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<$500 Office/Light Gaming Build (with an APU)?

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December 14, 2013 10:12:44 AM

My family and I are chipping in to buy parts for a new PC for my Dad, and I'll build it. I built my first gaming desktop a few months ago, so I have a small amount of experience.

Some notes:
-I already have a copy of Windows 7 available for install
-PC will probably be mostly an office computer (tax software, stock prices, some programming, etc.), but my Dad has mentioned he found Train Simulator interesting, so I thought I'd provide something that might allow for some light gaming (FYI, his monitor resolution is 720p)
-For space reasons, I'd like to build into a microATX case
-While it's a bit odd for this price range, I'd really like to have an SSD as a boot drive/few programs for him
-In the build below, I've manually adjusted the prices of the HDD and SSD to account for taxes I'd pay on Amazon, and I've manually adjusted the motherboard price since if I went in-store to Microcenter for a CPU/mobo bundle, that's probably what I'd pick.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($40.61)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($68.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($85.34)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.19)
Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX Power Supply ($37.98 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $476.09
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-14 13:03 EST-0500)


I'm completely new to this form factor, as well as AMD parts, so hopefully I didn't do something obviously stupid.

Some questions:
-The motherboard chipset is A88X - I won't need to flash the BIOS to work with this Richland APU, right? As I understand it, if I got something with an A75 chipset, I'd have to flash the BIOS unless I chose a Trinity APU (I think)
-Is the voltage on the RAM (1.5V) okay? I noticed some faster RAM had voltages of 1.6V - I've never been clear about RAM voltages and whether there would be compatibility issues or not.

Thanks in advance :) 
a b 4 Gaming
December 14, 2013 11:47:12 AM

Ram at 1866 is fine, you wont need any faster RAM. The ones at 1.6 usually means its lesser quality RAM because it essentially needs to be overclocked to run at advertised speeds. You want at least 1600 MHz at 1.5 v so you know your getting quality, G.skill is usually very good
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a c 275 4 Gaming
December 14, 2013 12:00:01 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($40.61)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($57.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($85.34)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.19)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($35.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $474.09
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-14 14:59 EST-0500)

Switched out the RAM, case, and psu:
-APUs do run better with faster ram because it increases the memory bandwidth.
-Better quality case.
-For an extra $8, you can get a much bigger psu and it's semi-modular.
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a c 275 4 Gaming
December 14, 2013 12:00:01 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($40.61)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($57.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($85.34)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.19)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($35.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $474.09
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-14 14:59 EST-0500)

Switched out the RAM, case, and psu:
-APUs do run better with faster ram because it increases the memory bandwidth.
-Better quality case.
-For an extra $8, you can get a much bigger psu and it's semi-modular.
Share
December 14, 2013 1:40:52 PM

Thanks for the replies! :) 

Yeah, that looks like a good PSU, realchaos. I think I might stick with my old case, or maybe pay a little more for a CoolerMaster N200, since it looks like the Fractal doesn't have any options for routing cables behind the motherboard tray. I really wish I could get that RAM, but unfortunately, it's sold out at Newegg :( 
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a c 275 4 Gaming
December 14, 2013 2:37:51 PM

Yeah you can go with the Silverstone case instead if you want.
Sucks about the RAM, you can get this one instead: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f32133c10d8g...
It's more expensive, but it's the next cheapest option.
Or you can get this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's cheaper than the G.Skill but Team is not as popular as G.Skill. However, it does offer life-time warranty. I have a set of Team ram in a build and it's been fine.
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December 14, 2013 4:56:14 PM

realchaos said:
Yeah you can go with the Silverstone case instead if you want.
Sucks about the RAM, you can get this one instead: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f32133c10d8g...
It's more expensive, but it's the next cheapest option.
Or you can get this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's cheaper than the G.Skill but Team is not as popular as G.Skill. However, it does offer life-time warranty. I have a set of Team ram in a build and it's been fine.


Hmm, interesting. I notice that it's 1.6V, will that cause any problems with my CPU/mobo?
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a c 275 4 Gaming
December 14, 2013 5:17:21 PM

Nope. It should work just fine
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!