I'm looking to build a mid-level desktop this summer for ~$550. Being a home computer, my main usage will be basic productivity and internet use, but I am looking to upgrade my hardware for two reasons:
1. CFD simulations
2. Low level nostalgia/legacy gaming (current most demanding games are Civ 5 and Dragon Age: Origins, but I might pick up Skyrim and FIFA xx)
So my priorities for the system are
1. Good processor
3. Adequate graphics capability
I have access to beefy workstations for CFD at my university; I'm not looking to duplicate that capability at home, but rather to give myself the flexibility to prep and do preliminary runs from home. My research tells me that CFD runs are heavy on floating point calculations and are severely bottlenecked by memory bandwidth. I initially looked into quad channel memory CPU options, but couldn't find solutions to fit even an expanded $700 budget (Core i7 extreme or dual-CPU server builds were $$$$$). I decided to look for 4+ core units I could afford.
The three processors I've found are: A10-xxxx APU, FX-6300, and Core i5-4590. I have looked at a bunch of CPU comparisons on Tom's, so I know the Intel is head and shoulders above the AMDs in a general sense, but any pointers about floating point performance? Which benchmarks test floating point? Also, from a cost efficiency perspective, even after looking at APU reviews, I couldn't figure out why the Kaveri A10-7850k should be 50% more than the Richland A10-6800k.
Below are the builds I have come up with. I welcome input on any component, but especially the case, PSU, and mobo, about which I know almost nothing.
And some final motherboard questions:
Motherboard futureproofing - any features I should look for?
For the AMD builds, I might play with overclocking - are those mobos ok?
According to (this article on Tom's, memory performance peaks at 2133 Mhz - should/can I underclock the 2400 memory on these systems? Sticks of 2133 were the same price as 2400.
Thanks so much to anyone who made it through this marathon post!
About your memory - the speed will only really take effect, if you are using the APU setup and uses the GPU in that setup. Else I would drop that.
You might have better options with Storage and PSU as well.
Also I would say get at least a R7 260X if you wanna go Skyrim and maybe newer games later on.
This is what I actually end up getting after I replaced the two R7 260X for R9 270 instead: