Description

Background:

Hi guys. I've been using PCPartPicker a lot lately to help me make my recent build. This build is 3 weeks old so I'm not sure if was gonna make it today I'd use the same parts. Maybe...

Anyway I had an old 2005 era PC that was in my 6yo daughter's room that I needed to recycle for another project. It was time for me to build a PC for her that I wanted to use sometime as well. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it but it had to be descent for today's standard. 

I set a budget of approx. $400. I did a lot of research and I had in mind 3 possibilities: 

  1. AMD APU A-10 6800K
  2. Intel CPU Pentium G850 + dedicated GPU
  3. AMD CPU AMD Athlon II X4 750K + dedicated GPU

It was a really tough choice and until the last minute, I really thought I was gonna go with #1. But because this solution implied to use the highest speed possible RAM (>1866 and preferably 2133 Mhz) and thus increased the total cost of the build, it was at the time only $10 or so cheaper than going with build #2 or #3. Choosing between builds 2 or 3 was also a tough choice but decided to go with the AMD solution because of quad-core vs. 2 cores and no HT with Intel. 

Parts & Build:

Strangely enough I decided to first buy the Power Supply and then the case before everything else. The reason is that once you picked the Power Supply and Case that you want, on special, prices can't go any lower for a case or PS anyway. 

For the Power Supply I decided to go with the Corsair CX 430. I was able to get the modular version on special for $22.49 after rebate but before tax. A Power Supply for $20, can't get any cheaper than that.

After purchasing the Power Supply I settled on a case. I had dimension constrain since the case had to fit inside a desk. I thought I was going with the ?NZXT Source 220 or the Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus but those cases wouldn't fit inside the desk. My next choice was the Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 but the front side mounted USB port wouldn't work for me. So I settled for the Cooler Master NSE-200-KKN1 MicroATX Mid Tower. That's an OK case but my biggest gripe for it is that I wasn't able to mount my SSD under the 5.25" Bay as I had originally envisioned due to poor screw hole adjustment. Also the mini drive tower inside that supports up to three 3.5" HDD with one 2.5" SSD on top is poorly designed: you can mount there an SSD and an HDD there but you can't plug them on the same power cable since they are rotated 90 degrees. Stupid. Also the front design is not to my taste but oh well. Nonetheless I got it for $29.99 after rebate but before tax. $30 for a case... can't get any cheaper than that!

Before buying the rest, I was able to grab a Kingston SSD V300 120GB 2.5" for $79.99 before tax. I originally wanted to go with a Samsung 840 or 840 EVO but the Kingston was on special so I went for it. So far so good. I didn't bought a HDD because I wanted to get performance rather than storage space. Also I have a NAS where I store all my media files across multiple devices.

My last purchase was the motherboard, CPU, GPU and memory all at once. Like I said earlier I settled for the Athlon II X4 750K at the last minute. For the motherboard, I wanted to go with the Asus F2A85-M PRO but found it too expensive at the time. The MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 Micro ATX FM2 sounded good but I thought the Gigabyte GA-F2A85XM-D3H Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard gave me more bang for my buck with the A85 chipset vs. the A75 of the MSI. For the memory, I went with Corsair Vengeance 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 (should've used a different color though) since I don't need RAM with higher frequencies vs. should I have decided to go with the APU way. As for the GPU, I went with the XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB for $94.99 after rebate but before tax. If it was to be redone today, I'd probably go with a 2gb GPU for around $150. 

When budgeting for a build, don't forget to includes tax nowadays since tax have to be paid in CA at least !!

The build was a real joy, I took my time and even tried to involve my daughter in helping me. It all turned on on the first try. I believe from the attached screenshot that my RAM is running at 1333 somehow. I didn't took time to tweak that out in the BIOS, if some of you have some tips about fixing that, I'd appreciate it! 

Resources:

Here are the resources that I used for this build:

Thanks for stopping by and a big thumbs up to PCPartPicker! I might do a second build sometime this year and I might build a NAS so stay tuned! 

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Comments

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Your cable management is beautiful. Way to work with your budget, this is a solid machine. I like how you used an SSD instead of a HDD, always nice to have that extra speed.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

why did you go fm2! You can't upgrade to a better cpu. Darn you austin evans.