Entering 2012, following up is Chinese New Year. This year is most popular year of Chinese, Dragon Year.
Looking back the market last year, DIY PC became smaller due to light users who just need internet surfing or use easy apps, moved to Notebook, tablet or Smart Phone.
Even though, Desktp still has good performance, better audio/video, and upgradability.
For office or students, it’s more suitable for word processing and Online Game.
Desktop PC is still the highest C/P option for larger size monitor and making long time usage more comfortable.
This is windwithme annual entry PC sharing.
Last year, I shared AMD first. This year, I go for Intel first.
Sandy Bridge CPU launched cheaper Pentium and Celeron series.
H61 MB price is lower than H55 due to MB makers tough competition.
LGA 1155 CPU plus MB can save much money. Maybe this is the price strength caused by smaller DIY market.
Inte Celeron G530, just launched last Sep.
2.4GHz, 32nm, 2MB L3 cache, D2 Revision
Physical 2 Cores without Hyper-Threading supports max 2 threading, called 2C/2T.
Price is around 47USD.
Product manual, original cooler, Intel Celeron G530 CPU
Even it’s Celeron naming, Sandy Bridge G530 performance is not bad.
LGA 1155 Pentium L3 cache is 3MB. This is the main difference of Intel new generation CPU.
Currently, Intel most popular integrated video output chipset is H61 for entry or Z68 for high end.
There are many H61 models in the market. You can find plenty features and specs.
I pick H61 mid-range GIGABYTE H61M-S2PV. It’s around 70USD.
GIGABYTE H61M-S2PV main feature is Ultra Durable 4.
Glass Fabric PCB technology, anti-surge ICs, Physical dual BIOS,
ICs with up to 3 times the ESD resistance levels, 100% solid caps and Lower RDS(on) MOSFETs
Even though there are lower price H61 models, I prefer to have PCI and DVI on board.
DDR3 price is lower and lower. 2GBx2 is only for tight budget users.
Windows7 64-bit is getting more popular, 4GBx2 becomes mainstream spec.
I use CORSAIR xms3 4GBX2 dual channel version. 1600 version price is a little bit higher.
CORSAIR is international well-known brand and its stability test procedure is very strict. The price is acceptable range.
This model price is around 50USD.
Celeron G530 with H61 only support DDR3 1066. It’s still slower than entry DDR3 1333.
If you use higher frequency DDR3, you can enhance CL in 1066 to rise the bandwidth.
For budget concern or no heatsink requirement, you can just pick entry DDR3 1333.
I use SEED V12 400W. V12 and L12 series are SEED new mainstream product line.
This price is around 53USD.
V12 is 80Plus Cooper Certificate. It’s more power saving than L12.
APFC structure with special design shell looks very good quality.
If all cables are wrapped by black plastic, it will be even better.
V12 provides two USB chargers. It’s very convenient for mobile devices power charging.
If your budget is limited, you can useL12 400W, the price is lower.
I think MTBF is also important, so I prefer to use better Power Supply.
Due to Thailand serious flood last year, HDD price went up a lot.
Recently, the price is lower. However, it’s still much higher than original price.
Many users use 2.5” USB HDD to replace as the price is stable.
This is also a way to save money. I use TOSHIBA 2.5” 750GB to test.
Many users have higher confidence performance of Intel brand.
The combination above is not absolute. You also can go for lower spec. one if your performance requirement is not high.
Of course, if you have higher requirement, you can choose higher spec.
Base on your requirement, budget and favorite brands to pick up own combination is the most fun in DIY PC.
Main BIOS Tuning Menu, called M.I.T.
CPU ratio can lower. G530 DDR3 options are 800 and 1066MHz.
Integrated Graphics clock can be higher to increase IGP 3D performance.
Advanced setup, I set it as CL5 6-5-18 1T to enhance bandwidth.
I also tried other entry DDR3 1333, but cannot run well in above CL.
Dynamic Vcore(DVID) -0.320~ +0.640V
Graphics DVID -0.200~+4.80V
DRAM Voltage 1.100~2.400V
I set GPU shared memory to 480MB+2MB.
PC Health Status
G530 C/P value is quite good for non-OC users.
For higher performance requirement, you can change by your demand.
H61M-S2PV can be OC to enhance GPU performance and lower CPU voltage to save power.
BIOS is still not UEFI, but traditional interface is faster and more stable.
Last edited by windwithme; 03-01-2012 at 07:09 AM.
G620 single core in CINEBENCH R11.5 is 9.5% higher than G530.
Single thread is 9.8% higher. You can see these two CPU L3 cache don’t impact performance much.
It’s caused by G620 frequency is 200MHz higher than G530.
PCMark Vantage => 5270
Windows Experience Index - CPU 6.3
x264 FHD Benchmark => 5.4
G530 is enough for normal application. Single thread is Sandy Bridge strength.
Dual core CPU performance with this price is very high C/P in desktop market.
If you would like to convert file, graphics editing or 3D game, you can choose higher frequency or more cores Intel CPU to enhance the performance.
Improved 3D performance and HD video playback are key features for LGA 1155 platform. You can see the obvious progress.
G530 and G620 both use Intel HD Graphics, but G530 3D performance is 22~30% lower. This is the key difference of these two CPUs.
Intel HD Graphics OC to 1200MHz
StreetFighter IV Benchmark
1280 X 720 => 28.63 FPS
FINAL FANTASY XIV
1280 X 720 => 408
Monster Hunter Frontier => 1538
Pulling high GPU clock 20%, the 3D performance improves 15~17%. It’s better than nothing.
If you need higher 3D performance, you better to choose G620 or G840.
If you are playing 3D games, you better to have individual graphics card.
Temperature (Room Temp. is around 19 degree C)
Enter to OS Desktop - 26
Running LinX to full speed CPU - 33
ADIA64 temp is not so accurate. Sometimes, standby and full speed are similar.
Changing to GIGABYTE Touch BIOS software, it’s more accurate.
G530 standby and full speed only 7 degree C difference. Even using hand to touch CPU surface, the heat is low.
G530 and LGA 1156 dual core CPU are both 32nm, but the temp still keeps improving.
Enable C1E power saving technology. CPU standby 0.86V, full speed 1.08V
Enter to OS Desktop - 22W
Running LinX to full speed CPU - 42W
OCCT Power Supply test (CPU/GPU Full Speed) - 53W
G530 3D performance is far behind G620. However, the power consumption is better.
Standby is only 22W and CPU/GPU full speed is only 53W. Power saving capability is Desktop No.1 so far.
Enable C1E power saving technology. BIOS set CPU voltage to -0.240V which is only 0.888V for standby and full speed.
Enter to OS Desktop - 22W
Running LinX to full speed CPU - 34W
After lower CPU voltage to 0.888V, the standby voltage is close to C1E default 0.86V.
The key is CPU full speed drops to 34W which is 20% lower. CPU temperature also goes lower. As this setup, you have to make sure your CPU can run stable.
Original Blue-Ray Video, Inception. The copyright belongs to publish company.
I use software PowerDVD 10.
During playing video, CPU utilization ratio is 22~35%
CPU utilization ratio is around 22~35%. For 1920 X 1080 HD video, it can play smoothly.
G530 built-in Intel HD Graphics CPU utilization ratio is not as low as HD 2000 or HD 3000, however, Intel entry platform is capable for HD video playback now.
In the market, there is G540, but I prefer to use G620 to compare with.
The performance and spec difference are bigger. It can be your next step option.
It’s just one year. Intel entry PC cost drops almost 30%.
It’s all due to Pentium and Celeron Sandy Bridge CPU appears.
Also H61 MB competition, DDR3 and DVD-ROM price dropping, it makes users can have more powerful system in lower budget.
If you change the HDD to 500G, plus DVD-ROM and Case, the cost is around 353USD.
In this guide, I would like to have both performance and quality, so some components are more high end/
If you have budget concern, you can use DDR3 1333 4GB and none APFC 350W PSU.
The cost will drop to 300USD. It will be the more entry Intel PC.
It takes me around one week to finish this test. There are many brands in the market.
You can adjust the spec by your requirement, budget and favorite brands.
One day, if the 3D performance is not enough, you can just add an external VGA card to enhance it.
2012 is 12th anniversary of windwithme.
I started this as passion and keep it till now. I will be always a neutral editor.
I hope my review can be the complete guide to all users.
It’s holiday season for building new PC. I hope this review is valuable for your reference.
If I get time, I will share AMD entry PC. Wish all best to you.
This article is also in my blog WIND3C, Any comments are welcome.