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Which is Better: Llano vs Sandy

In addition to being a capable mainstream APU, the Llano and the new Lynx platform have the potential to be a perfect match for a more capable HTPC system. In this article we are taking a look at the HTPC capabilities of the A3850 and a Gigabyte A75 motherboard, and contrasting it to a comparable Intel system with a Core i3-2100T and an ASRock H67 motherboard.

What do we Want From an HTPC?

An HTPC system has different requirements than a gaming system:

Low Power
We want a system that (in most cases) does not need a lot of power. The reason is that any power that the system draws from the mains must be cooled away. If the system needs low power it means we might be able to cool it passively or with a less noisy fan.

Able to bitstream HD-sound
A proper HTPC should be able to bitstream Dolby True HD and DTS HD-MA from a Blu-Ray movie to a receiver.

Proper 23.976 fps support
Even though most users won’t necessarily realize that the judder in the movie every 40 seconds is due to the video card outputting 24 Hz instead of 23.976 Hz, an HTPC should be able to deliver as close to this as possible.

Able to transcode media
In many cases a system with an AMD Zacate APU like the E350N or a system with a Intel Atom and Nvidia ION works well in an HTPC, since they are low-power, but still can hardware accelerate most video playback. However, in some cases users want something more powerful, for example to transcode media on the same machine. This is where the A3850 or the Core i3-2100T comes in.

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