So there is a story behind this computer. A friend wanted to get into PC gaming and I told them to send me a speccy sheet. Most of my friends have really under powered computer. (aka Zombie) However i saw 6gb of ram, an a8-5500 quad core a 1tb hard drive and windows 10. I had a solid starting point. However there was a lot of frustrating issues before getting this computer to work.
CPU So there was some confusion behind this. I was having thermal issues even after upgrading the cooler. I think there is something wrong with the application of the thermal paste from the factory between the APU dye and the APU lid. Still it performs well enough to justify an rx 460 for a gpu. It runs the games they want to play just fine. Wont change i unless it breaks or i get some incredible deal on like an a10 or an 760k. Passmark was a little lower then others, but it also only has 6gb of ram to work with so im not shocked. Maybe im just being wierd about the thermals since the case has only 1 exhaust fan.
CPU Cooler Got it for 10 dollars to replace the crappy stock one (nothing wrong with Coolermaster, just wasn't designed to cool this APU). It controls the thermals find and if it weren't for this specifically stressful situation it would be fine.
RAM so this is wierd. 6gb of ram which i initially had issues with, but when i switched them, they ran fine. its 6gb of ram and considering the budget constraints I couldn't justify another 15 dollars to get 8gb of ram. Maybe later we will consider an upgrade, but it's not worth it at this time. we found ram was never maxed out aside from passmark. even though they are different sized ram, it runs in dual channel which i found wierd. Not sure if its kingston ram, all i know is its ddr3 1600mhz ram.
Motherboard this is what caused almost all the headaches with this build. It was clear it was the issues with the ram. It was also annoying they glued the backplate on. The fact that the fan speed doesn't change baffles me. Why put on 4 pin pwm for the cpu cooler and not have it change according to the cpu temp? Bios doesn't let you do that and i didn't want to flash it. Annoying! Still it works and it has some really nice features like 4 dimm slots and actually being ATX complient for a micro atx motherboard from HP. It works and changing it was not in the budget.
Hard Drive its a 1tb hard drive. plenty of storage albiet booting is a bit slow. It works fine and holds everything. Budget didnt allow for an ssd and since they had 1tb of storage i didn't feel the need to touch it.
Video Card So we got this RX 460 4gb for 120 with a 90 dollar rebate that went smoothly enough. I could have went used and found a better deal, but i didn't want to replace the stock power supply as that adds 30 dollars for the budget. i figured this was going to be the one video card they were going to purchase for a long time and the 4gb of ram in games like DOOM help with vulkan. it was like a 10 dollar difference between the 2 and 4gb after MIR so we went with this. i didn't see the fans kick on at all until i did something about it in system fan (though thats probably what caused them to never kick on) it hit 88 after running heaven with no fans. I just kept it at 40 percent all of the time and now it maxes out at 58. Due to the limited airflow i didn't attempt an overclock as there was allready thermal problems for the cpu, didnt need a lot of hot air being kicked around in the case.
Its an HP pavillion. usual annoyances as any oem case. no intake fan, other side rivited on so i couldnt remove the backplate that way. It works.
Power Supply from what i read delta makes good power supplies and a 300 watt psu would be more then enough for an rx 460. wish it had a molex connector so i could jury rig an intake fan on the side panel, but hey that is what fan splitters are for amiright? It works and it has all the connectors i need (not want but need). Couldn't justify 30 dollars for a new PSU)
Optical Drive DVD optical drive. it works. nothing to say here.
Monitor this is the monitor that came with the computer. 1600x900 is a nice resolution and spending the money on a monitor wasn't worth it.
RAM ISSUES So Windows was being really slow before i did anything to it. I ran cc cleaner to see if that would solve it. Still was being slow. I knew it had 6 gb of ram as speccy detected that so i went to check task manager to see what was up. It only detected 2. I turned it off and reseated the ram, still 2. So i decided to take out the 2 and 4 gb. I put the 4 where the 2gb dimm was and now windows was recognizing 4gb of ram. I put the 2 where the 4 used to be and now we had 6. Wonderful.
SO after installing the Graphics card i thought great nothing left to do. Until i tried running cpu-z on it. The cpu instantly shot up to 105 degrees Celsius in less then 2 minutes and it shut off. I thought oh just needs new thermal paste. Well it did as the old stuff was crusty, but turns out it was just a way unerpowered cooler considering that the MOTHERBOARD DOESN'T SPEED UP THE FAN AT ALL! That is one thing frustrating about the motherboard, has a 4 pin PWM connector, makes 0 use of it. Runs at minimum RPM no matter what you do, even in system fan you can't adjust it whatsoever. I will say though even if it did speed up it wouldnt solve the problem since the cooler doesn't make full contact with the heat spreader of the APU. Seriously cooler manufacturers. This is the cheapest and easiest way to help keep a cpu/apu cool, just make contact with all of it, enough of the circular contact pad they don't make sense, skimp out on the thickness of the cooler by .2 inches if it means you can take that metal to make the cooler make full contact with the heat spreader. So i was on the search for a new cpu cooler, cheap budget, case supported 149mm cooler (measured it no actual official number), had to have a somewhat higher minimum RPM since it runs at the slowest speed. Wierd thing though is that the mounting for the cooler is an intel style mount (not the traditional AMD Cooler mount as this was a square mount rather then rectangular. So i found the gammaxx 200t was my best option. was 10 bucks, 900 rpm (the t2 from coolermaster was 400 for a minimum) and it had a 120mm fan which gives it more airflow. It also fit the requirements for the height. So they ordered the cooler and away we went with the installation. I tried installing it without taking the motherboard out. HA HA nope not a chance. This cooler mounts like a stock intel cooler. Its actually quite interesting. The cooler fits an amd backplate right from the getgo. The plastic adapter for it just converts amd tabs to an intel cooler you just push through the motherboard. However this coolermaster cooler has a backplate so that had to come off. so after removing the motherboard i ran into a hiccup. The backplate was glued to the motherboard. That was annoying to get off, but i managed it by slowly pushing on the cooler. There was a gasket between the backplate and the glue so eventually it separated. So i started to install the cooler and i found out that in order to push the tabs in i had to take the fan off of the cpu cooler. it got in the way of the tabs so i took it off and pushed the tabs in. Putting the fan on wasnt a big deal though and it went fine. So i turned it on and things are looking the same. same idle temps. Turned on CPU-Z and we hit 85, didnt go past that but i still didnt like it. Since i didn't want to return the cooler it was time to GHetto it up in hear (well aside from ripping a part of the motherboard). If you only have the first 2 pints of the cpu cooler in it will run at max speed, so i got the ducktape out, covered the last 2 pins on the connector of the fan and plugged it in half way. I used the ram to hold the cable in place. we went from 1000 to 1700. max temp was now 75, not great but i could live with that. most of the time under 100 percent load it was 70 so i could deal with it, idle went down to 45 so ill call it "It will do".
Conclusion So the total budget for this was 100 dollars and considering what it can do im happy with it. It plays minecraft maxed out at 80 fps average and they like how it turned out. They feel confident enough to try harder games on it like World of Tanks and i feel like it will do great for that. If you have any questions about the Motherboard or case let me know.