All In One HTPC Processor (CPU)

All In One HTPC Processor

With the recent integration of gpu cores into the cpu die, the processor market has become a bit more complicated.. Suffice to say you still have the same brands; Intel or AMD,  but there are a few more choices. By keeping your goals in sight you’ll make the most cost effective decision.

Historically AMD has been the mainstream underdog in the processor market and because of this, their processors are generally used in budget builds. Being that most of my recommendations will be based on price, you will probably see a lot of AMD products recommend here. Yes Intel is the better processor, however we are not shooting for sheer computational power, and bragging rights. Instead, we are looking for something that will simply be able to handle downloading, unzipping, repairing files, and media playback.

We start with the processor because it defines the type of motherboard you’ll use and the memory you’ll need. You have two options:

  • Choose a processor without a integrated gpu
  • Choose a processor with a integrated gpu

I’m going to skip covering a CPU without a integrated GPU. Why? Because the cost of purchasing a cpu and video card will eclipse the price of purchasing the processor with integrated gpu.

My recommendations:

AMD A4-3400 2.7GHz Socket FM1 Dual-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic

NOTE: Pricing is currently dropping, because the new series of APUs are coming.

The only real thing to consider is here is whether or not the processor will have enough power to handle any background work you may having going on.  I would stray away from the A4s as they may be on the low end of processing power. The A6-3500 should be perfect for an All In One HTPC build. Any of these processors are more than capable of playing 1080p video.

NOTE: These processors have very low idle power consumption.

Next we can talk about choosing the motherboard.