Description

So it has been 17 years since I built my last gaming PC which had Windows XP back in 2001 :) I built around 100 PCs before most of you were even born :) The struggle of SCSI ISA IDE PCI AGP big old fat IDE ribbon cables are things you will never know unless you google it or watch a YT video :) Voodoo 3DFX in SLI yeah man that was awesome! Matrox Millennium whoo hoo! Anway back to my build!

I decided that I was going to take a trip down to the nearest Micro Center near me which is 1 1/2 hours with $400 cash and build an entry level gaming PC. Honestly I was disappointed with Micro Center as the Micro Center I visited was old and very dirty. I kept being approached by very pushy salespeople so I couldn't enjoy my experience of browsing the store. I eventually had to go to a salesperson and they were very quick to get my parts and push me out the door to the next customer. Anyway I did accomplish what I was set out to do and spend $400 for a budget gaming PC.

Part Reviews

CPU

This CPU is an amazing value! The APU is the best APU ever made hands down! Micro Center had this for $79.99 which is the cheapest price I could find.

Motherboard

So I didn't want to deal with the possibility of my CPU not booting with a B350 motherboard due to an outdated bios needing flashing with the 2nd generation Ryzen CPUs. Being that the only extra CPUs that I have laying around are old AMD Athlons I decided to go with a B450 motherboard so that I wouldn't need to worry about any compatibility out of the box with Ryzen 2nd gen CPUs. No I wasn't going to deal with an AMD boot kit as I need to have things instantly! I am very disappointed with this ASRock bios as it is not very feature rich. I am also very disappointed with the memory compatibility which I will get to under the memory review. I hope that future bios releases will up the features of this bios and expand the memory compatibility.

Memory

Ah so I learned the hard way about Ryzen memory compatibility! When I bought my ASRock B450M Pro 4 board they didn't even have the support page finished on their website for the board so I couldn't check the memory compatibility. To be honest I would have ignored the memory compatibility and went straight for this ram anyway. Well I can only get this memory to run stable at 2400mhz which I am very disappointed since I paid for 3200mhz. Ryzen needs faster ram to take full advantage and I might seek faster compatible ram.

Storage

I never owned a SSD hard drive so I wasn't going to change that. Yes I'm old fashioned and I can wait a few more seconds to boot my OS :)

Case

Ah what can I say about this case? It was on sale for $29 at Micro Center and I decided to go with it for that very reason. It is flimsy but it gets the job done. Many complain about the lack of back panel space for cable management, but they are just being lazy. I was able to perform some cable management with some effort.

Power Supply

I honestly cannot believe how much attention power supplies get these days. When I used to build PCs 20+ years ago the power supply came with the case and you didn't care what the name was of the power supply! I went with this PS because it was a decent price at Micro Center and it didn't have the dreaded ketchup and mustard cables! Wow if you kids would have been around 20+ years ago to see the amount of ketchup and mustard cables we had in our cases you would have had multiple heart attacks :)

Comments

  • 10 months ago
  • 5 points

you need to set the ram timings manually since the motherboard does not support it "officially". don't blame the motherboard maker for you fault.

this memory is not listed in the QVL as a result if you set it to 3200 it will automatically set the latency to 14 NOT 16.

  • 10 months ago
  • 0 points

Nope you are WRONG. The motherboard automatically picks up the correct timings in the XMP profile for 3200MHZ as 16 for the latency, and to further confirm when going into the timings detail it shows 16 for the latency so the XMP 3200MHZ profile sets it correctly. IT WILL BSOD AT 3200MHZ IN WINDOWS AND WILL NOT RUN STABLE AT 2933 or 2600. Like I said in my comments for my system build Ryzen is EXTREMELY memory sensitive and the mistake that I made was going with a cheaper motherboard manufacturer such as ASRock instead of ASUS who would have had data on supported memory modules posted at the release of the B450 chipset. So AGAIN ASRock sucks for not having the supported data listed as they were in a rush to get their B450 boards to market. Never again am I going with an ASRock motherboard. I always build with ASUS 20+ years ago and there is a reason that they are still around today!

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

it looks %70 their fault. sorry for blaming you.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem! 30% is on me for not going with a better motherboard! In fact, part of me kinda regrets not going with a B350 motherboard since it was out for sometime and had many bios releases. The main reason I went with the B450 over the B350 is because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of taking a risk with getting a B350 motherboard that didn't have the latest bios to work with the 2nd generation motherboards. I'm the type of person that cannot wait for an AMD boot kit to arrive so I knew that going with the B450 I would have zero issues with 2nd generation Ryzen compatibility. I know that the Ryzen benefits from faster ram, but for now I'm stuck with 2400MHZ. At least I am in dual channel mode where I've seen others go with just single channel ram which really impacts performance with Ryzen!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

i see, but i don't think another motherboard from Asus or MSI will solve the problem, if you check MSI website you will see that must of the memory on the QVL are samsung b/d die. i think you should sell this memory and buy this one.

this guy had the same problem as you.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

That Viper 8GB ram kit is on the supported list for the ASRock B450M Pro4 that I have and it is supported to 2933MHZ. I did notice that last week and was thinking of going with that kit and selling my current G.Skill kit.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I checked the memory support for the ASUS B450M Prime and the memory I have is supported with that board. For $10 more than the ASRock I wouldn't have had this problem!

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

I personally find micro-center a bit pushy, but best buy and most other tech stores are just as bad. I wish they would just let people browse. If someone needs help they will find an employee and ask :p And no I do not want a 5 yr replacement plan for $50!

  • 10 months ago
  • 3 points

Best Buy by me doesn't have a big selection of computer parts, and whatever they have in their store is super overpriced. I knew exactly which parts I wanted to buy when I stepped into Micro Center to complete my build, but I might have picked up a few extra parts if they left me alone to browse. Unless they have an item that I can't get on Amazon or Newegg I doubt I will return to a Micro Center unless I need something the same day. Considering gas, tolls, and sales tax it probably isn't worth going to a Micro Center vs buying online from Amazon/New Egg.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah the only thing that makes it worth it is if you already live next to one and they are having a sale.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah the sales would be the only thing worth going back. They seem to have a lot of cases on sale which is nice since that is a heavy item to ship.

[comment deleted]
  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

pic 2, Hello xd

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Of course I had to get my face in the pic somehow! :) That's the one thing you either hate or like about this case the shinny front panel!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Il like it xd

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Not a bad looking case! Nice wire routing. It's a very sensible build for the budget. Next up is getting a CPU cooler and/or SSD. Honestly, an SSD will be another huge leap in performance as the PC was. The upgrade path is great with this platform as you can update your CPU later as well as your vid card. The power supply is a bit dinky when considering upgrades.

What games do you play, or what do you use the system for?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Cable management in today's PC world is so much easier compared to when I built PCs 20+ years ago! Actually the stock CPU cooler is more than adequate for my needs. SSD is not something I'm looking to upgrade to any time soon. My next upgrade is going to be a Geforce GTX 1060 6GB. As far as the power supply being "dinky" a 1060 uses between 350-400W so my 450W power supply will be just fine :) I like playing FPS team deathmatch games so right now I'm playing Black Squad, Warface, and Ironsight. The APU handles those titles just fine, but I want to step up to a dedicated GPU so that I can explore more FPS titles.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

For a first time builder, do you think it would be hard to cable manage with this PSU? Also great build! + 1 :)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! The PSU is fine for cable management especially since it doesn't have ketchup and mustard cables! I think the most important aspect is to find a case that you can work with to perform cable management. It seems cases that are cheaper are more of a challenge to perform good cable management in versus more expensive cases that have better cable management capabilities. If money was no object I would build in a NZXT case as they have really nice cable management capabilities.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the quick reply! Instead of going with NZXT, I plan on using the DIYPC Silence BK case since it has better features such as sound dampening, 3 quality fans, fan controller and great cable management all for $55.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow that DIYPC Silence BK case is very nice!!!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I've had this setup for 19 days and the motherboard just died on me tonight :(

Tomorrow I get to see if Micro Center will replace the motherboard for me after I bought the motherboard 20 days ago from them. On the receipt it says they will take returns on motherboards no later than 15 days of purchase. Should be interesting...

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

As expected Micro Center told me that since I was past the 15 days of purchase they would not help me. I decided to put the motherboard back in the case, make all the connections, and I then used a jumper to do a reset of the CMOS. The night before I removed and even replaced the CMOS battery but that didn't seem to reset the CMOS. After I jumped the CMOS reset I was able to start right up and boot into Windows! Morale of the story is to take a step back reassemble everything exhaust all avenues of troubleshooting and don't ever go to Micro Center because they don't care about helping their customers! :)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

So is the motherboard bad or it was something you changed that caused it?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

No the motherboard was not bad as I explained above all I had to do was clear my CMOS by using the jumper on the motherboard.

For some reason after a reboot this past Sunday the CMOS went wacky and doing the reset of the CMOS by using the jumper on the motherboard it cleared the issue. Just another case of technical issues with computers that cannot be explained why they occur :)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks and true but this cooler for 25$ is insanely quiet and good for overclocking.. also i will buy thermal paste but isnt it included with the cooler as always? Also i did the comparasion and both are great mobos but one is bit more money. So i will go with the gaming plus because of looks... since also im trying to save a little bit of money.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

The AMD heatsink comes with thermal paste already applied to it from the factory. Take note that AMD does NOT provide you any extra or a tube of thermal paste so if you are going to run an aftermarket heatsink/cooler you will need to get a tube of thermal paste. I also learned from experience that the thermal paste that AMD provides on the heatsink isn't that great of quality since after I had to remove the heatsink from my CPU after 3 weeks I noticed that there was hardly any thermal paste left!

MSI has a good BIOS so I think going with a MSI board is a good choice.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes that is good paste and the same exact paste that I have.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Im planning on getting the same apu! But my question is, to go with this motherboard or get the gaming plus b450 (100$) / b450 tomahawk (110$)?? Thats my last choice then ill decide on ram depending on compability so i save a little there..

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

I would recommend going with a motherboard other the ASRock B450M Pro4 that I have. I don't like the current feature set of the bios. Other vendors such as ASUS and MSI have more detailed options in their bios for overclocking where this ASRock I have doesn't. You can go on MSI's website to do a feature comparison between the gaming B450 and the B450 tomhawk that may give you a better idea as to which one better suits your needs.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point
  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. I'm curious as to why you are going with an aftermarket cooler? The stock AMD cooler that comes with 2200G is more than adequate for mild OCing. I would highly recommend that you invest in some Artic Silver as that is really good thermal paste. When I had to reinstall my CPU and cooler I noticed that the stock thermal paste was worn away after only 3 weeks. When I applied the Artic Silver yesterday I can see a huge difference in temperature between the stock thermal paste and the Artic Silver.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Would you prefer using the ASRock B350 PRO4 motherboard (the one you're using), or the MSI B450M PRO-M2?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm using the ASRock B450M Pro4 now not the B350. I would prefer going with a different brand B450 motherboard that had more memory compatibility and overclocking features.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

The RAM speed limitations probably have more to do with the CPU than anything else

  • 10 months ago
  • 0 points

The RAM limitations have to do with if the motherboard manufacturer supports the RAM hence why they have a qualified vendor list of memory on the support page of their motherboard. My ASRock B450M Pro4 doesn't list my GSkill 3200MHZ memory on the QVL, but an ASUS B450 Prime board does list it on their QVL. Chances are my memory would run faster on the ASUS board than my ASRock board because ASUS supports the memory. Same CPU different motherboard manufacturer same chipset different support of memory nothing to do with the CPU.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I mean, it could have to do with that, but manufacturerer supported ram lists aren’t the end-all-be-all, and first gen Ryzen CPUs (which the 2200G and 2400G are based on) can be pretty hit-or-miss with how fast they run the memory.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I heard it can be hit or miss. I have a current miss with only being able to run 2400mhz and I could greatly benefit from faster ram since I am only using the APU.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

You're awesome! I've been researching a ton for the past week that I've been losing sleep! I'm picking out parts for my 17yo brother-in-law, so we can build this together (like how me and my dad did way back) to hopefully get him interested in electronics and computers/programming/gaming/etc. I saw your review for this mobo and ram and read up on your build since we picked out the same parts. I decided to go with the Ryzen 3 APU as well for entry gaming. My goal is to motivate my brother to research and specify parts to me in the future for upgrading his rig. This is the build I had so far https://pcpartpicker.com/list/JJspQZ. I was going to bite the bullet about the nonQVL ram, but thanks to you I'll pick out a different board for compatibility, or pick a slower 2x4 qvl ram (don't really want to hook it up with 3200 qvl 2x8 sticks yet). The asrock looked interesting because of heatsinks on both the apu/soc vrms in case the apu/ram would get overclocked, but maybe it won't matter (have to look into this more. check mobo overclock support, vrm phase/voltage/etc.). I'll also take your advice to add the arctic silver paste. Just wanted to say thank you for writing a review! and share a little bit about my story.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey thanks for sharing and glad I could help!

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Why would you spend so much on RAM? The 2200G is only rated to 29XX, with some lucky people pushing it up to 3000. You should have just gone with the cheapest 8 or 16 GB if possible, as the Vega 8 uses up to 4 GB or ram when overclocked.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm curious if you ever got your RAM to work at 3200mhz, I've recently built a new PC with the 2200g and the same board as you and my RAM is not even in the QVL list (HyperX 3200mhz) and I was able to get it running on XMP profile 2 at 3000mhz without any stability issues and 100% on the memory test. Maybe it's because it's been so long and they have better memory support and updated BIOS now? Either way I've been really happy with this board and was even more excited that rolling the dice on a memory kit not listed on the QVL worked out so well for me.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

What memory test did you run? Interested in trying this myself.

  • 10 months ago
  • 0 points

what graphics card are you planning on using?, or that you are currently using

  • 10 months ago
  • 3 points

Currently I'm using just the APU from the 2200G. In the future I want to get a 1060 6GB once the price drops.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

If you’re planning on upgrading to a 1060 6GB, you should also consider stepping your processor up to something like the Ryzen 5 1600 or 2600, which are both 6/12 cores/threads with a 65W TDP. It’ll help with multitasking, and maybe even help you gain some of those precious extra frames you’ll need in competetive gameplay. The 2200G is a good APU, but you’ll probably benefit from having more cores to work with, not to mention the stock cooler for the 1600 is overkill and you’ll be able to get some decent overclocks without buying an aftermarket cooler. It’s spending more money on an already decent system (around $150 for the 1600 and $170 for the 2600), but it’s worth it if feel pressed for CPU cores.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. The next upgrade is definitely going to be the 1060 6GB, and maybe I'll consider upgrading the CPU if I have the funding, but I don't see me swapping out this CPU for some time to come. Don't underestimate the 2200G it has 4 cores/4 threads 3.5ghz with boost to 3.7ghz 65W TDP it can handle plenty that is thrown at it.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Sounds good! Also, once you get the 1060 6GB, see if there's a way to disable the integrated graphics on the 2200G. It'll make it more power efficient and probably run cooler, meaning you might be able to squeeze a little more performance out of it with the overclocking in the motherboard bios. That is, if you can disable the integrated graphics. I know you can on Intel chips, but since I don't have experience with AMD APUs, I don't know for sure.

Edit: Just did a quick search and someone on Reddit said the integrated graphics should automatically disable themselves when you stick a discrete GPU in there.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Yep it will be a non issue for the APU to be disabled once going with a dedicated GPU. The funny thing is I currently play titles that run just fine with the APU@ 1080p with some minor tweaking of the settings. I can probably wait it out long enough to snatch a 1060 6GB for a really good price. Nothing ever produced comes close to the performance/price of the integrated graphics of this 2200G for $79!