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CPU choice

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Mar 27, 2001
Indiana/North Dakota
My HTPC is running and setup, but now I'm wondering about my CPU choice. At
first I started off with my Sempron 2.11GHz but now I'm wondering if a dual
core would be best? Here is a detailed list of hardware in my rig
Sempron 2.1GHz
2GB Ram
1 Terabyte HDD space (2x 500gb hdd's and a 40gb hdd for OS install)
LiteOn DL DVD burner
Vista w/MCE
Radeon HD2400 (DVI to HDMI)
Avermedia M780 combo card (ATSC/NTSC)
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
450Watt Power Supply

I ask thie because watching television I sit around 60-70% usage.
The other night while watching a recorded show I noticed a momentary
skip, and I never checked back to see if it was recorded like that or if
it was something that happened while it was playing? Next time I'll
go back and check, but either way I just want to reduce CPU usage
rather than go for a power hungry Dual Core. If I do that I think
I'll have to ditch the 40gb with the OS install to conserve on power,
but then I eat up space on my 500gb which I'm saving for DVR functions
and to store my DVD's that I rip in MPEG4 (yes my physical collection).
Anyway, I thought that my video card and tv tuner card would be picking
up more slack, does anyone have any suggestions?
The "power hungry" Celeron E1200 is rated for 65W but was tested to run at only 29.3W under a full load. The HD2400 is also probably about the worst card that you can get that is marked for HD accleration. There have been loads of issues with that version since it hit the shelf and it lacks a lot of the features of the 2600 and 2900 series of cards.

So your real question is will the dual core use more power, or will the additional processing lower power consumption in comparison to a single core that is always under a strain? In any case, I'd say you're dealing with only a handful of watts to begin with and it's not worth worrying over. I mean, if you pay $.20 kWh and your new CPU raises by 10W, then it's going to raise your electric bill by roughly $1.50 a month.

Finally, if you noticed a single skip in a program, then it could just be a glitch in the transmission. It happens with digital broadcasting. If it's rarely happening, or if that's the only time it ever happened, then you're better off than me and I have 3 more powerful HTPCs than what you list. Besides, the cost of going dual core is going to be much more than your increase in power consumption (especially if you switch to Intel).
It was more of a concern of putting to much load on the power supply. I didn't realize that the 2400 was such a poor choice for this setup. If the 2400HD is a bad choice, would sticking with ATi be best or is there an Nvidia chipset I should look into. I don't want this to be a gaming card, just able to take a lot of the load off the cpu. Thanks for the response Jon.
from what I read Nvidia doesnt have DHCP(sp) or somehting like that and ATI does , I went onboard hdmi so... cant answer that for sure