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 Post subject: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:51 am 
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I was looking at the Athlon II X2 245e as a CPU for an HTPC I'm building for my brother, on a motherboard with IGP HD3200.

He's quite poor, so I'm thinking that he'll appreciate the low power consumption (45W) and thus cost of this CPU :)

Would this be a suitable CPU for HTPC (MediaPortal), video encoding and general internet duties?

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:38 am 
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Actually, low power consumption makes it a premium part, costing more. :)

But yes, it's a nice CPU and will do the job well. A bargain in the used market, but if you're buying brand new stuff there are alternatives.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:21 pm 
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If I were to save every pennies, I'd purchase 65W CPU. After all, you cannot tell difference between 45W and 65W in terms of cooling/noise most of the time.


Just my 2 cents.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:06 am 
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Vicotnik wrote:
Actually, low power consumption makes it a premium part, costing more. :)

But yes, it's a nice CPU and will do the job well. A bargain in the used market, but if you're buying brand new stuff there are alternatives.


You're right, it's about £3.50 more than the 250/255 and £1 more than the 260 (and 80p less than the 270) where I was looking, but that sort of difference is irrelevant to me when choosing the best part.

Of course I can always underclock with PhenomMSRTweaker (or in the BIOS for a permanant underclock) but I don't know if that will bring the power consumption of the faster CPUs down to that of the 245e? If so, I suppose the ideal situation would be to use PMT to keep it at 45W (or lower) the majority of the time, whilst still allowing it to go to max when the situation calls for it (mainly when encoding video) but I've found it's not that easy to make PMT stay in P3 mode (other than setting the PowerSaver profile to only use P3, but I'd want it automated to keep it simple for my brother).

I'm interested to know what alternative CPU's you had in mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:16 am 
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loimlo wrote:
If I were to save every pennies, I'd purchase 65W CPU. After all, you cannot tell difference between 45W and 65W in terms of cooling/noise most of the time.


Just my 2 cents.


Thanks, I'll take your 2 cents and put it towards the processor :lol:

I'm not so much concerned with cooling/noise (I'll be using a decent cooler with it, so that won't be a problem) as power consumption.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:38 am 
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If you want a mainstream CPU and low power consumption, get an Intel motherboard, a dual-core Sandy Brigde CPU and a PSU that's fairly efficient at low loads. And do not use a dedicated GPU. This is well-understood here. Search other threads and you'll find build reports and the like.

But if you look at the overall costs, you save more by buying fairly cheap second hand gear. You'll get higher power consumption but, if you know what you're doing, it won't be so high as to cost you more in electricity bills than you saved at the purchase.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:11 am 
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HFat wrote:
If you want a mainstream CPU and low power consumption, get an Intel motherboard, a dual-core Sandy Brigde CPU and a PSU that's fairly efficient at low loads. And do not use a dedicated GPU. This is well-understood here. Search other threads and you'll find build reports and the like.

But if you look at the overall costs, you save more by buying fairly cheap second hand gear. You'll get higher power consumption but, if you know what you're doing, it won't be so high as to cost you more in electricity bills than you saved at the purchase.


Well I've already got all the parts I need (including the motherboard with HD3200 IGP) except the CPU, so I'm not going to be switching to Intel. Besides which, I need an ATI GPU to drive my brother's TV (VGA-RGB), so any motherboard would need to have ATI IGP or else I'd have to buy a card.

And I'm not paying my brother's electricity bills, so how much I save at purchase is irrelevant to him.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:43 am 
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I just built a system with an Athlon II X2 260 which is the 3.2GHz model. This replaced a dead mobo on my old Athlon 64 x2 4200...easier to just get the board and swap it all out so I did!

The 65w Athlon II's are pretty easy to keep cool even with a low profile heatsink so personally I'd go for something near that model depending on price. I picked up a Gelid siberian lower profile cooler for that one and it's pretty good and easy on the wallet. Much as I have been tempted with the energy efficient models from AMD I've pretty much always gone for the normal ones and tweaking about with a bit of undervolting to ease things along a bit better.

Performance wise the 260 is around twice as fast as the 4200 runs a good bit cooler. Pretty good choice for a sensible more budget geared "good enough" for most PC build.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:50 am 
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Thanks for the advice. I'll look at the 260 then.

I've got a Mini Ninja that I'm planning to use on whatever I get. It's been cooling a P4 Northwood 2.8Ghz until now, so I think it should be fine for an Athlon II.

I have been looking at second-hand Phenom II quad cores, in case I can find something better than my Athlon II X4 630 for myself for around £50, and then I'll just give the 630 to my brother. That's a 95W part though so doesn't really fit in with the whole "low power consumption" idea and I'm not sure I really need anything better (I can overclock it to 3.5Ghz) so I'll probably stick with the 260.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:24 am 
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It doesn't matter really unless you absolutely want to pursue lowest power consumption.

Normally, AMD K10 CPUs idle power consumption are very consistent across two/three/quad cores. That said, dual core like X2 250 may save 3 or 5 watts at medium load compared to qual cores like X4 635. Not significant enough to be a concern for 8/7, but may become a huge deal down the load for 24/7 situation.

Just my two cents. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:14 am 
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loimlo wrote:
It doesn't matter really unless you absolutely want to pursue lowest power consumption.

It's a trade off over oc'ing capabilities: I have several -e CPU (4850e, 420e, 605e, et c.) and they consistently go lower in voltage and less higher in frequency (even if over-volted) than they std. counterparts.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:02 am 
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loimlo wrote:
It doesn't matter really unless you absolutely want to pursue lowest power consumption.

Normally, AMD K10 CPUs idle power consumption are very consistent across two/three/quad cores. That said, dual core like X2 250 may save 3 or 5 watts at medium load compared to qual cores like X4 635. Not significant enough to be a concern for 8/7, but may become a huge deal down the load for 24/7 situation.

Just my two cents. :lol:


Thanks. That kinda changes things, knowing that the idle consumption between 2-4 cores is pretty similar and that there's not much difference at medium load either, as this HTPC isn't going to be on all the time, nor is it going to be doing much other than light-medium duties most of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:41 am 
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doveman wrote:
and that there's not much difference at medium load either

Are you talking between -e CPUs, or about normal Athlon IIs? Or mixing the bag?

IMHO there's quite a difference: at a 50% load, between a (necessarily slower) -e quad core and a standard one (605e vs 620), there would be up to 40W less, while between the same -e quad core and a (much faster) standard dual core there would be up to a 10-15W difference.

That edge become less noticeable if you undervolt the standard CPUs (usually they run stable in the range 1,1-1,175V).

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:04 am 
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doveman wrote:
I was looking at the Athlon II X2 245e as a CPU for an HTPC I'm building for my brother, on a motherboard with IGP HD3200.

He's quite poor, so I'm thinking that he'll appreciate the low power consumption (45W) and thus cost of this CPU :)

Would this be a suitable CPU for HTPC (MediaPortal), video encoding and general internet duties?

Short answer. Yes.

The energy-efficient Athlons are good undervolters. You can build a cheap system (760G/80G based) within 60W power-envelope. Run off the brick, literally.


Last edited by 1337 on Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:56 am 
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1337 wrote:
Short answer. Yes.

The energy-efficient Athlons are good undervolters. You can build a cheap system (760G/80G based) within 60W power-envelope. Run off the brick, literally.


Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:30 am 
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doveman wrote:
1337 wrote:
Short answer. Yes.

The energy-efficient Athlons are good undervolters. You can build a cheap system (760G/80G based) within 60W power-envelope. Run off the brick, literally.


Thanks.

My pleasure. I have a similar system with 235e equipped. Does everything you mentioned up above. Certainly media encoding isn't as fast... but it's okay, for home use. The tiny stock fan can get loud under load, though. If your brother appreciate *complete* silence, CM-212 Plus / or similar is a must.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Athlon II X2 245e a good CPU for HTPC?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:44 pm 
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1337 wrote:
My pleasure. I have a similar system with 235e equipped. Does everything you mentioned up above. Certainly media encoding isn't as fast... but it's okay, for home use. The tiny stock fan can get loud under load, though. If your brother appreciate *complete* silence, CM-212 Plus / or similar is a must.


He's not as fussy as me, but I'm planning on using a spare mini Ninja I've got anyway, as those stock fans can start to get on your nerves when you're trying to watch something.

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