this build started it's life as an ad from NewEgg, a combo deal for core components of a very low cost build. Prior that I had been looking to replace aging machines in a professional environment that were barely limping along. Staff were starting to complain. It took the deal below to open my eyes to the possibility of Trinity chips from AMD

The deal was a box/PSU combo with Mobo, single 4 gig ram, and cpu for 250$. I had been planning on doing the build with a 4xxx or 6xxx AMD cpu - and my projected builds were running > 500$ using separate GPU CPU builds. The task was merely to beat machines build in 2004 which were running single cores at < 1 gig. The dual core A4 running at > 3 gig seemed a sure bet and a worthy gamble. Due to the low cost I was able to implement a second machine but with a more advanced trinity CPU/GPU (APU) - an A8 with an improved mobo (probably unnecessary)

One point to note is that the cheap box has sharp edges - I left a good dollop of blood next to the Mobo - hope it doesn't draw bugs. Both front and back panels are removable allowing cable management seen in more expensive boxes. The screws provided seem to lend themselves to stripping the hard drive hole where one screws it in - damn that's hard to say professionally.

I compared the 3 builds in terms of WEI and Admark - it seems the A4 and A8 are similar but the 8350 is in a different league - surprisingly not much difference is seen on WEI - perhaps it is true that the WEI is close to worthless.

Final thought - this build has been in use in the work environment without complaint now for about a week. The PSU is the weakest link - but if if blows I'll upgrade it. At this price point, one can afford to think of a more disposable piece of equipment. Testing the A8 with minecraft allows 30 FPS, The A4 awaits testing. The trinity idea can be a great money saver for HTPC builds (IMHO) -

The blood shots were the result of the io tabs on the io shield.


  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for this. It pointed me in the right direction to build my own cheapo HTPC for the family room.

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