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First Build! Yes, another one.

by Daraaggon



Date Published

March 25, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

41.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

74.0° C


Gotta start somewhere :] well, my old Toshiba laptop just wasn't any good, and I've always liked the power of desktops as opposed to laptops. I've had a little experience with building/taking apart desktops, we had an old one that broke and I messed around with it. Nothing has compared to building my own though, I was on a pretty tight budget, $400, and my dad graciously donated/bought some things to help out. Some parts are from our old desktop, the DVD drive, the 2.5" HD, and the 8800 GT. They're all temporary until I can afford to buy better parts, the 1 TB was a gift from my dad. The wireless network adapter and Hyper 212 EVO were gifts too, but came in a few weeks after my build was done. I haven't done any stress tests, because I don't have a Windows 7 key yet, and having trouble getting any to work on Ubuntu 13.04 GNOME. Recommendations would be helpful haha, I don't know why the last picture is sideways on the site. Both on my phone, what I took the pics with, and on my computer it's the right orientation. And about my cable management, it wasn't too great the first time, and I tried to do a little better the second. It's not great, but it's better than some I've seen around here. Anywho, onto the parts!

CPU : First of all, don't be an Intel die-hard. For a budget of $400, I couldn't afford Intel. I did a little research into AMD CPU's, and discovered their APU's. The more I read about them, the more I was thinking I wanted one. So, I ended up getting the best one, at the time. I was planning on using the APU without a dedicated graphics card, but since the temperature sensor seems a little inaccurate (10ºC at idle..?) I don't want it to get too hot without me knowing, hence why I have the old 8800 GT. The A10 is fast though, if I had waited a little I probably could have gotten a newer APU, but that's in the future.

CPU Cooler : A gift from my dad, a few weeks after my build was done, and relatively easy to install. I do wish I had another fan, but with the 140 exhausting air above it, I think it's fine. I'll make a presumption it's doing it's job well, my temperature sensors aren't quite right so I can't really tell. No sudden crashes or warnings about anything being too hot though, so that's good haha

RAM : So, I thought this was a bargain. The CAS latency is 10, but compared to the other sticks at this speed it was a bargain. Looks nice with the board, sorta matches haha I haven't been able to test it to it's full extent (having trouble finding a stress test for anything on Ubuntu 13.04 GNOME) but everything relying on memory has been insanely fast.

Motherboard : I thought this was going to be my least favorite part, but I quite like it. I can't tell much of a difference between audio quality using my ATH-M20's, so I'm thinking it's a gimmick, but at $60 I'm not going to complain about that. I will complain about the placement of some things, mainly the USB 3.0 port. Right under the first 16x PCI slot, when it could have easily been placed by the SATA ports. Oh well, it doesn't look too bad.

Storage : Not really much to say, temporarily running Ubuntu on the 2.5" drive until I get a hold of a Windows 7 key. Doesn't seem too slow, or too fast, I'll look forward to having a whole TB of storage though :]

Wireless Network Adapter : The other gift my dad ordered, however it doesn't have much support for Linux. I was getting faster speeds with an old adapter from our busted desktop, so I'm using that. I'll see if it works better on Windows, but it was dropping far too much, compiling and installing the newest drivers seemed to help, but not much. Really disappointed by it.

Case : It was a complete blast using this case. I've read and seen so many awesome reviews on Fractal Design cases, and I love the look of them. They aren't too flashy, but they aren't to dull either. Everything was really solid, plenty of screws if I lose/break one, and the fans aren't bad.

PSU : So, here's the power supply. I don't like this too much, it's my least favorite part in the build, and the main reason is the cables are too stiff, it made plugging them in quite a challenge. Some of the cables were a little short too, some were too long but that's fixed only with custom sleeving. It is 80+ Bronze certified though, but still the first thing I plan on upgrading.

There are plenty of upgrades I plan to make. 6670 to Crossfire with my A10, better/more HD's, an SSD, an FM2+ motherboard, liquid cooling my APU, upgrading the APU, and the first one is the PSU. Gonna try and get an 80+ Gold modular, or at least semi-modular, to make cable management much easier.

\\\ EDIT //////

Decided to remove the 8800 GT and just use the APU. I've ran it for two days, and I can see a noticeable difference in quality and FPS. I had some issues with DirectDraw, Direct3D, and hardware acceleration, but I reinstalled drivers and everything seems fine. I also managed to find a program to view my APU temps with, HWMonitor, so I decided to do a small overclock. 4.4 GHz, ran Prime95 for 40-50 minutes and everything seems stable. The AMD Catalyst Center says I could go up to 4.9, but that's way too much without water-cooling it. Anyway, I'm incredibly happy with how this has turned out so far. Can't wait to start upgrading it!

\\\ LAST EDIT //////

Forgot to mention, downclocked to 4.3 GHz, and running the APU Graphic cores at 950 Mhz. I can play most games with high FPS, on medium to high settings depending on the game. A few lag spikes sometimes, but not very often. Ran Prime95 for an hour and a half, no problems. Thanks for viewing my build! :]

Comments Sorted by:

GMAN-DV8 1 Build 5 points 57 months ago

This build might not be the most overkill or expensive build that you will see on this website and it is just what you need.

jswarren1 1 Build 3 points 57 months ago

This is a really cool cheap build. Have fun upgrading it! +1 from me

Daraaggon submitter 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

Thanks haha, I had a load of fun building it too!

cgilmore024 1 Build 2 points 57 months ago

It's almost more fun building the dang thing! At least that was my experience.

Great build for the budget. How's that APU treating you?

Daraaggon submitter 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

Yeah, building it was a blast haha I haven't been able to put the APU through it's paces though, the temperature sensor for it isn't working. Not sure why, but until I get it resolved I don't want to risk it burning out or overheating.

Qman2783 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

Might want to not put in the wireless network adapter and just plug in the onboard ethernet. But other wise nice first build!

Daraaggon submitter 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

The router is in the opposite corner of the house haha I can't have a cable snaking from my computer to over there. The adapter in the parts list didn't have much suport for Linux, so I had to use an old one. I never hit more than 100 ping in games though, so I can't really complain about it

Qman2783 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

Well that make sense then.

Daraaggon submitter 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

Yeah, sorry that I didn't say so in the description. That would've helped haha

WeActOnImpulse 1 point 55 months ago

I get 13ms ping on my 100ft ethernet cable that I ran underneath my carpet, and got for $8.oo USD off Ebay.

mallocunbounded 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

That's not an excuse. 50ft white ethernet cable + white adhesive wire clips, you'll barely be able to tell there's a cable there :)

Jozmtr 1 point 57 months ago

Awesome. +1 =P

Jozmtr 1 point 57 months ago

Although you could have saved a little bit on the case.

Daraaggon submitter 1 Build 1 point 57 months ago

First thing I did was check my local Microcenter, but they didn't have it in stock. I was waiting to order the parts at the same time, and I didn't realize I could've saved a little if I waited for Microcenter to get them back in stock. But it's only $20, not that much lol

Jozmtr 2 points 57 months ago

Oh then #Deals =P Cause now it's like 70.

WeActOnImpulse 1 point 55 months ago

Lol I have the Corsair CX 430 as well but mine came broken. I think another guy on here also got a broken Corsair. Currenly waiting on replacement. Probably won't buy a Corsair PSU again.

JustARandomGamer 1 point 55 months ago

This is a great build for a cheap price nice work. 1+

AustinTheTimelord 1 point 55 months ago

What's the difference between APU and CPU?

pholtz 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

APU's include Radeon Graphics so no discrete graphics card is required. System RAM is shared by cpu & gpu so people generally take the savings they gain from not having to buy a graphics card and put it towards 2400MHz, "latency, what latency", melt-your-face-off fast RAM. In doing so they try to emulate the speed and timings provided by dedicated memory that comes with a graphics card, plus the CPU gets to benefit from the fast memory also.

sprinter461 7 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

You did a lot with a little, and have room to grow. I like it. +1

Damjan25 1 point 48 months ago

how's the cpu in adobe premiere ?

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