1) leave the htpc as is (amd x2 4600+ with gigabyte ga-ma78gpm-ud2h board - format as windows is screwed up due to dead drive
- currently this also hosts virtualbox xubuntu for nas which i plan to move out
2) buy g3240/g3258 + mobo for $70+$80 + taxes - canadacomputers.com
3) buy 1037u + mobo for <$75+taxes - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... 6813138393
Wait, Did You Say H81?
That’s right. The real star of this show isn’t Intel’s Pentium, but rather the PCB it’s sitting on. Back when you had to choose between Z87 and Z97 for overclocking the G3258, spending more on a motherboard than the processor seemed silly. AMD’s tuned Athlon X4 750K might have trailed in our benchmarks, but at least you could still save a few bucks by buying the low-cost platform.
Then word started spreading that old CPU microcode allowed non-Z core logic to manipulate clock multipliers. Officially, this was a no-no for motherboard vendors to expose publically. But in the words of Ian Malcom, “Life, uh, finds a way.” And so now there are many, many other boards capable of pushing the little dual-core CPU beyond 4 GHz.
The board vendor's team actually offered two suggestions: a B85-based ATX motherboard and that H81-based board we ended up picking. The former simply came too close to higher-end alternatives. Meanwhile a $45 price tag on the diminutive H81-based board undercut even AMD’s mid-range platform. After a quick flash to a beta firmware we found, the H81 platform picked up Intel’s Pentium G3258, opened up ratios as high as 80x, and sent us on our way.
The big question is whether $115 worth of unlocked Pentium and entry-level motherboard can come together and impress us.
MSI H81I LGA 1150 Intel H81 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
Gigabyte Ultra Durable 4 Plus GA-H81N Desktop Motherboard - Intel H81 Chipset - Socket H3 LGA-1150
What's interesting to know is that the Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition processor actually is based upon Haswell architecture. The Processor offers two physical CPU cores that will run on a base-clock of 3.2 GHz. There's no hyper-threading and there is no Turbo mode available. Another difference is of course the internal cache memory, 3 MB L3 cache is available. Being Haswell based, the processor does come with an integrated GPU as well, Intel HD Graphics. It comes with 10 execution units, where the common Intel HD 4600 IGPs on the Core i7 series have 20 execution units.
Accelerating & Enhancing Video
CPU with integrated GPU based platforms are a lot about additional features and performance on top of regular processing. So another key feature is of course the embedded GPU with video processor. The combo of the video processor and some additional shader processors inside that chipset allows for high-definition 1080p content playback, acceleration, and though limited enhancement of overall picture quality. For those that use other content like the immensely popular MKV / x.264 container formats, please download Media Player Classic Home Cinema. This free open source software will DXVA accelerate and enhance your MKV content at 1080p or even higher. We have written an article on Media Player Classic Home Cinema and how to set up that software to make this happen, please read that here.
Above an example of 1080p, a concert from Muse in MKV x.264 format - there is no dedicated graphics card installed, so this is the Intel HD series iGPU (cut down HD 4600) at work here and quite frankly it does the job extremely smooth. You'll notice a CPU load of up-to 2% here, power consumption at this stage was roughly 65 Watts for the entire PC. We have some extra shaders enabled like complex Image Sharpening. Perfect playback. But let's disable DXVA and try Ultra HD playback.
In the above example we tested Ultra HD content playback. Above the 4K resolution Elysium trailer, here we have an MP4 H.264 file and you can see that the CPU load peaks to 68% with one to two cores showing more utilization. Unlike many APUs we recently tested, Ultra HD video-playback did not result into stuttering, and that is a good thing.
Here as well we have additional shaders enabled like image sharpening and darkened black levels. These shaders run over the iGPU. Normally the reason why we notice stuttering is that the trailer is not DXVA encoded, or DXVA at 4K does not yet work. So then the processor cores will kick in and only IF they can handle the content fast enough this will be a successful mission. The Pentium is plenty fast for this job.
they seem to have 4770k OC to 4.8ghz easily.Don’t believe any of the drivel people are spreading about you not being able to overclock on any Haswell chipset other than Z97, it simply isn’t true.
Stupify wrote:interesting i found the below which says OC is possible on H models:
http://www.eteknix.com/asrock-fatal1ty- ... -review/6/they seem to have 4770k OC to 4.8ghz easily.Don’t believe any of the drivel people are spreading about you not being able to overclock on any Haswell chipset other than Z97, it simply isn’t true.
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