Description

This is the original Omnicron Special, with many of the parts coming from older, scrapped computers (or using things like my old stereo for speakers). It is a good starter kit and took me around a year to build due to funds. Hopefully, I can say the next iteration of the Special will take less time.

New pictures from a better camera up now.

CPU: The AMD A8-7600 was something that took a lot of thought--though I already have plans for a A10 in the next one--and it was the best I could get at the time for the funds I had. I was even considering getting a FX at first, but getting a GPU right off the bat was too much for me to handle.

CPU Cooler: Replaced the stock AMD one with the Cooler Master Hyper D92. When I have time to benchmark, I'll get the temps organized and posted. I do see an improvement on CPUID HWMonitor by about 10C though.

Motherboard: As explained in my review, SuperBiz did not have the mobo I had originally wanted. So, we made a compromise, and I ended up with a newer motherboard out of the deal. I've had no problems with it, and while I don't use the built-in sound without headphones, I can say the internal sound circuitry is up to snuff in my opinion.

Memory: Only one Team Dark 8GB DDR3-1600 card. I plan on upgrading this since I'm well aware on how much APUs and Dual Graphics depend on RAM speed. In fact, it's the 16GB DDR3-2133 upgrade the first I plan on making on the way toward V2 of the Special.

Internal Storage: There is a total of 2.2TB of storage on my build after my emergency replacement of the jury-rigged laptop drive from my old Gateway NV52L23U. with the hybrid drive. The boot times are much faster now though. The Seagate Barracuda is loud though. It reminds me of the old Windows 2k computer from all those years ago when HDD were expected to be really loud. Of course, there's the old WD Caviar from the first Windows XP tower I ever owned back in 2004. Surprisingly, the old WD is quieter than that Seagate.

External Storage: The WD Passport was something born of more necessity than anything. I had room one of my other drives (the loud one), but Windows also wanted to make a disk image of that one as well, so I was forced to buy something else. Still handy for storing things (like old photos) now that I have it though.

Optical Drives: The old CD/DVD writer from my NV52L23U laptop is what I use for now. I plan on getting a BR/DVD/CD writer for the next version of the build, but it will probably be the last upgrade I get. For now the ducktaped-in drive works like a charm.

GPU: The last upgrade I got to complete V1 of the Special. I was planning on another version of the R7 240 by MSI, but I could not find it, so I got one from Sapphire instead. I heard a lot of both good and bad about them, so we'll see which it will be for me.

PSU: Got it at the beginning of my build to get the first functional beta build working. Good God did Micro Center take forever to send the thing. It works well though at least. Still kinda peeved it took nearly a month to get to me though--wasn't even international.

Sound Card: My Sabre U2 Async DAC is only used to bring my sound to my Philips Micro System, not for headphones. It does a great job though, and I was very pleased with it when I first bought it for my laptop a few years back. It even gives me an optical output, so not bad for the money in 2012.

Monitor: The Acer H236HLbid is a good monitor for the price. I actually paid around 160USD with the warranty included. It replaced an old 2006 HDTV I had been using previously, and I certainly saw the difference immediately.

Peripherals: The old Compaq keyboard I have is actually from the old XP PC I mentioned earlier, as I've never had reason to replace it and my motherboard had a PS/2 input. I don't see that changing any sooner either. The mouse is a fairly recent addition though, and I've found I highly dislike conventional mice now. Trackball is the way for the future for me.

Final Thoughts: Really, this computer is more of a build of opportunity and a Frankenstein to be honest. I am proud of the Special V1 though, and it has much room for improvement in the future. If anyone has suggestions for my next project (a complete overhaul of this one) or an improvement on this build, don't hesitate to say so.

Part Reviews

CPU

Not the most powerful, but it is the most powerful processor I've ever owned for now. I was even able to put fairly heavy loads (like Skyrim on high or FFmpeg H.265 encoding) on it with the stock fan, and no R7 for dual-graphics too, without any heat warnings are anything. Really is a good APU for the price. For just starting out or on a budget, I would certainly recommend this unit.

Thermal Compound

Does the job just fine.

Motherboard

This one is as much of a customer service experience from SuperBiz as it is reliable and easy to install. I originally ordered another motherboard through them, but they contacted me saying they did not have it in stock and if I wanted a replacement--even going as far as giving suggestions. However, I picked another part and they honored the original price I paid for. Gotta say, I'm impressed.

The onboard sound is pretty good too, and it gives a really easy way to customize settings and update the BIOS if ever necessary.

Memory

Got just one of these suckers running my computer. I can't say I've ever had a RAM card do that before and have the system not be sluggish. Team knows their RAM.

Storage

Not the quietest storage device--a throw-back to my first computer really--but it has a lot of space. Not much to say otherwise, but I was surprised with the speed it had for an old-fashioned HDD.

Storage

A replacement for the old laptop drive (which when it still worked right was till faster than the Seagate Barracuda) from my old NV52L23U Gateway. I was shocked how fast it was. I don't think I've ever had any computer not hang up for a minute or so because of hard disk usage after I first log in.

Video Card

The last addition to my build sadly. It does work though because I was able to set all the graphics settings to Ultra (or the highest available) on every game I had after installing this buddy for the Dual Graphics. May not be the newest, but that's for the next build. For now though, it does a great job.

Case

Not too much for looks, which is what I had been going for when I first build this thing. All utility, no flash. I must the say the grates all over this thing (even the top) makes be a bit nervous at times. The hard disk storage is also placed awkwardly and it makes instillation difficult. Still a good case though.

Power Supply

Micro Center took FOREVER to ship this thing to me! It was actually the last part of my initial working build to come in. Does the job nicely though, so nothing wrong with the product itself.

Operating System

Got the free update from Windows 8.1 and never regretted it. Windows 10 is just like 7, only better.

Monitor

I was using the old HDTV (like 2006 old) that my old friend gave me originally, but it started to give out so I had to go by an actual monitor. Man, was I ever missing out. I never realized how much that old TV hurt my eyes and blurred the image! This thing is a great quality for the price. I recommend it.

Mouse

Bought this from the local Wal-Mart, and I am never using a conventional mouse if I can help it again. This thing is that awesome.

External Storage

Pretty generic and never used the pre-installed applications. I many used it to back up my system image when exchanging my old laptop hard disk for the hybrid. It's really fast though.

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

Moar pics please! :D

Nice job on the rig. I'm glad you got the A8 over the A10 since you aren't using the GPU part of the APU and the A8's quad core is only slightly underclocked compared to the A10s.

Just curious, are you running Dual Graphics?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

There will be more pics incoming when I my friend lets me borrow his camera--I've been promised it this upcoming week, but we'll see what happens.

Yes, Dual Graphics was the entire idea behind the build, thus the reason the faster RAM will be the first upgrade toward V2.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Moar pics are up now if you're curious! XD

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

You paid $95 USD for that R7 240?

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

The whole deal? This one makes sense.

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/LpwV3C#description

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Does look like a nicer build.

Most of these parts I did buy some time ago. The GPU has got 4GB of memory though. The original discontinued one I looked for was cheaper, but it was no longer available, so I got what I could.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahh. I've run into that. That sucks when you know what you want and it's off the market or they jack the prices up. Well +1 for the build and description. How an upclose picturr of that duct tape?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

The new pictures are up now.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I like it. Now that pc has Walken "pizazzzzz".

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

AY

You stole my pc's name!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Er... Omnicron is short for Omniscient Chronicle (as there is an 'N' in it), not Omicron the letter as in yours. Sorry the name was so close.

That being said, Omicron is a very nice build.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

All's good!

It was meant to be a light joke anyway. Thanks for checking out my build though! Your build is pretty sweet as well. Can't wait to see them upgrades!

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

It's a kind Frankenstein, no need to worry. XD

I only duck-taped the front like that to close the gap the laptop CD/DVD drive makes. An actual 3.5" CD/DVD/BR drive will be replacing it eventually, or were you referring to the terrible picture quality?

It is very plain looking though either way. It was made for utility first, looks come in V2.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

The pictures are up now if you're curious.