You need to Read the rules and Join the forums before you can post.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Efficiency vs performance questions
03-15-2013, 11:04 PM,
#1
Efficiency vs performance questions
I'm currently developing a budget build for an HTPC, and I'm starting to consider a low-energy (and hopefully low heat and low noise) build. I have a lot of questions, but a little about the build I'm considering to put things in perspective:

Silverstone ML03B Milo HTPC case
ASRock FM2A75M-DGS FM2 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) mATX board
AMD A8-5500 Trinity 65W Quad Core w/ Onboard Radeon HD 7560D
WD Green 1TB HDD
Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1.65v DDR3 1866MHz
2x COOLER MASTER R4-S8R-20AK-GP 80mm fans for the case

I'm also going to "borrow" a BluRay drive from an older build:
Lite-On 4X SATA Blu-ray ROM Drive IHOS104-06



0) Overall, does anyone see any problems or concerns with this build? The HTPC needs only to play/stream HD media, so graphics concerns aren't terribly high... Yes, there's no PSU...see #2 below.

1) How much of a power savings am I getting using a Green HDD and the A8-5500 over a Blue HDD and the A8-5600K (I'm not much on overclocking (at least not yet), particularly for this build, so the 5600K being unlocked isn't much of a concern for me).

2) What wattage should I get for my PSU? 300? 450? And how much is 80+ bronze worth in the sense of being energy efficient?
(Any suggestions on a good PSU for this purpose is greatly appreciated!)

3) I'm also considering a relatively small (<=64GB) SSD as a boot drive, but I have NO idea what power consumption for an SSD is like. How much can I expect an SSD to increase my power useage, and what should I be looking for in an SSD if I want to make an ECO computer and get the most bang for my buck (particularly since this is a budget build). Are any brands better than others for these?

4) If I do get the SSD, the case either has it sitting somewhat elevated above the mobo, or on the floor of the case up against the PSU. Would this second configuration be problematic due to heat issues? (the elevated spot can hold HDD or SDD, but an HDD on the floor would be tucked in a slightly different spot further from the PSU).

Thanks much!!!
Reply
03-16-2013, 03:25 PM,
#2
RE: Efficiency vs performance questions
0: The build looks good. You really could get away with the 40$ AMD A4-3300 if all you're doing is streaming videos.

1: As far as Green vs Blue, if you are just running one drive not at 24/7, the difference imo will be negligible. As for the A8-5500 and the A8-5600k, if you don't overclock and plan to stream media only, then you won't make use of the A8-5600k anyways. However, the A8-5600k is considerable more potent in performance, you can also lower its clocks to lower its power consumption down too.

2: If you are just streaming media, I would get a 300. It will be more than enough. 80+ means that you are using >80% of electric energy to run your computer. That also means that 20% or less will be converted into heat. So, without getting all sciency, 80+ means that your PSU will be cooler, last longer, and be more efficient. Highly recommended! I would get the 40$ SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...alParent=1

3: This gets tricky! "Technically," SSD use way less power when compared to HDD because HDD needs power to spin. However, because SSD's are much faster, they are also working the computer more. Tasks are being done quicker and the CPU is working harder consuming more power. This is only apparent when you compare an SSD to an HDD over a fixed time. If you compare how much work gets done over how much energy is consumed, SSD wins. For brands I like Samsung and Plextor. Some brands are known to be more reliable than others. See Mathieu's best SSD guide.

http://www.hardware-revolution.com/best-...june-2012/

4: No problem for SSDs. They are tougher than HDD and I've never seen and SSD have issues with temps.
Desktop: CPU: Intel Core i5 2500 3.30GHz RAM: G.Skill 8GB MOBO: ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 Video Card: SLI MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 768 SSD: Corsair Force 3 60GB HDD: Samsung F3 1TB Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Mouse: Storm Sentinal Z3RO-G Keyboard: Das Keyboard Silent/Filco Majestouch 2 Speakers: Behringer MS-16 Headphones: Alessandro MS-1/Shure SRH440 modded Router: D-Link Xtreme DIR-655 Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM De-anti-glared Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad X120e/Thinkpad T430
Reply
03-16-2013, 11:58 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-17-2013, 12:56 AM by fillasophy.)
#3
RE: Efficiency vs performance questions
Thanks for the help!!

0) I'm thinking that I like the better integrated GPU, faster CPU, and newerishness (and the fact I won't have to find a new mobo, llano use F1, this is an F2, and from what I hear next-gen will likely use F2)) in the Trinity setups, but admittedly I won't be playing many games (a little still, but lower-end Steam stuff), just playing BluRay and streaming HD. I'll let my gaming rig do more of the heavy lifting.
All that said, I'm going to probably go with the A4-5300 (the trinity version of the 3300) or maybe the A6, as a half-way to your suggestion.

(Note: One BIG question with the cheaper chips... These have a 1MB L2 cache, as opposed to the A8's 4MB. This means nothing to me...is it that big if a difference? Also, the dual core sucks less power then a quad-core at the same wattage, right??)


1) I just found the WD Green 1.5 TB has a $20 promo code attached to it on newegg until 3/20, making it around $70. For 1.5 TB, I'm thinking I can't pass that up. (And I do tend to leave my computers on and forget about them, so the low energy still helps, particularly if I'll be watching movies actively off the HDD, right?).

2) I am a math/science teacher, actually, and a nerd to boot (yay!) so no worries about the over-sciency bit. Some gaming (do your actions, not just your hardware, change your power PSU needs??) and plugging in peripherals from time to time shouldn't need more than 300W still, (particularly with the A4-5300 APU instead) right?

3) I just searched the crud out of AnandTech, Tom'sHArdware, and SSDreview.com, (which have some really good power, price, and performance comparison tools & reports) and found that I'll likely go with the Crucial M4 (as MathieuB suggests), but I'm tempted by the Samsung 840 (non-Pro), so good call on both counts of that Smile . I would note that the Kingston suggestion is discontinued, and the M4 is out of stock on newegg right now :/ .

Also, will I benefit from having the 1866MHz Ram as opposed to the 1600MHz? It's only like $3 more, but the 1866 suggested on the budget page is ugly as sin...lol

So again, I really appreciate the help. Here's what the build will likely look like when I can finally get to building the thing...:

Silverstone ML03B Milo HTPC case
2x COOLER MASTER R4-S8R-20AK-GP 80mm fans for the case
ASRock FM2A75M-DGS FM2 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) mATX board
AMD A4-5300 Trinity 3.4GHz 65W Dual Core w/ Onboard Radeon HD 7480D
Crucial m4 64GB SSD (boot drive, core program installation)
WD Green 1.5 TB HDD (storage)
Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1.65v DDR3 1866MHz
SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W ATX12V PSU

I'm also going to "borrow" a BluRay drive from an older build:
Lite-On 4X SATA Blu-ray ROM Drive IHOS104-06


Thanks!!

EDIT:

Apparently I hadn't looked up the price of Ram yet, or they've gone up in the last few days, but RAM prices are higher than a few months ago, definitely for those suggested on the budget page. Searching for a cheap, decent set of 2x2GB 1866, I've found the following on newegg. 1600 isn't much cheaper...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-4GBXM
$38

This should work with my build, right?
Reply
03-17-2013, 02:31 AM,
#4
RE: Efficiency vs performance questions
0: The large difference in L2 is because one is a quad core and the other a dual core. The total L2 cache is calculated simply by multiplying the number of cores by the amount of L2 cache for each core. Even so, the quad core still has twice the L2 cache per core. L2 cache matters somewhat, but for HTPC usage, likely not.

Sorry, I am leaving for a trip right now so I can't answer anymore! hopefully someone else will jump in. Good luck
Desktop: CPU: Intel Core i5 2500 3.30GHz RAM: G.Skill 8GB MOBO: ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 Video Card: SLI MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 768 SSD: Corsair Force 3 60GB HDD: Samsung F3 1TB Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Mouse: Storm Sentinal Z3RO-G Keyboard: Das Keyboard Silent/Filco Majestouch 2 Speakers: Behringer MS-16 Headphones: Alessandro MS-1/Shure SRH440 modded Router: D-Link Xtreme DIR-655 Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM De-anti-glared Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad X120e/Thinkpad T430
Reply
03-17-2013, 01:47 PM,
#5
RE: Efficiency vs performance questions
No worries, I really appreciate the help (and a 2AM post of all things!). I think I've worked things out pretty well (unless anyone sees anything glaringly wrong with this). I've done more searching and have finally come up with the following build:

Silverstone ML03B Milo HTPC case
- I like the design and size, should fit nicely in my HT setup, plus front USB 3
APEVIA CF4S-BK 80mm Case cooler (x2)
- I switched from the CM R4-S8R-20AK-GP to these, which are rated about as loud but cheaper
ASRock FM2A75M-DGS FM2 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) mATX board
- Sticking with the MathieuB suggestion on this one, plus F2 and USB 3 sockets
AMD A6-5400K Trinity 3.6GHz 65W Dual Core w/ Onboard Radeon HD 7540D
- On-sale, for $10 I get more power/speed and the unlock to try later, plus still low power like the A4
WD Caviar Green 1.5 TB HDD
- 1.5 TB for $70 on sale is nuts, plus I'm aiming for low power
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1866
- Cheap considering current prices, and nice looking to boot
SeaSonic SS-350ET 80+ Bronze 350W ATX12V PSU
- Same model as the 300W, but added the 50W for $1 to be safe (per MathieuB suggestion)
Lite-On 4X SATA Blu-ray ROM Drive IHOS104-06
- I stole this drive from my old gaming rig, since this will be for my BluRay now, so free!

Total w/tax & S&H: $362
(plus I had an old gift certificate around, so $342 for me)


Crucial m4 64GB SSD
- I've sectioned this off because I realized that with Windows 7 and this SSD the cost nearly doubles (I don't believe in OEM for the operating system, I like the versatility of being able to transfer, especially because Windows 8 sucks...). What I've decided to do for now is assemble the rig WITHOUT the SSD, then install Linux to the HDD so that the system is functional, and so I can test all the parts. In a month or two, when I can afford it more easily, I'll pick up the SSD (which will hopefully have gone down in price) and a copy of Windows; transfer, wipe, and reformat the HDD; add the SSD and install Windows on it as a boot drive; and then I'll have the setup I was aiming for.
Reply
03-19-2013, 06:52 AM,
#6
RE: Efficiency vs performance questions
I dont know anything about APEVIA but please dont go by what the company's ratings(particularly on fans).
They can be loader or wont provide sufficient cooling.
From what i seen/read CM fans are good.
Reply
03-19-2013, 03:29 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-19-2013, 03:32 PM by PwnBroker.)
#7
RE: Efficiency vs performance questions
0) for what you want to do, and as long as you wont be doing any software decoding for 1080p h.264, you will be fine with that setup. i agree with the decision to use the FM2 socket, as the FM1 is dead as far as new tech goes. steam games will run ok with the hd7540d. for example, in CS:GO, you can expect frame rates in the 30's most of the time, with occasional dips below 20fps.

on the l2 cache question, a higher cache can increase frame rates in games and decoding video in certain instances with this chip as well as higher memory speeds. just because a chip has a lower tdp doesnt necessarily mean it will consume less power. a 2 core chip may run an app at 90-100% load while a 4 core version may run the same app at 50%. a 15w difference depending on app threading.

pc perspective did a build exactly on those specs, here is a link to the 5 part series, with this link to the power consumption page you can expect with this system:

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/General-Tec...mption-and

1) the newer version of the wd green's actively cut their power consumption almost in half, a good drive for what you want to do.

2) 300w psu should be ok, if you look at the power consumption numbers on the above link, its plenty. just one note though, if you look at the case there isnt much room, so a "modular" psu might be considered.

3) SSD's will always use less power over time. an ssd will read 4-5 times faster that a hdd and while its true that the cpu and memory are not sitting idle due to increased throughput, the system will get the work done 4-5 faster. here is a link from toms that explains it better:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-...269-7.html

on the win7 vs win8 there are pros and cons to both. with oem in win7 you dont have the transferability but with win8 you can transfer the oem version up to 5 times with a system builder liscense. WMC is better with win7 but on the win8 side some of the streaming services provide better looking content and with win8 it operates with lower power consumption, but they really screwed up WMC that cost 10 bucks. here is a link for that:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6674/getti...nd-more/10

good luck
Reply
03-19-2013, 10:16 PM,
#8
RE: Efficiency vs performance questions
(03-19-2013, 06:52 AM)sasikanth8 Wrote: I dont know anything about APEVIA but please dont go by what the company's ratings(particularly on fans).
They can be loader or wont provide sufficient cooling.
From what i seen/read CM fans are good.

The fans were like $2 each, I have room for 2 more 80 mm, and the Newegg ratings were pretty solid too - worst case, I have to buy two more with no lost sleep. I appreciate the warning though. Thanks!!


(03-19-2013, 03:29 PM)PwnBroker Wrote: 0)
pc perspective did a build exactly on those specs, here is a link to the 5 part series, with this link to the power consumption page you can expect with this system:

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/General-Tec...mption-and

1) the newer version of the wd green's actively cut their power consumption almost in half, a good drive for what you want to do.

2) 300w psu should be ok, if you look at the power consumption numbers on the above link, its plenty. just one note though, if you look at the case there isnt much room, so a "modular" psu might be considered.

3) SSD's will always use less power over time. an ssd will read 4-5 times faster that a hdd and while its true that the cpu and memory are not sitting idle due to increased throughput, the system will get the work done 4-5 faster. here is a link from toms that explains it better:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-...269-7.html

on the win7 vs win8 there are pros and cons to both. with oem in win7 you dont have the transferability but with win8 you can transfer the oem version up to 5 times with a system builder liscense. WMC is better with win7 but on the win8 side some of the streaming services provide better looking content and with win8 it operates with lower power consumption, but they really screwed up WMC that cost 10 bucks. here is a link for that:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6674/getti...nd-more/10

good luck

Parts are in the mail, so I'll let you know how it turns out when my students and I put it together (Oh, yea... I'm a teacher, and I like to share my build experience/what I've learned with them. I got started here, so just passin it forward, I guess Smile )

0) Interesting article. A few parts were a bit different, but yea, mostly the same, and lower power than I'd thought, too...

1) Just to clarify, what is the "newer version" of the WD Greens? (short version: is the 1.5 TB I just picked up one of them? too late now I guess...lol)

2) I thought about the spacing/modular issue, but I realized there's actually space under the optical drive I won't be using much, so I can tuck unused cables there.

3) Yea, I'd heard that WMC was trashy/an option for Win8, but didn't know 8 ran lower power, or that you can transfer the OEM. Sounds like I'll have to look into and think about it, so thanks for the heads up! (I think MathieuB said you can mod it to function like 7 easily enough, too)

Good lookin' out! Thanks!!
Reply
03-20-2013, 12:19 AM,
#9
RE: Efficiency vs performance questions
your good to go on the green drive, i guess i shouldnt have thrown that newer version comment in there it might confuse some. fyi, the specs for the green are 4w at idle, 7w at peak. the blue is about 6w idle if i remember. the black almost doubles that and so on.

good luck on the build, your students should enjoy and maybe it might spark an interest in some of them to study engineering or computer science, you never know.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)