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  • sergev - Monday, January 12, 2009 - link

    A fair comparison? Don't think so! A AMD processor with a 140 Watt TDP and a Intel processor with a 95 Watt TDP?? I wonder why the intel chipsets seem more power efficient? If you are testing the performance, ok seems fair, but power efficiency should be measured with two processors with the same TDP. I am convinced that if you did the same test with a AMD 4850E the AMD would beat the crap out the intel versions on power consumption. But yet again, that would not be fair. So keep in mind that this review is not to be taken al to seriously! Reply
  • axiomhk - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 - link

    Hi, what amazes me is that it seems no reviewers of the AMD IGP chipsets have caught the serious 2D issues referred to here:">

    However, the only channel that we consumers / mere mortals have to put pressure on AMD is to send feedback to the Catalyst team. Nothing seems to get done and there is not even any acknowledgement that this issue exists across the HD3200/HD3300 IGPs no matter which manufacturer.

    The 3D performance is hyped up and that's all very well when the chipset has shown that it can deliver, but in fact many users will spend a lot of time on 2D activities which truly suck. This makes a lot of users regret their purchase.

    What the renowned sites such as anandtech and tomshardware can do is try to reproduce the issues, then use their direct contacts to try to see if this issue is being addressed and update the parent article accordingly. Is it possible? Many thanks. GM - Hong Kong.
  • Zap - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    "The keyboard is not available after drive recognition until the Windows startup routine"

    Try a different keyboard, or a PS/2 keyboard. I had the same problem with two MSI 750a boards and some Razer USB keyboards. No keyboard until Windows. I had to fix a BIOS problem and had to borrow a keyboard - Logitech G15 USB keyboard worked fine.
  • arjunp2085 - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Is this not a bit ODD to Compare a $260 to a Lowly Under performing [B}$173 CPU... Geezs This is Grossly inaccurate

    Think about the BOOST to Post Processing and It differs a Whole Lot to the Post processing capability
  • Strid - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Yeah, it would have made more sense, IMO, to use lower end processors like AMD 4850E or Intel E5200/7200 which is what most people would use in a HTPC.

    But if you want to do encoding on your HTPC also, I can see the need for a quad core. But not for your average "movie box".
  • Staples - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Really, this thing came out like 6 months ago it seems and finally we get some video benchmarks on anandtech. I know it has been commented that it did not work right for months because the video drivers were terrible but I can not believe it really took that long. When I had to get a HTPC, I just bought an Athlon BE and a 780G board. Much cheaper and adequate. Which in hindsight the P45 may have performed better, an Intel CPU and a Core 2 CPU would have driven the price up quite a bit. Reply
  • Kreed - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Gary, what are you hinting at with the following statement?

    "That leaves the Intel G45. If you are an Intel fan, this is your only real IGP choice... for the next few days at least."

    Are you suggesting that Intel might be releasing a new IGP over the
  • Kreed - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Oops, i didn't get to finish the comment. Here's the comment in full:

    Gary, what are you hinting at with the following statement?

    "That leaves the Intel G45. If you are an Intel fan, this is your only real IGP choice... for the next few days at least."

    Are you suggesting that Intel might be releasing a new IGP over the next few days?
  • Strid - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    The NVIDIA MCP7A (GeForce 9300/9400 IGP) boards supposedly launches today. They're sockey 775 boards. I'm pretty sure AnandTech will have a review up soon.">
  • steveyballme - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Clearly Nvidia!">
  • GPGPUman - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    AMD 780G and 790GX have 8 stream processors (5-way) for a total of 40 possible ops per clock... NOT 10 Reply
  • MrMilli - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    If you multiply it all out that gives Intel a throughput of 8 instructions per clock for G35, 10 for G45, 10 for NVIDIA's GeForce 8200 (where two are transcendental operations) and 40 for AMD. In terms of worst case throughput however, AMD falls down to 8 per clock (assuming the compiler can't feed the hardware 4 shader ops + 1 transcendental per SP) as does NVIDIA. This worst case rarely happens, but it is definitely worth noting.

    10 for nvidia => 8 for nvidia
    AMD falls down to 8 per clock => to 10 per clock

  • a1yet - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    wow finally a video playback comparison :-) TY

    I have a question one of you may be able to answer ?
    In the "Hardware Accelerated Blu-ray Playback Comparison"
    (CPU usage) the 780 beat the 790 in 3 of the 6 tests!
    With the 790 using up to 9% MORE CPU usage, and in the
    other 3 tests. The 790 beat the 780 by only .3% (well within a margin of error)
    Up to 9% MORE CPU usage is A LOT!
    I want to buy the 790 but this is a disappointment!
    Dose anyone know why the 790 uses so much more CPU then the 780.
    Is it's HD Acceleration sub-par ?
    Heck in the "Crank DB" test all the cards beat the 790.
    Please help TY
  • yknott - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Do we know if the Radeon HD4xxx cards support output at 1080p/24fps?

    I did some googling and can't find anyone who can verify this
  • Geraldo8022 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    "do we know if the Radeon HD4xxx cards support output at 1080p/24fps?"
    this is exactly what I want to know also.
  • Screammit - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    I just received a 4670 today to plug into my old PC that i'm slowly converting into an HTPC. In the display modes 1080p/24 is natively listed, but i'll have to get my blu ray drive in before I can truly verify that it works. Sure seems to have support though. Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    An Intel processor and chipset with an AMD discrete card Reply
  • SkCom - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    testing amd ddr 2 and intel ddr 3 is not fer test and amd made the 780 790 for usage with cheap cpu SEMPRON so why use phenom and rise the w power when simply can do the chep cpu psu ram and still
    watch HD movies surf and dissant gaming price perfom AMD 1 CHAMPION
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Checked twice, can't find any punctuation in this post. I have no idea what you are trying to say. Reply
  • fic2 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Apparently using a Sempron takes away your ability to punctuate, spell check or make much sense. Reply
  • Clauzii - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    He says that by using a Sempron CPU (lower watt than Phenom), it would still be a nice machine for most people, and still be good for movies.
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    nice review, gives a clear ups and downs from each part. there's off course always a reason to recommend an intel part in your conclusion even if you brake it to the ground in the earlier pages....this time you took power consumption, which was one part you would already know from the moment you made your base specs. however for a basic htpc people don't buy quadcores, they buy dual's.

    put a 4850e on the plate against e5200 and start all over again, i'am sure you will get a whole other conclusion and 0 reasons to ever buy a s775 platform for htpc in stead you would pick the nvdia/amd offerings with am2 chipset.
  • npp - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    I suspect the E5200 system would be faster at the end - running at equal clock speeds Core 2 CPUs tend to faster than the old Athlons (at least I think so). I'm not sure what goes for the power consumption, but I really don't understand why one should care about that, anyway. Decent coolers are all around and saving the planet by cutting off some 20-30-50W from your bill is simply ridiculous. As long as we're talking of numbers around the 100W mark, anything goes. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Anandtech has seemed to favor quad-cores for transcoding duties in past HTPC articles. Reply
  • harshaflibbertigibbet - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    I hope you will also be reviewing the much delayed and finally launched NVIDIA GeForce 9300/9400 chipsets for the Intel platform. In my opinion, they would end up being the best solution for HTPC users. Reply
  • Badkarma - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Hi Gary,

    I read through your article which is very good btw. However, I couldn't find what driver versions you were using to test with. Sorry if I just missed it.
  • Golgatha - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    I have a HTPC running an Intel E8400 C2D, Zalman 9500 HSF, 6GB RAM, a passively cooled ATI 2600 Pro 256MB, Lite-On SATA Blu-ray/HD DVD combo optical drive, Abit IP35-E, 3 hard drives (250GB and 2x750GB), 380w Earthwatts PS, 4 fans (this includes the PS and CPU fan), and a HT Omega Striker 7.1 discreet sound card. The system runs Vista 64bit Home Premium.

    My requirements for a HTPC were for it to be out of sight (tucking it behind the entertainment center and using a Bluetooth Logitech DiNovo Mini works great for me), run cool and quiet, and not use much electricity. Running 2xFolding@Home clients, a Tversity server for my PS3, and playing a Blu-ray movie uses about 115w system power for the entire system (measured with a kill-a-watt brand device).

    I think the configurations tested weren't really representative of how folks build their HTPC, unless you're assuming it's a do-it-all type of PC, which isn't really a HTPC at that point IMO?
    Why in the world would a dedicated HTPC need a quad core CPU or a 520w PSU? Dual core 45nm parts are more than capable of even the most demanding tasks. Also, a 520w PSU for a 100-150w system is completely inefficient.">

    Also, barebones motherboards are cheaper than their IGP counterparts by at least $15-$20 (my Abit board was $70 after MIR), which gives a bit of leeway to purchase a $30-$50 dedicated video card that will give a much better end user experience at the end of the day. Also, when something better comes out (hey, I'm interested in AMD's new 4550 etc. series too), you don't have the unnecessary components on the motherboard sucking electricity.
  • fic2 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    That is exactly what I don't understand about the recent "HTPC" articles on here. For some reason they think that people actually use quad monster processors for HTPCs. I got a $25 BE-2400 45W cpu that I intend to use in an HTPC, not some 125W beasty thing that triples my power usage. Reply
  • androo - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    I totally agree! HTPCs are for the living room and should make little to no noise. 140W CPUs have no place in such a rig. Save that for a gaming rig that goes in the bedroom or den (especially if your wife is a light sleeper!). Reply
  • tonyintoronto - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    I don't get it either. HTPC in my opinion are to be low power systems, dedicated to movies, music and TV... Doesn't make any sense to me to see 3x and quad cores tested. I use a AMD 4450E and i'm already way "oversized", that processor can play all formats of HD running at 1.1GHZ w/out any issues together with a cheap asus 3450 card. That and the gaming performance, who in they right mind would game with integraded graphics? its like showing to 1/4 mile race with a horse and carriage.
    I do agree with them, the 780G and G45 are poor excuses for HTPC boards, IMHO the cheapest possible board with ati 4650 or 4670 makes the most sense. Don't get me started on those 550W power supplies :)
  • Mathos - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    No idea why they used quad core, other than the fact that a quad would spend more time in low power mode and have lower CPU usage than a dual. That and there are no AMD dual cores out yet that use HT 3.0, although the x2 6500 should be. Most of the AMD based boards are adversely effected by using an older X2 instead of something that uses HT3.0.

    Anyone not seeing the point of a 780g/790gx board, or an nForce 8200/8300 board for an HTPC is not thinking. The point is to not need a discrete card. Many HTPC's use low profile cases, which make finding an adequate video card difficult. Not to mention with the 780g/790gx you can later install a $50 discrete 3650 or 3450 and run it in Xfire with the IGP for better gaming performance. Same goes for the lower end 8000 and 9000 cards on the nforce chipset.

    As far as the PSU goes it leaves room for possibly adding in a discrete card later. Also remember that most PSU's are most effecient at around 50% load which happens on some of the AMD systems under heavy load. Not to mention if you want to have a silent PSU you need to keep the load low so the fan isn't humming constantly, which would happen on a lower rated PSU.
  • tonyintoronto - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    The issue is the 780G just doesn't work well enough to be used in htpc.. tons of issues with hdcp and different monitors/tv's, still can't decode mpeg2 stream without crashing the display driver, issues with open GL, was a great idea but bad drivers/hardware have done it for me.. now, the 9300 and 9400 looking nice :) Reply
  • Mathos - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Hmmmmm Actually the power numbers aren't too bad when you take it into context. Q9300 is a 45nm chip, and 9950 is 65nm. Q9300 is 95w TDP rated, but runs much lower actual TDP. While the 9950 is rated 125w TDP. I'd be interested in seeing this test redone once Deneb variants come out. Considering the lesser performance of the Phenom compared to the Penryn, it actually speaks well of both the AMD based chipsets, and shows that the 790GX does a lot to make up for the processor.

    I'd say AMD/ATI are doing a good job on the Chipset front now.
  • Calin - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Also, considering we're talking about a $174 versus a $260 processor. I wonder what the results were if the comparation would have been against the quad core Q6600 (at a somewhat similar price of $189). Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    "However, they are offering 8-channel LPCM support on the HD 4xxx series of video cards. Of course that option comes with an additional cost and potential problems such as incompatibility with AVR receivers such as those from Yamaha"

    Can you elaborate on these problems? I was planning on building an HTPC system and was considering this exact combination. Are these temporary (driver update solvable) problems?

    This second question is only distantly related to this article. When using the HDMI with LPCM audio, will sound from sources other than Blu-ray discs (such as games or movies with DD5.1 or DTS) be playable on your stereo? Part of me wants to say yes it will for DTS and DD5.1, but I'm skeptical about video games for some reason. I guess I don't fully understand the extent of the sound card capabilities on these IGP/discrete graphics solutions.

    Great article, I'm looking forward to your HTPC graphics card review.
  • AmdInside - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    I own the Asus M3N-H/HDMI (Geforce 8300) and except for the fact that it doesn't have an eSATA port, I have no complaints (well, maybe the placement of the 24-pin power connector).">;l1=3&...

    I recently purchased the Intel G45 Mini-ITX motherboard to build a second HTPC and although it has worked ok for the most part, BD and HD-DVD playback just doesn't seem as smooth as the Geforce 8300. It is not choppy. It just feels like the framerate is lower. I can't explain why. The same HDTV was used with both systems and they were both set to 1080p/60. Both systems are running Windows Vista. If you are building a new HTPC, I would not recommend Windows XP btw with these platforms. Anyways, I appreciated the article. For me, I was trying to build a somewhat portable HTPC with the Intel mini-ITX motherboard but given the problems I am having with BD and HD-DVD playback, I think I am going to leave it as a Windows Media Center DVR box and use the Geforce 8300 as my main HTPC. For what it's worth, I tested with both WinDVD and Arcsoft TMT.
  • gipper - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    It sounds to me like you're really recommending that at this time the way to go is to get a cheap Intel chipset motherboard with the cheapest, lowest power 45nm Core2 Duo, and an ATI 4550.

    But what Intel chipset would give that rock solid platform at the lowest price?
  • tayhimself - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Neither AMD nor Nvidia can make a decent chipset. Intel seems to have as many misses as they have hits so they're usually a good bet. Boo hiss to poor QC! Reply
  • Nil Einne - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    As with others, I have to say this is a piss poor review. I looked at the Part 1 and came across a resonably decent review. Was expecting the same thing here. But what do I come across? You onmly test two quad cores. What idiot buys a quad core for their HTPC? Unless you're transcoding there's absolutely no reason and given the price of HDs nowadays and the fact that some broadcasters are using AVC for their HD content anyway there's only a few people who are going to bother. Even if you are occasionally transcoding, it's questionable of you really need a quad core or it might be better to just stick with a dual. At the very lest you could have tested quad cores and dual cores like you did with the previous review. But you didn't and so have a fairly useless review for 99% of the population. Why did you even bother with gaming anyway? Seriously, how many people game with quad core IGP systems particularly the kind of games you were testing. And how many of those check out Anandtech reviews? Maybe 5 people in the whole world... You may use a quad core IGP for a high load server or a non-3D workstation but not gaming.

    As it stands, based on your previous review (part 1, i.e. the one with the G35) and your comparison between the G35 and G45 I'm guessing that the 8200 is probably still better when paired with a decent CPU for most HTPC purposes but only barely. Sadly it's just a guess for the reasons I outlined above
  • Nil Einne - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    When I said part 1 I meant the "IGP Power Consumption - 780G, GF8200, and G35", got slightly confused. One of the strangest things about this review of course is the 8200 performed so poorly whereas in that review, it was better then the 780G. Has the 780G improved a lot? Is it just the Gigabute 780G was a POS? Who knows, one would have thought the reviewer would have at least co=mmented on if not investigated this but apparently not Reply

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