Description

This build is to replace a 5yr old AMD desktop (Phenom X4 9750, 8GB RAM, 500 GB HD) for a relative of mine. Typical uses will be general PC usage (surfing the Web, Netflix & Utube vids, Skype, document processing, etc) and possibly some light gaming.

CPU - The user isn't a hard core gamer, but occasionally needs to have several windows open or browser tabs open at the same time or deal with large spreadsheets. I felt a moderately priced quad-core would help with that (and I didn't want to have to spend Intel money to do it).

Cooler - I've had good luck with Zalman coolers in the past, it was inexpensive, and it was going to be quieter than the stock HSF (which isn't much bigger than the chip itself).

MB - Ok, just a little overkill here. This board will run up to 64GB of DDR3-2133 RAM, dual video cards in Crossfire, and take up to a Athlon X4 860K if needed. Also, since this is AMD, I expect that the FM2+ socket will be around for a while if upgrades are decided upon. I've also had good luck with MSI boards in the past.

RAM - I chose this set as a compromise between speed and price; speed, because an APU's video will run better with faster RAM, and price, because it was on sale when I got it and I didn't want to pay the extra for 2133 RAM.

Storage - [SSD] I managed to catch this on sale a while back; I was going to use it in an Ubuntu rebuild of an old Core 2 Duo laptop that I had, but plans changed when the laptop's motherboard died. So, I had it handy for this build. [HD] Bought this as a bare drive to go into my game PC, but kept as a spare when I decided I wanted to have a bigger drive that I saw on sale as a storage drive.

Case - I was going to order a Fractal Design Define Mini, but on a trip to the store for some solder, I saw this in the display. I liked the classy look and the door for the ODD bays, and that it looked well designed (and it was less expensive than the Mini) and had some good reviews online. So, I went for it.

Power Supply - For an inexpensive 430w p/s, this is really solidly built and quiet under load. Even better, the voltages are all in spec, according to my tester. And the wiring is more than long enough! I've got another low power build in mind, I'm getting another of these for it.

ODD - The user, like me, is kinda old-school and has a fair amount of DVDs and Blu-Ray movies in their collection, and hasn't gotten around to ripping all the faves to disk yet. Being able to write critical files to a (semi) permanent physical medium is also considered a plus by the user (I think one too many critical flash drives have been accidently reused in the past for the user's comfort) so the drive was included.

OS - The user has expressed a desire to move on to Win 8.1 from Win 7, so that's why it's getting installed in a week or so after hardware burn-in and testing.

Notes - The connector cable for the front panel USB 3.0 jacks wasn't long enough to reach the motherboard connector; a 3.0 to 2.0 adaptor was used to connect to a USB 2.0 header on the motherboard. The internal flash card reader / writer is USB 3.0 and was connected to the MB's 3.0 header with extension cables (the included cables were too short); it was included so the user could download CF cards to the computer while their camera was in use someplace else. The front audio header cable is too short to reach the header in the motherboard (although it will reach an add-in sound card); I haven't decided whether to splice & extend the cable, build or buy an extension, or leave it as is. (Long runs to the front panel audio tend to pick up electrical noise from the system; it might be better to just plug directly into the inputs on the rear I/O.) I connected the included front and rear fans to the motherboard, so I have no comments on the integral fan controller. [EDIT] I decided to order an audio header extension cable. We'll see how it works out.

Currently, the system is running Windows 10 Tech Preview for compatibility and burn-in testing, since the system isn't going to the user until Xmas; it was running Linux Mint 17 for a day after the initial assembly for hardware compatibility testing. {edit} Well, plans got changed again. The user wants to see what the Win 10 Consumer Preview looks and runs like before making a decision on installing 8.1 or waiting. My own damn fault; the day I was to install 8.1, they talked to a tech at their work about the Tech preview and since they knew about the impending gift, well... we'll wait until Jan 21st to see what MS announces. In the meantime I get to play with the Tech Preview some more.

Comments

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Absolutely incredible looking build! Certainly not price/performance oriented but it looks amazing and serves your purpose very well. I have no clue why this didn't go into the completed builds section, but when/if it does it will certainly shoot up in upvotes. +1

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, I appreciate the upvote!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, tidy build!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the comment! (I'm thinking I might have a hard time gifting this thing out. LOL)

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Super clean, great camera work as well!

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! If the case had a window I would have tried for better color coordination, but silence was more important. I'm actually writing this reply on it right now (taking it over to the giftee in a little bit)and I can barely hear it running. It turned out well.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

You've inspired me to continue cleaning up my routings on my build I just completed using the same case - Great looking build! +1

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Be aware that if you run yours like I did mine, you might need to get extensions and / or SATA cables with smaller plugs. I got mine from performance-pcs.com.

edit: this is what I bought;

APEVIA 10" Audio Extension Cable CVTAUDIOE25 (1)

Premium Silver Wire USB 3.0 20-Pin Male to Female Internal Extension Cable MDY-IHEC-USB3-SW (1)

NEW Akasa PROSLIM Super Slim SATA Cable - 30cm - Black AK-CBSA05-30BK (2)

NEW Akasa PROSLIM Super Slim SATA Cable - 50cm - Blue AK-CBSA05-50BL (1)

I needed the USB 3.0 cables for the USB 3 card reader, and the audio header cable for the front mic and headphone jacks. The slim SATA cables were so I could mount the SSD on the case floor in front of the power supply without kinking the cable, and have a couple of spares. I didn't use the case's fan controller, I used the headers on the motherboard to give me BIOS control of the fans. My big goof was the non-modular power supply, but it was EVGA, highly rated, and cheap. Oh, and the USB jacks next to the power button? I still had a USB 3.0 to 2.0 header cable I got at Frys so the two blue jacks are plugged into that, and the white one is plugged into a spare 2.0 header on the motherboard. Everything works, and I can pull data off the camera cards at USB 3 speeds.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info! I managed to get it all to reach, but at the cost of a little less tidy cable management, so your grocery list up there will help if I can't stand it.

I snagged a great deal on a modular PSU, and that was a good decision. I'm working on grabbing a better SATA cable so I can mount my SSD on the bottom of the case next to the single tray for HDD; no luck yet.

My card reader is only USB 2.0, and I'm pissed because it's a little junky and yesterday I found a similar model for 1/2 the price!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Alright I had to check out your builds. Your cable management if beautiful. Youve got a gift for making it tidy.

+1

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

It's late, but a "Thank you!!" is still in order here. :)

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem. One day I'll get the cable snakes tamed in a build.