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 Post subject: Celeron G440 or G530 for HTPC upgrade?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:59 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Battlefield, MO
I have a surplus of DDR3, so I'd like to upgrade my HTPC to use it. Currently, HTPC has an MSI Speedster A4R with Core Solo T1350 1.86GHz CPU and 2GB DDR2. The onboard GMA950 video is plenty adequate to play DVDs, downloaded 720p MKVs, and broadcast HDTV at 720p resolution to my old ED projector (InFocus SP4805). The HTPC is built into a butchered-up case from an old Zapstation internet appliance and using a proprietary power supply of unknown wattage. It originally had a flex-ATX Pentium III board in it, if that gives an idea of what its power output might be.
I will probably be upgrading to an MSI Socket 1155 board, but I'm not sure if a Celeron G440 will be good enough or if I should go for the G530. Here are my thoughts and concerns:

  • Status quo performs quite well using Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit, and I know a Celeron G440 will exceed status quo. However, I would like to be able to play Blu-Ray discs in the near future and am also considering to upgrade to a full 1080p projector. Will a Celeron G440 be good enough to handle Blu-Ray discs, output at 1080p?
  • Celeron G440 consumes 17W less power under load than a G540 according to Xbitlabs, that might be preferable so as not to stress a PSU that originally powered a P-III. It's the primary reason I'm considering the G440 at all.
  • This machine is ONLY an HTPC. It has no other function. I don't multitask or run anything other than Windows Media Center on it, which makes me think dual core may not be of any benefit (I don't notice the lack of dual core right now). I fire it up to play a movie, shut it down when finished. It does not sit idle for long periods of time. Idle power consumption is no concern, load consumption is my only concern because I don't want to blow up the proprietary PSU.
  • G530 is only $9-10 more than a G440, which isn't a lot more for a much better CPU - which will completely go to waste if I never take advantage of the additional performance (doubtful that I would need the 2nd core and additional speed, unless the additional performance affects Blu-ray playback). However, it's not a whole lot of money to waste either.

I also plan to build another cheap little PC using an ECS motherboard I bought on a Black Friday deal. This PC's only purpose is to be a sequencer and tone generator for a MIDI keyboard controller. It will do absolutely nothing else. I'm thinking this won't require a very powerful machine, because I remember people used to do this with Amigas and 8MHz compact Macs. It'll be going into a small Coolermaster Elite 100 case with 150W PSU. So similar question to above, should I go G440 or G530 on this?

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Celeron G440 or G530 for HTPC upgrade?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:10 pm
Posts: 1008
Location: San Jose, California
The Celerons don't have the hardware post processing features of the i3 chips. Yes, they have decode, but lack the image post processing. I'd go with an i3.


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 Post subject: Re: Celeron G440 or G530 for HTPC upgrade?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1926
Location: Guatemala
A G530 is good enough for 1080p playback, but really depends on the software you will use, in my case i use Media Player Classic - Home Cinema + MadVR, LAV Splitters, LAV Audio decoder & LAV CUVID decoder, the igpu (HD2000/3000) is not enough, even low end gpus like Nvidia GT520/430 are not good, GT440 with gddr5 are the bare minimum for this type of HTPC playback. But in the mayority of cases, the G530 has HD2000 which is more than enough for 1080p playback. Im not sure about the G440... i would pobably invest the extra $$$ on the G530. If you have the time and would like to read more, check AVS Official Sandy Bridge / LGA1155 for HTPCs Thread.

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Celeron G440 or G530 for HTPC upgrade?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:59 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Battlefield, MO
I decided to pick up a pair of G530s a few days ago, they'll hopefully get here soon. I forgot to consider my custom case has no top ventilation holes, which was one of the reasons I had gone with a mobile CPU years ago, so I may have issues with the new CPU heating up the inside of the case too much. I hope not, but I guess I'll deal with it if it happens. I could always disable one core if I need to and it'll still be more powerful than the G440.
I use Windows 7 Media Center with K-Lite CODEC Pack x64.

I couldn't really justify spending the money on a Core i3 on an HTPC that right now, all I use is to watch downloaded .mkv's and ripped DVDs on. Maybe in the future I'll upgrade, if I ever get a 1080p 3D projector.

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