Poll Results for the Best HTPC Processor

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Apr 20th, 2012
Poll Results for the Best HTPC Processor

Intel Core i5We’ve tallied about 1,400 votes on the best home theater PC processor. The purpose of this poll was to find a perfect processor what people would be willing to install to their home theater computer in 2012. As media center tasks are generally quite CPU intensive, selecting the right processor is essential.


So, let’s have a look at the results of the poll.

Here Are the Top 3 HTPC Processors in 2012

Category Processor + Motherboard Total Price
Performance Intel Core i5-2500K + Gigabyte Z68 Micro ATX LGA 1155 (GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3) $334 check price
Value Intel Core i3-2105 3.1GHz + Gigabyte Z68 Micro ATX LGA 1155 (GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3) $254 check price
Budget Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 with AMD E350 $125 check price

Overwhelmingly, the Intel Core Sandy Bridge family were dominating with the Intel Core i5-2500K performance model coming in #1, the Intel Core i3-2105 mainstream model #2 and the Core i7 extreme performance model #3.

The second generation of the Intel Core processor family brings even faster integrated graphics into mainstream PC processors. We already were extremely impressed with the first generation Core i3, but it seems that particularly the Core i5 delivers the best performance for the money.

For some reason the performance improvement is not as great in the i3 as it is in the i5 compared to the first generation, so it appears that the HTPC users are looking forward to adding even faster processors into their builds in 2012.

While the Intel Core i7 is quite popular, it does not deliver much added value over the i5 when it comes to home theater PC usage. If you demand extreme performance for example for a gaming HTPC, you should consider saving $100 and investing it into a better graphics card.

Coming in at #4 was the lower priced AMD Zacate E-350. This accelerated processing unit promised to be “a more balanced and efficient low power platform for thin and light notebooks and netbooks.” For closer to $100, you can set your home theatre up with this processor that brings you faster performance than the 1.8 GHz dual-core Atom processor. Graphics-wise, you can expect performance similar to the dual-core Atom system’s NVIDIA Ion 2 chip, but with much lower power consumption. Basically, for the price it’s a slam-dunk.

For newer AMD Llano models it seems that loyalties are split quite evenly in this poll and they are gaining the E-350 in terms of popularity.

Intel’s Atom D525 and Ion 2 were not too popular anymore.

Now, continue checking out our recommended silent HTPC builds based on the these popular processors.