Description

This Machine was built as my first custom PC and it was built for Gaming and Researching. It was also built because I had seen so many People Build their own custom PCs and that made me want one of my own to show off to the world!

I managed to use an ISO image on my USB Flashdrive to get a clean install of my copy of Windows 8.1 Pro for Students, because it was the cheapest OS option I could use, and I am also a Student so I qualify for the offer. Also, Microsoft only offers this option as a Download Only File. This was a downside because I didn't have a computer running Windows 7 or later in my possession so I had to borrow someone else's computer to download the ISO and setup the Flashdrive for OS booting.

Then when I ran the computer for a short period of time (2 days) the CPU overheated because I unknowingly tried to Overclock the PC (Stupid me...) and I had to remove the CPU in the night to cool it down and when I rebooted it into the BIOS, I realised my gross mistake.

Also, I forgot to download Drivers for the Graphics Card and my CPU chipset so the System completely rejected the incredible Radeon R7 chip I had on die on the APU... (I literally got 1 FPS in the most basic games such as NFS Underground 2) so the moral of the story is, INSTALL YOUR DRIVERS!

However, those were the only downsides of the build. Now for the Upsides!

Prior to Building the computer I had absolutely no knowledge of Computer Hardware so I spent Days figuring out which part went with what and now I come out the other end a person more educated in the art of Computer building.

The System is a Beast on Steam games (predominantly TF2 and Unturned [The games that I play...]) running 100+ FPS on the default settings so I beefed Unturned up to max settings and it was still humming at a totally playable 30 FPS! What a machine I have built!

Now all that's left to do is to figure out how to use all 2133 mhz of that G Skill RAM... still running at 1600Mhz.

Anyways, I seriously recommend this build for someone who, like me, is getting into the fray of building computers. And I definitely recommend AMD's Kaveri APUs (A8-7600, A10-7850K. A10 7700K & A10-7800) for all those of you on a budget and trying to build a System without the hassle of buying an expensive Graphics Card.

EDIT: Some kind soul on TomsHardware.com directed me towards the best way to run my RAM at 2133 Mhz so now my build is completely what I expected it to have been... maybe even better. Its runnings brilliantly without any problems whatsoever, so I really recommend this build!

ANOTHER EDIT: The rig is running 60fps on TF2 with FRAPS and 100+ on the beta Unturned 3.0 so I am really happy with the build's performance.

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Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

Get the RAM up to speed in the bios and it will help, you could overclock it a bit too, the motherboard and RAM are good parts and can handle it.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, thanks for the suggestion! I went onto Tom's Hardware and I had a pretty helpful user help me to run my RAM up to 2133 Mhz, am running that right now! The system is really benefiting from the faster RAM and its been a good experience building this system and tweaking it to get it to its current stage. :)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice case man! :D

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Why did you not go for a kaveri based apu?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The A8-7600 is a Kaveri APU, so is the A10-7850K, 7700, 7700K. Its the the A8 Version of it... but it runs relatively well :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Clearly i read 7600 too fast and thought 6700 lel, but yea that is a decent starting point.

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

I thought you might have misread! :) Anyways thanks for the comments!

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Quick question, have you tried running Kerbal Space Program on this? I have a VERY similar parts list I'm looking at buying eventually, and KSP is a game I play a lot. (The demo's pretty good, too, but I'm a space nerd)

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Sorry, I don't have the Kerbal Space Program games so I can't help you there. But I can say that after installing drivers the Graphics and FPS are a lot better! :)

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

You'd probably want at least an FX-6300 or something like that for KSP, it's a pretty CPU intensive game.

KSP is a pretty awesome though. Just remember, when you run into a problem, strap rockets to it. Even if it doesn't solve the problem, you won't have to deal with it anymore!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. But what about Jebadiah?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

All I will say is that if you were going for similar configurations, get faster RAM because the Kaveri APU really runs well with better RAM. Also learn from my mistake and install the drivers for the on board Graphics... or else it would be running from the Windows Graphics Accelerator. which is absolutely horrendous!

Good luck for your future build and this system is actually pretty good for gaming! I heard.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

i hate seeing a hate comment's on a very good build who else

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

What do you mean? :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

i was reffering to the comment fight below that's been hidden by admin's

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh OK... Didn't see that! I don't know what's there to fight about :)

Thanks for moderating

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice mate, I am on my first build as well. Can anyone suggest something? Here's what I have so far,http://pcpartpicker.com/p/74dhTW

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hYJYhM

Here try this... I included

An A10-7700K, its Kaveri and its got the latest Architecture & the latest AMD desktop grade graphics on die so its definitely worth the extra few dollars.

An Asus A88XM-A Motherboard, Asus are market leaders in terms of support for their hardware and they are very well built (Use an Asus Motherboard myself) not to say MSI boards are bad or anything either though.

Also, the A88XM Chipset really Compliments the Kaveri Architecture. The 4 RAM slots also allow for future upgrades.

A G Skill 4 GB RAM clocked at 1866 Mhz, the APUs benefits infinitely from faster RAM so its a helpful addition.

The Case is a preference thing... I myself have a Bitfenix Comrade White case because I like the design and the white colour is quite sleek... but if your on a budget then the Case suggested is a pretty solid case which you could upgrade further in the future.

Haven't changed anything else! Hope this helps and Good Luck with your build, it should be fun! And you'll learn how annoying cables are ...! :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks buddy , I will definitely commit to this build. But I have a request my budget is now $450 does it make a difference? Or just leave the build alone?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BfYVHx

If money is a big concern, then the previous configuration is fine and I would suggest you put the money towards an Operating System or some peripherals (Keyboards, Mice, etc.). If you are looking for something better than what I'd complied before, then this configuration is what I would go for with the extra $50 of budget. Once again I'll explain my choices.

Haven't changed the APU so its still the A10-7700K, didn't splash out for the A10-7850K because it would've cost over $450.

Switched to the Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H Motherboard because it supports Crossfire. Now what Crossfire is is if in the future, you would like to add a lower end discrete GPU, like the R7 250 or R7 260, then you can run it in tandem with the integrated graphics (integrated graphics performance is somewhere in between the 250 and 260).

Haven't changed the RAM, though if you choose, you might want to have 8GB rather than just 4GB because that extra 4GB makes a difference but I'll leave some leeway for you to decide whether you want 4 or 8 GB (I would personally go for 8 but that's totally up to you).

For the Storage, I went with the Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB HDD because I personally use it and it is very good for the price. It boots Windows 8.1 Pro up in 20 seconds, which is really nice for a traditional HDD and it has 1TB of storage and 64MB of Cache so its a really good Hard Drive to get for a PC Build.

I went for the Azza Sirius Case because it offered me front header USB 3.0 ports which are a little over 10 times faster than USB 2.0 so that will be a good "upgrade" to go with.

I went for the Enermax Revolution 80+ Gold Power Supply because its 80+ Gold, so very efficient, and it fits in with the budget.

So once again, good luck for your build and hope you have a fun experience with your build like I have with mine. Also note that all the components I have picked out for the configuration have been shortlisted because they can be upgraded in the future so this build will at least be a little futureproof! Anyways, Happy Building and I hope I've been able to help!

Just as a footnote question, are you a Student? Because you can potentially get the Windows 8.1 Pro for Student offer which is like $70 compared to the pricing of $175 for the full version. The Student one is, however, download only but I can help if you to get the boot image and explain how you would go about doing a USB Boot. I got my OS onto my system this way and I got a clean install first time so if you are a student it is something that I would ask you to consider. Just shout me a comment below if you wish for me to help you with USB booting! :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I can go to $575 maximum. What would you change? Or is this build fine?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah... I bought my rig for $710 AUD so if you check out the configuration above... this build is pretty good. For yours I suggest upgrading to the Asus A88XM Pro motherboard because it is a very solid motherboard and very future proof. Also consider buying an SSD and/or more storage because that really helps... also you could try a dual monitor setup on the current build.

When do you wish to build the computer because I am not at home today so its hard to find the configuration for you on my phone so I'll give details tomorrow on the exact details of my recommended rig

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rdFGNG

Here try this coniguration... run the graphics card in crossfire with the Integrated graphics and change the timings on the RAM to get the 2133Mhz clock on the RAM. Its easy to do on the A88XM-Pro Motherboard

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  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Any preferences to where you get your equipment/Hardware (Not sure about you guys in the States but in Australia some of the Delivery of some components are quite expensive so definitely check that out before you set your sights on a build because it can come as a huge surprise).

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Same GPU clock as A10 (720mhz), same memory speed as A10 (2133mhz), only less gpu cores. Not so bad afterall and you say you're satisfied with your gaming experience so far. what else to say? +1

  • 63 months ago
  • 0 points

i would have to say the only apu worth getting for gaming are the a10 series, but nice first try and from what i could tell you did a decent job on cable management.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks mate, I am currently going through my final years of High School, being a student myself, so I didn't go all out on the build... that's why the A8-7600 made the shortist! However, I think you make a fair point in saying that the A10 Series APUs should be much better and I plan to upgrade to an A10 7850K, along with an R7 250 Graphics card to run in tandem with the integrated grahpics, after I complete the crucial years of my schooling. :) Thanks for your input and yeah I still have a lot to learn!

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I'm glad I've done well with the cable management... I kinda hate cables now though...

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  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Such hate

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

If all he's playing is stuff like TF2, he's got an OK build.

Sure, he could have spent his money a bit differently, such as going w/ an Athlon X4 760K, maybe an R7 260X for a GPU, and one stick of RAM (higher speed, at least 1600 MHZ), but it is his first build, and not everyone does the amount of research others do regarding part choices.

SubieZ, you have a workable rig, but if I might, allow me to give you a few suggestions regarding future upgrades:

  1. CPU: Ditch the APU. They aren't bad, but they don't perform as well as a CPU and dedicated graphics card. A good option is the Athlon X4 760K. It's a fairly cheap quadcore chip that can be overclocked. It's not an i5, but again, for stuff like TF2, it'll do you just fine.

  2. Graphics Card: Get this first IMO, it'll vastly improve how well your games run. For your needs, I wouldn't spend any more than $180-200, which would put you in the neighborhood of an R9 270X. For a more budget minded solution, I'd look at the R7 260X and/or the R7 265.

  3. CPU Cooler: If you want to do any sort of overclocking, you never do it on the stock cooler, they just don't have enough juice to keep the CPU cool (the AMD ones in particular are pretty weak). I would look at the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, as well as other air coolers from CM as a cheap, effective way of keeping your CPU cool.

  4. RAM: This is something you can do right now. You can overclock your RAM in the BIOS of your motherboard. It'll help your APU (they run better w/ faster RAM) and your overall performance.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Even a kaveri based setup would be better, for he could pair it with a 260x or even move on to a 280x/gtx 970 in the future(disabling the igpu and overclocking).

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

You may be right in the respect that it won't be good for proper Gaming, you've raise a fair point about being able to afford a graphics card if I went with a Pentium and a non-overclockable motherboard. Also, yes I did come close to frying my CPU...

From what I have heard however (Check out JayZTwoCent and Austin Evans on Youtube), I had the perception that APUs such as the Pentium and the AMD A8-7600 can benefit quite a bit from faster RAM, hence the choice of faster RAM! Yeah, I went into the BIOS and managed to get the RAM to run at 2133 Mhz and its performing better than when it was running at 1600 Mhz so I guess the claim by Jay and Austin that the APUs benefit from faster RAM kinda stands... I don't know its all based on preference... some people just prefer Intel while others prefer AMD. I don't prefer either... just whichever can give me the best performance for what I want the Build to do at the time of building.

The AMD came out as the better choice this time because this computer is just for games for me to play just to unwind from exams and school in my study periods and just have fun with friends so it works well for me :).

Your points about the use of different hardware still stands pretty strong but this is System Building isn't it? You build a system that will fulfill your needs with the hardware which you prefer so I mean... I could have gotten a totally different build if I wanted to but this time, I went with Kaveri and the build I ultimately ended up with (Which you see above)!

Thanks for your feedback and I appreciate your time and advice... might use some of that useful information on my next build! Who Knows!

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  • 63 months ago
  • 4 points

"I'll state now that your computer is not capable of proper gaming." lol

As far as his description does, OP is not trying to play any very demanding 3D games, hence why he built the computer at this price point. Not all computers need to be able to play Crysis 3 at 60fps on a 1440p display. You should also remember that is a USD $400 computer. It's pretty good for the price point. A-Series APU's aren't that weak, especially the graphics portion. The graphics core is proven to run better with higher performance/clocked RAM. It's also very hard to 'fry' your CPU nowadays with all of the fail-safe's in place by the motherboard. So yes, you do have a little ways to go in the hardware department.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0Z7H1PYUkk

http://www.eteknix.com/memory-scaling-amd-kaveri-a10-7850k-apu/

https://www.facebook.com/notes/gigabyte/using-high-performance-ram-with-amd-a-series-apus-in-dx11-gaming/10150250045504446?ref=nf

In the end, OP built a $400 computer that plays what he wants at respectable framerates and he's happy. Could the build have been better? Yes, but all builds have room for improvement.

  • 63 months ago
  • 4 points

Couldn't agree more with matryoshka.

That A8 is still quite potent, with near r7 240 GPU performance. You can play lots of games with that GPU.

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  • 63 months ago
  • 4 points

To get your RAM to its rated speed you have to overclock it in the BIOS, but again I don't see how you would benefit at all from the increase in speed.

If you knew that information then you wouldn't have said this. He would. It's an APU.

He will not be able to play modern 3d games well if at all with that APU.

The point is, he's not trying to. He's doesn't need a very powerful CPU or GPU so he didn't buy one. He's not rendering video's or doing anything CPU/GPU intensive. He's not trying to play modern 3d games, that's not what the computer was built to do. What's so hard to understand here? To put this in perspective, it's like a guy showing off his shotgun for home defense and you going, "You're not going to be able to snipe people from 600 yards with that, so it's not a good gun."

"The System is a Beast on Steam games (predominantly TF2 and Unturned [The games that I play...]) running 100+ FPS on the default settings so I beefed Unturned up to max settings and it was still humming at a totally playable 30 FPS! What a machine I have built!"