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Cheap. . .cheap. . .cheap. . .AMD Build in next 24 hours. . .advice?

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January 3, 2012 3:47:16 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Tonight or morning

Budget Range: ~350

System Usage: 9yo son's pc. . .General Usage and very light gaming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, DVD.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, amazon and even microcenter if its chearper after taxes.

Country: USA - Texas

Parts Preferences: AMD

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

Additional Comments:
This is replacing an old Dell Celeron that died (5 years old). I priced store brand PCs and components were suspect for the ultra budget systems. This would be a no brainer to build if it wasn't for HD prices.

Where I am at now. . .

Rosewill R101-P-BK-450W MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with 1x 120mm Fan, 450W Power Supply
$49.99

AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX
&
BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
$123.98 (combo)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM
$29.99 (confirmed compatible with mobo mfg. site)

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
$99 (I currently only own XP, so figure time to upgrade)

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD5000AAKX
$79.99


TOTAL: $382.99

Mobo only has two mem slots and max ram is 8GB. Going 2x2GB route for 4, so would have to scrap out memory later if upgrade. I know this going in. However, system should support a video card upgrade if needed later. Also, he needs some new/cheap speakers as current not working ($20 or less cheap speakers). We have a better home pc and video game console(s) so gaming low priority. He plays mostly casual online games like Armor games and Miniclip. He also plays Pirates of the Caribbean online.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 11:09:08 AM

i wouldn't recommend biostar as a mobo,
Asus M4N68T-M V2 Motherboard - Socket AM3, Micro ATX, nForce 630a, GeForce 7025 Graphics, SATA, RAID for 54.99$
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

seems compatible with your ram and since you won't be using SLI/CF or

Processor:
AMD ADX445WFK32GM Athlon II X3 445 Processor - Triple Core, 1.5MB L2 Cache, 3.10 GHz, Socket AM3, 95W, No Fan, OEM 69.99$
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Mobo:
Gigabyte GA-880GM-D2H AMD 880G Motherboard - Micro ATX, Socket AM3, AM 880G Chipset, 1600MHz (O.C.), SATA 3.0 Gb/s, RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN 74.99$
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

roswile 49.99$ + ram 29.99$ + 99$ + 79.99$ = 258.97$ + the amd 69.99$ + mobo 74.99$ = 403.95$ or if you went with this
258.97$ + 69.99$ + 54. 99 = 383.95$
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January 3, 2012 11:18:21 AM

I personally love Biostar motherboards they are inexpensive and out of dozens of machines I've built with them I have only had one go bad (3 years in). I see its part of a combo so that is a bit more tricky.

I would ALMOST recommend this combo. I don't like seagate hard drives but then again some swear by them that is preference entirely. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
Pop in win7 home premium for 100.00 and you're grand total is: 390.00 with shipping to me in GA (20.00 shipping)
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January 3, 2012 12:10:49 PM

Thank you all! This is definitely food for thought. Some comments/questions:

npsgaming,
I really question the quality of a $29 case and 480 watt PSU. Rosewill is not top of the line, but $29 just concerns me to even look at the Logisys.

duxducis,
Actually priced this or very similar, but don't know enough about APU based systems. I may skip that specific combo and piece together similar. Biggest issue with that combo is that Seagate has 28% 1 star reviews on Newegg and about the same % on Amazon.

Still looking. . .



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January 3, 2012 12:39:22 PM

APU is definitely not worth it. There are stability issues and many who have reported system hangs with the lower end FM1 socket processors. I am not an AMD guy so I don't know a lot about why or what is wrong with them. I considered trying an APU and when I did some digging I found a laundry list of problems. And yes, that case/psu combo is a bit scary. I didn't see the reviews on the psu. I recant my recommendation :p  . I did some playing around with Intel because it is what I know and thought you might like to see this.

Combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
win7 premium: 100.00

The total with 13.00 shipping is: 396.00

It has 4Gb in 1 stick so it does leave room to upgrade and the Pentium Dual Core is fine for everyday tasks and web/java based games. I think its the same case and psu as linked above by duxducis. The motherboard seems good I put one together recently for a client that was nearly identical to it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 1:18:51 PM

Please show me "stability issues" with Llano...................................?? Please.

According to Newegg the user reviews are phenomenal and it scores twice the framerates of the core i3 Sandy Bridge.



AMD is selling Llano faster than it can produce it and facing shortages due to overwhelming demand.

Show me some facts otherwise your just spewing fanboy BS.

Tom's Hardware and anandtech surely didn't mention any stability issues.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a8-3850-llano,2...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4476/amd-a83850-review
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 1:33:43 PM

Logisys makes PSU-shaped objects that should never be attached to computer components if there is any chance they'll be plugged in to an A/C power source. The old Rosewill units may not be any better. In a moment, I'll post a bottom-dollar build for you...
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January 3, 2012 1:43:54 PM

The only reason i recommend AMD APU is because im on my 20th build for cheap everyday use with light gaming customers who love it, And compared to build in graphics, it blows them away.
This is point of Forum people put forward ideas, but ultimately its your choice what to do.
Good Luck :) 
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January 3, 2012 1:45:42 PM

duxducis said:
The only reason i recommend AMD APU is because im on my 20th build for cheap everyday use with light gaming customers who love it, And compared to build in graphics, it blows them away.
This is point of Forum people put forward ideas, but ultimately its your choice what to do.
Good Luck :) 


I am open to any and all suggestions. I am not excluding APU solution just yet. For me it is all about bang for the buck, and the reviews of the APU are very solid for what I want to do.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 1:53:56 PM

Ok, here's my bottom-dollar AMD build. There is nothing here I would not buy myself (some I have).

SAPPHIRE 100326LP Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card
Model #:100326LP
Item #:N82E16814102958
$99.99 -$10.00 Instant $89.99
You could go a little cheaper here, but I think getting GDDR5 on this card is worth the price difference over DDR3 on a HD6570. If you absolutely must trim $25 to $30 off the price, that would be an alternate choice.

Rosewill R102-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:R102-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147111
$29.99 $29.99
I have built in this case. There is plenty of room for a micro ATX, and the included fan is effective and quiet.

ASRock 880GM-LE AM3 AMD 880G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Model #:880GM-LE
Item #:N82E16813157199
$59.99 $59.99
I have used this board. It only has two RAM slots, but that shouldn't be an issue.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Model #:EA-380D Green
Item #:N82E16817371033
$59.99 -$15.00 Instant $44.99
Has been my "goto" PSU in budget builds for years. Solid, quiet, and efficient. Can power up to a HD6850 later.

AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX
Model #:ADX455WFGMBOX
Item #:N82E16819103911
$79.99 $79.99
There's an $8 off promo code on this CPU right now. I used one in a business box for a friend, and he really likes it.

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
Model #:F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
Item #:N82E16820231394
$20.99 $20.99
G.Skill is my first choice for RAM because it just works. I've never had to return a stick.

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
Model #:AD-7261S-0B
Item #:N82E16827118040
$19.99 $19.99
One optical drive is much like another, but this one has Lightscribe.

Subtotal: $345.93
This doesn't include Windows or speakers. Do you need those too?
Otherwise, this little system should do quite well for your son.
Intel's Highly Deficient graphics will not be suitable for playing games.
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January 3, 2012 1:54:38 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

It is a bit over your budget, but has everything you need sans a OS, but there is always Linux for that. Newest AMD APU unlocked, might be a bit overkill, but maybe check out what they offer for "discounts" for some of the lesser AMD APU's. I think personally this might be the best overall value for a chip out there right now. Everyone seems to love what the A chips are doing on a budget.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

that is an A6 deal, slightly above your price. Not a bad combo.
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January 3, 2012 2:26:09 PM

Love the input I am getting.

jtt283,

Way over budget and missed HDD, and don't need DVD but do need Win 7. HDD and OS puts over $500. However, leaning towards going with case and that PSU. He doesn't need the 450 unreliable watts vs 380 we can count on. No extra graphics card needed for what he does.

Promoman9,

For 9 yo, and not going with Linux for him. First, I have no experience, and second, neither does he. Way over budget as well.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 2:44:31 PM

Ooh, sorry, missed the HDD. Subtract the graphics card and use the onboard HD4250; at your resolution, he can probably play kids' games without any trouble. If you take out the GPU you can add this HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which should do until hard drive prices come back down.
Then the only thing that puts it over budget is the copy of Windows.
There may be a few things you can get cheaper, but probably not anything I'd recommend and keep a clear conscience about it. Dropping to a dual core CPU is hardly worth the $8 or so difference.
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January 3, 2012 2:51:43 PM

Onus said:
Ooh, sorry, missed the HDD. Subtract the graphics card and use the onboard HD4250; at your resolution, he can probably play kids' games without any trouble. If you take out the GPU you can add this HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which should do until hard drive prices come back down.
Then the only thing that puts it over budget is the copy of Windows.
There may be a few things you can get cheaper, but probably not anything I'd recommend and keep a clear conscience about it. Dropping to a dual core CPU is hardly worth the $8 or so difference.


Thanks. Amazon has a Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD5000AAKX for $79 so may go that route over the Seagate. The system you spec is similar to my initial build except the ASRock. I am not familar with, but have used Biostar in the past. Is that just a personal preference?

I think I am settled on the CPU, PSU, Case, and down to motherboard and memory. Can you look at my original list and comment?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 3:02:07 PM

You have G.Skill RAM listed; as I said in my list, I've never had a problem with any G.Skill I've bought; I can't say that even about Mushkin or Crucial.
I bought a couple of cheap Biostar mobos years ago. One died in less than a year, and the other lost its ethernet port within two years. I've bought several ASRock boards, and they're still going strong; at least one in its fourth year now.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 3:18:38 PM

duxducis said:
was browsing newegg in morning this combo poped up
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
257.99$ plus they give you 10$ gift card, 14$ shipping so in end u pay total 265$


This ... though I got $18 in shipping. And not that it matters but it's actually a single 4GB (which is okay, really).

Biostar is okay but don't expect a lot of BIOS support so the board is pretty much a dead end. The chipset is really good but it's limited, too, and won't support Trinity (we could see some motherboards next week!).

You get to the same Internet with a *Nix. I suspect OpenOffice would work fine with any schoolwork though you may want to check with his school.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 5:06:05 PM

^That isn't a bad combo deal; just discard the included PSU-shaped object and get the Earthwatts. Not counting Windows, you'd be well under $350 and have better graphics than the HD4250.
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January 3, 2012 5:48:10 PM

Onus said:
^That isn't a bad combo deal; just discard the included PSU-shaped object and get the Earthwatts. Not counting Windows, you'd be well under $350 and have better graphics than the HD4250.



AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! :o 

I am literally pulling my hair out. . .I have been around long enough to know that you can never achieve consensus on an online forum. ;) 


Looks like it is settling down to the above deal (with the Earthwatts and a copy of Windows 7) - CALL OPTION #2 (~$400)

- Pros: better graphics?
- Cons: Seagate HDD (IMO)


1x Rosewill R363-M-BK Black Ultra High Gloss Finished MicroATX Computer Case with 400W ATX 2.2 12V Power Supply (Model:R363-M-BK) $49.99
1x BIOSTAR A55MH FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard (Model:A55MH) $64.99
1x AMD A4-3400 Llano 2.7GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D AD3400OJGXBOX (Model:AD3400OJGXBOX) $69.99
1x G.SKILL Value 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBNT (Model:F3-10666CL9S-4GBNT) $19.99
1x Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (Model:ST500DM002) $82.55
Bundle Subtotal with discount: $256
Add Earthwatts: $45
Add Windows 7: $99
Approximate TOTAL: $400


OPTION #1 is my original but with an Earthwatts as well ($420)
1x Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case $29.99
1x Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Item #: N82E16817371033 $44.99
1x G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM $29.99
1x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM $99.99
1x AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX
1x BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $123.98 (combo price for CPU and Mobo)
Subtotal: $328.94
With Shipping: $340.86
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD5000AAKX $79.99 (Amazon): $
Approximate TOTAL: $421


Which is better bang for the buck?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 6:07:25 PM

The first deal is better. I'm not a fan of Biostar, but the hard drive is better, and so is the graphics.
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January 3, 2012 7:17:30 PM

I think you should get a llano. My friend has one, and i'm impressed. It's not a gaming moster, ofc, but it runs skyrim on medium, which was surprising. Btw. he has A6-3650.
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January 3, 2012 8:25:36 PM

I liked the first build. Could you please exchange this DDR3-1333Mhz memory for faster ones? DDR3-1600Mhz or 1866Mhz would be the best. Llano plataform have a GREAT performance upgrade in it's IGP. Just check google for some reviews about it.
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January 3, 2012 8:28:40 PM

Have in mind that this motherboard have the A55 Chipset, so it won't support USB 3.0 if I'm not mistaken. It won't support SATA III (6.0Gbps) too.
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January 3, 2012 8:28:49 PM

Don't worry about the memory not being on their website. It will work fine, although I would get this package for $5 more, 8gb and its a faster speed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or this for 4gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The geil brand is cheap but never used it, but hear good things.
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January 3, 2012 8:53:41 PM

Ok, going for the Llano. This is for a 9 yo who does not game (at least on PCs). His old Dell died. 50% web surfing, 25% Pirates of the Caribbean online, 25% casual games like miniclip or armour games or webkinz. Stuck with memory for now that I could change out later due to bundle:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

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January 3, 2012 8:57:14 PM

At least that memory is a good brand.
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January 3, 2012 9:17:49 PM

raven1970 said:
Ok, going for the Llano. This is for a 9 yo who does not game (at least on PCs). His old Dell died. 50% web surfing, 25% Pirates of the Caribbean online, 25% casual games like miniclip or armour games or webkinz. Stuck with memory for now that I could change out later due to bundle:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...


Wow, that kind of light games?! Performance with DDR3-1333Mhz should be more than enough!
Even a weaker igp (intel 2000) would be enough :) 

And IMO, the first system, you can keep the PSU from chassis. It's so low in power draw that it's more than enough. This should save bout 50 bucks
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January 3, 2012 9:33:17 PM

whats with the Seagate HDD (IMO) hating, my 10TB storage array is crying lol
5x 2TB Seagate Drives, Backing them up 5x 2TB Toshiba drives.
all drives fail sooner or later, i always say, back up important data and go for any fast HDD
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January 3, 2012 9:34:02 PM

I was looking at the old pc, and it was a dell small form factor slim little thing. I know it had 1GB RAM and was some sort of Athlon 64 X2 processor that was 5 years old. So, it was a budget machine from 5 years ago. This system may blow him away.

Our current home machine is a AMD 64 X2 3800+. It has an upgraded PSU and 8800 GTS graphics and runs XP with 4GB loaded, of which it cannot recognize all. . .lol. . .

HOWEVER, it is the most solid system I have EVER built. Runs WoW, Mass Effect 2 (I am addicted to downloading Steam games) and has no issues. It is time for an upgrade though.

Funny, 9 yo's PC breaks and wife wants it replaced ASAP. I've been wanting a new PC for 2 years now!
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January 3, 2012 9:44:57 PM

Take the worst component, one that you don't care for at all and find a way to short it out. Should work for a fast upgrade. Or just take out the memory.
If you have the old PSU still just install it when the wife is out and set it up so that the first power on it fries.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 9:51:22 PM

raven1970 said:
...

Funny, 9 yo's PC breaks and wife wants it replaced ASAP. I've been wanting a new PC for 2 years now!


It won't get any better :D 

Get in there and root for yourself - and take the kid out. They're easy. :lol: 
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January 3, 2012 9:57:04 PM

An other option, besides destruction, would be to build yourself a new computer and give the old one to the kid.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2012 10:04:38 PM

Passing older computers down works very well.

I would NOT use a cheap PSU though; even if the load on it is less than its actual capacity, it will be missing protection circuits and be built with inferior components. This may cause it to fail for no more reason than the washing machine started up, and when it dies it could very well take other parts with it.
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January 3, 2012 10:24:50 PM

Lol... agree on the PSU. Why I purchased the psu.
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January 8, 2012 2:38:40 PM

Best answer selected by raven1970.
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January 8, 2012 2:44:02 PM

Wanted to say thank you to everyone that provided input on this build. I especially want to say thanks to jtt283 for taking a lot of time to respond to numerous questions.

Ended up going with the AMD A4-3400 Llano 2.7GHz. Installation went very well. Using the Antec PSU, and overall very pleased. Biostar motherboard recognized everything on first post, and haven't looked back since. Perfect build for a budget system.

Couple of things I don't care for:

The case is overall ok, but swapped the PSU for an Antec. The other thing I did not like on the case were the 5 1/4" bay doors which the tray opens up when ejected. Makes it look cleaner I suppose when closed rather than drive showing, but plastic looks cheap and has an exposed spring.

Only other thing that I would like to improve is sound. Stock AMD fan, PSU fan, and case fan are a little loud.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2012 3:38:02 PM

Thanks. This thread will get closed, but feel free to start another if you'd like some help lowering the noise. People will be happy to suggest what fan(s) to get.
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March 15, 2012 10:01:07 PM

have an acer ax1420-ur10p from tiger direct.... it's great but when I add the low pro HD6670 the graphics card isn't found
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