I was surprised by AMD with a freebie, their A10-7850k flagship APU. Long story short i wrote a review for their A10-6800k and as a thank you they sent me the 7850k, what… was i going to say no? So i figured id build a mild gaming rig for myself with upgradability for down the road.
With the APU being a freebie i figured id go a little wild and get MSI’s gaming board, i'll admit, i liked the way it looked and decided on it before reading the features (which aren't too bad), and have not been disappointed at all. the interface is pleasing and easy to navigate, overclocking is a breeze and it looks d@#&ed good in my opinion.
With their Kaveri APU i had read it relies heavily on fast RAM, so i got the fastest RAM that the board could handle that was reasonably priced and overclocked 8 gigs of it to 2400 mhz, no complaints there.
I know AMD likes to run hot so i went ahead and got the aftermarket cooler that i know and trust, albeit i wasn't sure it would fit. the Rosewill BlackHawk case did not disappoint, i did have to remove the built in side panel fan to accommodate the cooler, but i think it was worth it. cable management in this case is superb (pictures were the in process) with rubber grommets and plenty of room with ports for water cooling if i felt so inclined. the fan i removed found its home at the front of the case below the Blu-ray drive for a total of three fans on the front. i think Rosewill did an excellent job with this case as the added front fan (with mounts already in place) flows directly into the cooler, and right out the exhaust.
i knew i wanted to boot from an SSD and load all my programs on a separate drive, so i went with the best SSD i could find for the price (which happened to be on sale). First time going with the Seagate for the main storage and im not too sure i'm liking it. having random wait times on the main OS, not sure if its a memory issue or a hard drive issue. EDIT: found it was a random background program not getting along with Windows 8.1
The OS and power supply i had lying around from a previous build that went no where, dont fret, the PSU is only in there for testing, i have a Corsair AX760 on the way. i have the monitor and peripherals so there is money i didn't need to spend, so lets get a Blu-ray player just cause i can.
Overclocked the GPU and CPU to 930 mhz and 4.0 ghz respectively. i left all of AMD’s power saving and throttling features enabled, so when she goes into “turbo” she hits 4.4 ghz and keeps on trucking. at this time i'm considering getting the R7 250 just to see what Dual Graphics can do, but from reading all the issues other people are having ill probably just slap the R9 of some variant in her. Currently she runs Skyrim on high settings with various mods at a steady 45 FPS, Tomb Raider on high settings with the same FPS, and various other games perfectly with only Metro Last Light bringing me down to 10 FPS at heavily intense times (sorry folks i don't have BF4).
so thats it, im pretty happy with her and will certainly be using AMD in my future builds, you can't go wrong with the performance. i have had no issues what so ever with the APU, i think if AMD keeps going down this path only good things can happen, and the fact that you can slap in a dedicated GPU down the road when you so please without having any bottlenecking is a win win.