revisiting the 4850e too. Certainly doesn't seem right when compared to the e350. Maybe it was a driver issue.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
wilsonj wrote:
A-ram 40gb SSD

I wouldn't do that. There are good SSDs such as Intel's in that capacity. The current Intel comes with a firmware flaw so you'd have to update it (no big deal) but SSDs can be really crappy. It's the one aera where you shouldn't try to save money by going with an unknown model.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Hfat thanks for the advice, too late though. Already on it's way!

It uses a sandforce F1200 controller though, so shouldn't be too bad. My main aim was to reduce noise, power and heat in the system. Performance over the current 5400 HDD is a bonus for this machine. Also it's $100.

When the pc is built next week I'll report back with some real world numbers. Boot times and power draw etc.

Cheers
Jamie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
wilsonj wrote:
Performance over the current 5400 HDD is a bonus for this machine.

Performance is not going to be better in all respects. All small SSDs are slow at writing to begin with and the sequential write speed of the old Sandforce drives could degrade over time. It probably won't be an issue for you once the system is up and running but don't be surprised if some operations seem slow when you're installing software and such.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1892
Location: Guatemala
There are some small ssds that are fast though, like the Samsung 470 64gb has very good sequential reads (still lower than its bigger brothers 128/256), but for a small drive to to have 170 MB/sec sequential writes is pretty good (faster than my intels), faster than any 7200rpm, maybe even SCSI drives. This would be my choice for small ssd close to $100.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Kicking myself now. I should have got the samsung. Only $10 more and double the capacity alone, let alone performance benefits. Next machine I'll use the samsung....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Still waiting on my parts !!!! :evil: Just got an email to say the Asrock board I selected was no longer available. So I ended up getting a new H67 intel. I also took the opportunity to change the SSD. There was a special on the OCZ Vertex 2. I know its still only 3GBs but I figured its probably a better unit. Ended up the same price and 60gb.

Hopefully all arrives this week and I can report back with power consumption.

Incidentally I plugged in my power brick for the picoPSU and to my astonishment it pulled 15watts on its own!!!!! thats a deal breaker there. I did have another unit that I will end up using. I didn't register at all.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Hi all,

well I have just built my dedicated 24/7 HTPC. I'm very happy with the performance, but a little dissapointed with the wattages.

I ended up with the following

G620
Intel DH67BL motherboard
OCZ vertex 2 60gb SDD
1 stick 4gb ram
No DVD drive hooked up.
picopsu 80WI with a Dell laptop brick I had.

PC off the system draws 7 watts.

At idle 19-24 watts

Highest I have seen is 43watts

I expected a little better than this. At least mid teens. I realise that in reality it makes little to no difference, as I could now be seeing small differences in component tolerances and the increasing inaccuracy of the watt meter.

Any thoughts?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1892
Location: Guatemala
The consumptions doesnt look bad, OCZ/Sanforce drives arent the best in terms of consumption, Vertex 3 consumes almost 4W accesing (if i recall correctly), while samsung 470 and intel x25m go to less than 2W, some 5400rpm drives even dip to 1.5w. How many fans you have running? my fans take 1 or 2 watts each. Hows your power saving settings on windows? My setup also goes down to 14W idle if nothing is conected to it (keyboards, mouse, monitor), usually with remote managing while downloading its around 17W, when i set it up and have keyboard + mouse + monitor on it, it goes to 20W or around there. Also disable anything that your not using, in my case i disable the serial ports, paralel ports, usb ports that im not using, see if that helps. The brick might also help to get one that its more efficent, i really dont know how good are the dells. But overall doesnt look bad, i think you can get it lower, but idk if its worth the investment.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 11
Hi Abula

Thanks for your comments.

I am also suspicious of the DELL brick, although it performs better than the purpose built one I bought for my other picoPSU.. That pulls 15 watts just plugged in!

While running MCE it shows a draw of around 24watts, which is quite good I think.

I checked my power settings in windows and reduced the CPU idle to 0. But I doubt that will show improvements.

I found this article regarding the SSD power consumption.
http://www.cmoullas.net/reviews/44-ssd/ ... onsumption


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: advice on 2100T HTPC system
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:57 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
Posts: 1522
Location: Sweden
The wide input picoPSU should also be slightly less efficient than a normal picoPSU due to the extra DC/DC conversion for the +12V rail. But you should be happy with those figures I think, very close to optimal with that class of hardware. But it's fun to chase those last few watts. :) I myself am looking for an efficient 12V brick, but they are hard to find and usually very expensive. But if I can drop another watt or two, it's worth it for me.

_________________
Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 750 Ti | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | TJ08-E | G-360 360W
Server: Intel DH77DF | i3-2100T | 4TB+3x3TB | picoPSU | Idle 24W AC


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group