So this is a computer that I built for my girlfriend for her to get into pc gaming. The most demanding game she wanted to play was Elder Scrolls: Skyrim so I wasn't looking for a powerhouse. Some of the requirements though was that it would be a low power PC since they keep close tabs on how much juice they use. It also had to be quiet because my girlfriend is annoyed with my leaf blower of a pc. This took the course of a few months after getting some parts on eBay while some other parts I bought brand new on either Amazon or Newegg.
Just a word of warning. For the most part I followed the books on what you should do, but I don't always do that. I really pushed it with the wifi card. (Ill explain later)
CPU I went with an AMD 5350. I wanted to experiment with the AM1 socket and really for an entry level gaming pc it was the only thing viable at the time. (Well Closest to viable). I could upgrade it to a 5370, but I doubt I would see a 50 dollar return on a .15 increase in clock. Anyways its a good processor, never gives me issues and for 34 i say i did alright. It does bottleneck the GPU though so this is the limiting factor for going higher then 720p high except for league of legends (which is maxed out).
CPU Cooler I didn't want to use the stock cooler since i had the intention of overclocking. Got this on Amazon for 10 bucks and i don't regret it. Keeps the Cpu nice and cool while overclocked (highest i saw was 47). Will mention though that i screwed up with the application of the little gaskets that come with it. They are supposed to go on the motherboard and i stuck them on the screws. Ah well I'm not gonna try to fix that it hasn't really affected anything.
Motherboard This motherboard is both good and frustrating. The good is that its the only AM1 board that supports overclocking past 2.1 ghz for the 5350. The annoying thing is that it shares recouses for the PCIx16 slot and the second PCIEx1 slot. So I couldn't just put the wifi card in the second slot. Still i could overclock. Its a stable board and works.
SSD I wanted a 120gb for a boot drive so that it wasn't slow. I got used to it on my main rig so I got one for 40 bucks. It does its job. Nice and quick.
Hard Drive I knew that 120gb for a gaming pc was not realistic. So I got a 1tb hard drive for storage. It works its another drive. Not much to say about it.
Graphics Card So this was another ebay find. I got it for 42.75 and at the time that was a really good price (2/8/2016) I tried a beefier graphics card I have (an r7 260x), but it made no difference so I gave her this one. Never gets hot, highest i saw was 64. With a pretty hefty overclock (1175 on the core and 1040 on the memory). It did cause one issue since i thought it was a single slot card (it only takes one slot). The heatsink goes into the next slot which caused it to partially block off the PCIEx1 slot. It fits, but barely.
I wanted a reliable power supply for her computer. I know this thing is complete overkill, but it was 35 dollars. If i would have boughten a 300 watt power supply it would have costed me more so this gives me some upgrade room if i were to say to go an i3 with a 960 or something like that. It runs and its quiet.
Wifi Card So she doesn't have an Ethernet jack available for her to use in her bedroom so she is limited to wifi. I Love these little cards. I have built a lot of computers and i always throw one of these in there. It never hesitates, they are cheap, and they work.
This i got for a good price. The first dimm I got with the motherboard and CPU. It was sold altogether for 70 bucks. I found a second one on eBay and i won the auction for 15 dollars. Its ddr3 1600 memory. Works and does fine no issues.
Case I asked my girlfriend about this since She was gonna be the one to look at it. After looking at hundreds of cases this is the one she wanted. It was an okay price (since it came with the 2 fans). Building in it wasn't bad. Wasn't great, but wasn't bad. Really light weight and everything made sense. Cable management took me a while since it was a small case, but eventually i got it done. Will say it doesn't have a 5 1/4 bay so no disc drive (wasn't planning on putting one in anyways). for putting cables in the back i had to do the shove and slide trick, but it looked clean when done. One thing also is that where i mounted the SSD there isn't a mount. Its held on with 2 screws. It looks nice, but its not how its "supposed". To be done. Since there was no moving parts I'm not worried about it.
So for the CPU I tried to overclock in the Bios, but windows refused to cooperate with me on that. (WINDOWS 10 WHY DO YOU DO THIS) So I used Asus suite III to do so. I got it to 2.5681 ghz at 1.3125 volts. I was hunky dory with that. Then an update came from windows and now im stuck with stock voltage. If i try to go above stock voltage it immediately crashes. So with Gnashing my teeth I got to 2.387 ghz.
Graphics card was much easier. First I maxed out the sliders with a custom fan curve (at 60 degrees fan is at 100). That was at 1100 on the clock and 1040 Saw that it was stable In heaven so i went to unofficial overclocking. I bumped it up another 75 mhz so that was nice.
Performance So I mainly only tested a few games on this since she only cared about a few games at the time when I built it.
League of Legends 1920x1080 max settings Mostly sat around 80fps but it would dip to low 30's when things got heated.
Portal 1920x1080 max settings No suprise but sat around 300 fps.
Call of Duty BlackOps. 1280x720 High settings sat at 60 and stayed there.
1280x720 High settings
mostly around 50, but it can go to the low 20s when you are in Whiterun. It runs fine most of the time.
1920x1080 lowest settings
33.9 fps average. Gpu is the limit here. Tried a 7770 and it went to 60 fps. But in game I saw no improvement so it left.
Power Draw Under full load it pulls 86 watts so in happy.
Im happy how the build turned out ~~except for that one freaking pciex1 slot~ and I feel like for the money I spent i did good. The parts that I spent more money on I can though into the rig once it gets upgraded in the future. I had fun with my experiment with the AM1 platform and I like it. i just think its a poor investment now at this point of time until you can pick up a cpu for 20 bucks and a mobo for the same.