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Budget Kaveri gaming
by bradenfontaine
Permalink:   (61 comments)

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.

Part List
Date PublishedMay 19, 2014
Date BuiltMay 1, 2014
AMD A10-7850K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate4.4GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle35.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load55.0° C
MSI Radeon R7 250 2GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.1GHz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate1.8GHz
GPU Temperature While Idle23.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load60.0° C
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
Tcoom16 [1 Build] 9 points 8 months ago

your one lucky guy to get a $170 CPU for free. good build as well +1

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 3 points 8 months ago

honestly i thought the woman was full of $#it until it showed up. thank you, unfortunately now im hooked on building. how you like that R9 you've got?

yukiuro 3 points 8 months ago

What kind of performance do you get with this build?

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

are you asking FPS in games or compute power in tasks? every game i enjoy playing gets 45 FPS solidly on high settings in 720 and medium settings at 1080(minus Metro Last Light). i convert videos on a regular basis and have no issue playing Tomb Raider while converting a large Blu-ray file into a smaller file for mobile devices.

yukiuro 2 points 8 months ago

Nice. That's impressive for an APU IMO.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 3 points 8 months ago

My thoughts exactly, I think AMD is heading in the right direction.

yukiuro 2 points 8 months ago

I think they are with APU's for sure - finally getting ahead on Intel for once. However, I think they should still continue developing single stand alone CPU's. At least as a side project.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 2 points 8 months ago

With the stability and speed of the A10 series, easy overclockability, and being a quadcore, how much do you really need? Mine is stable at 4.4ghz all day long, I don't need anything faster, but I suppose it's not a matter of need but rather of want. Quad cores are not being 100% utilized even in today's standards, not wide spread at least.

I tossed in an old GTX480 just to see how far I could go until my other cards arrive. Running off the GPU the CPU wasn't even sweating. Played Civ 5 with no stutters or lag, CPU stayed well under 50 degrees even overclocked at 4.4, thanks to the cooler of course.

I feel the CPU can hold it's own, but I'm curious even with a dedicated GPU how HSA could be fully utilized. It's unknown territory and we are the explorers, it's an exciting time to be alive ;)

Austinthemighty 1 point 1 day ago

they do it is called there fx series

xaitec 2 points 7 months ago

You were getting these stats from just the APU alone? If that's the case that's all i need. All i play is side scrollers and maybe KillingFloor.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 2 points 7 months ago

i haven't found a need for getting a discrete GPU, but I've ordered the MSI R7 250 for dual graphics because, why not? overall im dumbfounded honestly, i didnt realize this was even possible with an APU, with good fast memory and sufficient cooling.

xaitec 1 point 7 months ago

Thanks for the info. I'm sold on the APU now.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 2 points 7 months ago

ive made a couple videos on YouTube showing the differences in the overclock on the 7850k, ill be slapping the R7 250 in next week to show the performance of dual graphics on this APU.

people need to take a step back and realize for a moment, this is an integrated graphics chip, this is not a high end top of the line mega ultra CPU. you can game on this APU alone, and i dont mean 2d side scrolling gaming, i mean it can run Watch Dogs, BF4, you name it. Granted the price is a little high right now, and for a few doll hairs more you can get better, but like i said, this is an integrated graphics chip. im impressed needless to say.

xaitec 1 point 7 months ago

Can you send a link?

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 7 months ago


the R7 250 will becoming in tomorrow and ill do the same comparison, from what ive read it should boost it anywhere from 20%-50%. i made the videos because no one else had done an in game comparison. Skyrim is what i mostly play and i wanted others to see that this APU can run it no problems.

xaitec 3 points 7 months ago

This just proves that the APU is all I need

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 7 months ago

i really am getting excited to see how the R7 250 does tomorrow! the only game that gave me grief was Metro Last Light, its just optimized for the APU. at times its buttery smooth and gorgeous, and then people start shooting, **** blows up and frame rates drop to the single digits.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 7 months ago

i've found the CPU will throttle down when under a heavy iGPU load, which has caused some issues when running many mods on Skyrim. im hoping the R7 250 will alleviate this issue but i will not find out until tomorrow.


xaitec 2 points 7 months ago

What frame rate you get on the Uningine tests?

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 7 months ago

about to run right now, cannot get the video recording software to quit nerfing my FPS.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 7 months ago
xaitec 1 point 7 months ago

The image is not showing

xaitec 2 points 7 months ago

Got the R7 yet?

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

testing her out now, doubled my FPS in Tomb Raider, but now im about to try it out on the new 1080p monitor

Tcoom16 [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

the R9 is great I can max out every game I through at on 1080p definatly recommend it. i'm also hooked on building as well hahahah

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

The R9 will be what I end up with when it's all said and done, no question there, but I will be experimenting until then

Gleiss [1 Build] 6 points 8 months ago

that's some giant hamster you got there.

skemble [19 Builds] 4 points 8 months ago

That cat! :3

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 4 points 8 months ago

whoops, uploaded the wrong pic, sorry... might keep her there, she was my "helper", handing me my screwdriver and bringing me my beer.

skemble [19 Builds] 2 points 8 months ago

HAHA! I should have you train my cat ;)

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 3 points 8 months ago

in all seriousness she kept me company and was patiently waiting for attention.


Novapilot28 3 points 8 months ago

Nice cat, nice build. Lucky guy you

Nari [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

I used to have a Blackhawk. It's a shame about the side panels on both sides. Can't close it with a case fan on the motherboard side, and not quite enough room behind the motherboard for cable routing. Such a good looking case though! Nice build and plenty of room for upgrades, +1!

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 2 points 8 months ago

Thank you! i was thinking of getting a slim fan to go behind the CPU but i mean, im not running too hot at any point... heck i was running Folding@Home while playing Deus Ex : Human Revolution and never had a problem.

infinitemerald [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

So this is the surprise you had! XD

Lucky sumbiatch. You sure must've written a damn good review to get a free CPU as a return for the favor.

Also, nice build.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 2 points 8 months ago

It was fair an honest with no bias, called them out on what they needed to do to make a better product and praised them for what they are doing right. Wouldn't even say it was a review, more of a balanced opinion. Point is it generated buzz and that's what they need.

infinitemerald [1 Build] 4 points 8 months ago

Could you send me a link/pic of your review?

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 2 points 8 months ago

posted it somewhere in my other build in the comments i think

EDIT: no i guess i didn't link it, so here it is. like i said, its not really a review, but in the email the PR rep sent me it was more of a "thank you for generating buzz" kind of thing, completely out of left field.


tjb423 [1 Build] 1 point 8 months ago

I'd like to see it too!

infinitemerald [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

Is it the Facebook comment you made on AMD's page? There's no way that's all you had to do in order to get a free processor.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 2 points 8 months ago

i $%it you not, like i said i thought they were full of it until it actually showed up, came in a small green padded case, no retail packaging.

infinitemerald [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

Damn, I'm jelly.

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago
pegotico 2 points 8 months ago

lucky you, +1!!

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

thank you!

larsG35 [1 Build] 2 points 8 months ago

Wow! Pretty sweet deal you got there. Nice looking build and a cat to top it off!

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

Thank you!

Lightheart3596 [4 Builds] 2 points 8 months ago

This is a really great looking APU system. I was wondering down the road, are you gonna get something like an R7 250 and run it in duel graphics or are you just gonna get a dedicated GPU?

P.S. Nice look cat he looks really happy

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 8 months ago

im going to go ahead and get the R7 250 and do Duel Graphics just for the experience in case anyone else ever wonders what kind of performance they can get out of it, but i will be throwing an R9 in here after ive tested the R7 250 and use the R7 250 for a mini ITX build for the daughters room down the road.

Moiz36 2 points 5 months ago

How is the keyboard and mouse treating you?

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 5 months ago

Mouse had to be RMA'ed, but has a decent warranty, the return is on the way. Keyboard is excellent, no complaints.

Edit: Typo

Moiz36 2 points 5 months ago

Allright Thanks man!

Moiz36 2 points 5 months ago

How is the RMA process, is there customer service okay?

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 5 months ago

RMA was painless minus paying for shipping, customer service is excellent

nkncloca13 2 points 3 months ago

I have the same keyboard and mouse... when i scroll down, sometimes it scrolls up. Does this happen to you?

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 2 months ago

i was able to get mine repaired from Cooler Master, it comes with a 1 year warranty as long as you are registered. go to Cooler Master's website and register it using the serial number on the bottom. hopefully you ordered yours online so you can upload a copy of the invoice. if you need a hand let me know!

D2RAW 2 points 1 month ago

Never ever ever set your cat on the anti-static bag it comes in. The anti-static bag it comes in conducts electricity on the outside. Good thing you were lucky and didn't have the esd ruin your cat:)

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 2 points 1 month ago

i try to discharge any and everything that comes in and out of this certain room ;) but yeah, that could have been a nice surprise!

Gooberdad [3 Builds] 2 points 19 days ago

Very nice dude

bradenfontaine [Submitter] [6 Builds] 1 point 19 days ago

Thank you