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$300 Great Budget PC

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Anonymous
March 26, 2012 1:50:05 AM

I have compiled what I think is a pretty good PC for around $300. Posting to make sure these parts all are compatible and work. Please tell me if any thing is wrong or you have any suggestions.

NEW
AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$140
NEW

ASRock A55M-HVS FM1 Socket Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$63

NEW
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$47
Thanks to:
e56imfg
NEW

Samsung SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE - OEM (Optical Drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$17

120GB 3.5" SATA 7,200RPM Refurbished Internal Hard Drive
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$32

NEW
LOGISYS Computer CS308RD Red / Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$38
Thanks to:
truegenius
NEW

Better PSU??? I'm already over budget lol.

New total (hopefully correct):
$337

Well that's it. Please post any comments suggestions. I just need to make sure this would work.

EDIT: Thanks to all for your help. I'm marking stickg1's first post as the best because of his great help throughout this thread.

More about : 300 great budget

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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 2:10:57 AM

It all looks good except for that case and power supply combo. is there any way you can get a little more money together and get a decent power supply? cheap power supplies can lead to major headaches down the road.

this will cost you about $90, but is much more worth it:

power supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i understand that money can be tight but i just cant feel good about myself telling you that the "frisby" case and power supply combo for $36 is a good idea.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 3:14:12 AM

+1 on the power supply - you do not want the cheapo one that comes with a case. Although with no GPU, you can get by with a lot less power. If you get it, like ... NOW, you can get this Antec 450W for under $30:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, you will probably be miserable with a 120GB hard drive; I would get at least double that if you can afford it at all.

Don't know what you're doing about the operating system, but that's another $100 to consider, unless you want to use Linux for free.
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Anonymous
March 26, 2012 1:29:02 PM

Just one note. I'm not creating a gaming PC. I just need a medium-type build. I totally agree the case is crap. I know nothing about the power supply so I'll take your advice about that. First time build here so I can't reuse parts. I might try to troll some parts off of ebay. Also the AMD fusion suggested is actually $10 more for .1 GHz. I can probably sqeak out some more money but, if there's any way I would rather cut something down.

Revisons:
New Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$40

New Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$40

Possibly new RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$47

Cut down on ??? if anything???
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 1:51:41 PM

^All of those choices are pretty good. Like e56imfg said llano benefits from higher speed ram. The power supply will be adequate for your needs and the case is ok, I personally would go for the source 210 just like e56imfg suggested. But that is just me.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 2:11:48 PM

What he means is that the power consumption will be around the 200w mark. Which it will.
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March 26, 2012 2:14:58 PM

No headroom? He might A) Get a GPU B) An HDD/SDD C) Any thing that sucks power from the PSU soon... :) 
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March 26, 2012 2:20:59 PM

This is the same processor but listed for 10 $ less , some kind of offer in newegg, better buy it fast.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
For the power supply buy the 200 W one , that would be more than enough.
If you could shell out a 10 $ more you can get this A8 processor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ya , at the end of the day it depends upon your budget.
Good luck.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 3:58:56 PM

Windows 7 64bit Premium costs $100. That would put you up to $400.

For $400 you can even get a nice HP. There are several laptops to choose from with Bestbuy. Get one with HDMI. Don't buy Acer. Intel CPU's run faster, but the CPU isn't usually needed that often and the graphics can be substandard depending on need. IMO, the best way to go is a reasonably fast AMD APU which is basically silent and very cool.

The laptop can still be plugged into a desktop monitor and keyboard etc, but it also comes with a battery (won't crash during power outage) is nice and small and will even be quieter than your computer.

*Plus with a laptop you can:
a) take it with you, and
b) can have TWO screens if you desire (desktop plus laptop). My dad edits pictures and likes having two screens (Photoshop on main, second screen for a manual, full size picture, or the Internet.)

I actually can't think of a single advantage to building your own $400 desktop ($300 + $100 for Windows).

*Example of good laptop for $400:
Hewlett Packard:
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- HDMI
- 15.6" 1366x768
- AMD APU
- whisper quiet and cool
- webcam

****re: HDMI:
With HDMI on a laptop you can put out video to the screen. You can't do that easily with a desktop! Laptops give you ALL of the sound including games, not just certain audio codecs like desktops do.

You should get a program like VLC or install the K-Lite Codec Pack Standard (use the MPC-HC video player. When installing K-Lite enable DXVA for AVC, MPEG2, VC-1 or do it later in the settings to reduce CPU usage via video hardware acceleration. WARNING: disable all advanced video settings in the Catalyst Control Center; they screw up the video.)

Pretty hard to beat that!!
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March 26, 2012 4:07:07 PM

photonboy said:
Windows 7 64bit Premium costs $100. That would put you up to $400.

For $400 you can even get a nice HP. There are several laptops to choose from with Bestbuy. Get one with HDMI. Don't buy Acer. Intel CPU's run faster, but the CPU isn't usually needed that often and the graphics can be substandard depending on need. IMO, the best way to go is a reasonably fast AMD APU which is basically silent and very cool.

The laptop can still be plugged into a desktop monitor and keyboard etc, but it also comes with a battery (won't crash during power outage) is nice and small and will even be quieter than your computer.

*Plus with a laptop you can:
a) take it with you, and
b) can have TWO screens if you desire (desktop plus laptop). My dad edits pictures and likes having two screens (Photoshop on main, second screen for a manual, full size picture, or the Internet.)

I actually can't think of a single advantage to building your own $400 desktop ($300 + $100 for Windows).

*Example of good laptop for $400:
Hewlett Packard:
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- HDMI
- 15.6" 1366x768
- AMD APU
- whisper quiet and cool
- webcam

****re: HDMI:
With HDMI on a laptop you can put out video to the screen. You can't do that easily with a desktop! Laptops give you ALL of the sound including games, not just certain audio codecs like desktops do.

You should get a program like VLC or install the K-Lite Codec Pack Standard (use the MPC-HC video player. When installing K-Lite enable DXVA for AVC, MPEG2, VC-1 or do it later in the settings to reduce CPU usage via video hardware acceleration. WARNING: disable all advanced video settings in the Catalyst Control Center; they screw up the video.)

Pretty hard to beat that!!

All of these sound amazing but with a laptop , they can never be upgraded.
With a PC they can be upgraded and the PC processors have much better perfomance than the comparable laptop ones.
Like me, I use windows 7 with windows 7 loader.
So no need to shell out 100$.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 4:07:32 PM

Sorry, here's the laptop I recommend:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+15.6%26%2334%3B+Pavili...

If looking for a different one:
- do NOT buy ACER
- 3GB or 4GB
- AMD APU
- HDMI output
- screen size and resolution?

*I recommend you write down your MUST-HAVE list, then go to the store to see them.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 4:15:00 PM

Anonymous said:
Just one note. I'm not creating a gaming PC. I just need a medium-type build. I totally agree the case is crap. I know nothing about the power supply so I'll take your advice about that. First time build here so I can't reuse parts. I might try to troll some parts off of ebay. Also the AMD fusion suggested is actually $10 more for .1 GHz. I can probably sqeak out some more money but, if there's any way I would rather cut something down.

Revisons:
New Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$40

New Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$40

Possibly new RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$47

Cut down on ??? if anything???


Yes the APu he mentioned is $10 more but is 4 cores compared to 2 cores which is well worth it
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 4:15:24 PM

mitunchidamparam said:
All of these sound amazing but with a laptop , they can never be upgraded.
With a PC they can be upgraded and the PC processors have much better perfomance than the comparable laptop ones.
Like me, I use windows 7 with windows 7 loader.
So no need to shell out 100$.


There are PROS and CONS. In the end it's what you want. I don't know why you'd want to upgrade a $300 system but whatever. With an APU you won't be adding a graphics card.

Let me list some of the PROS however:
- legal copy of Windows (FYI, they occasionally do updates that disable hacked versions)
- laptop is portable
- second screen besides desktop monitor
- webcam
- battery (won't crash in failure)
- quieter (your desktop won't be too noisy though)
- *HDMI
*(desktop HDMI outputs only certain audio codecs. does NOT output game sounds or Windows sounds)

FYI, my dad was going to buy a new computer and in the end got a laptop. He leaves it hooked up to his monitor, desktop speakers and mouse/keyboard (via Logitech micro-USB). He sometimes uses both screens, but when he's NOT using both screens he closes the laptop screen. It really saves on space, we've even watched BluRay rips (legal of course. cough.) using the HDMI and MPC-HC (K-Lite). Awesome.

It's usually fairly hidden and when he travels he easily unhooks everything and takes it with him.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 4:36:47 PM

Disregard my previous post I thought it was a different thread where the guy was lookin at getting an a4. The difference between the a6-3650 and the 3670k is the later is unlocked for easy overclocking
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 4:41:46 PM

Update:
Hi again.

I compared these two CPU's:
AMD A6-3650 vs Intel i3-2100

AandTech has a great comparison tool. It includes games as well. Basically the Intel i3-2100 beat the AMD in all of the games and MOST of the other tests.

Just FYI, and the price was $115 so almost the same. (HD2000 graphics)

I'm done. Good luck.

Benchmark (can choose what to compare at top):
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/403?vs=289

**IMPORTANT**
I'm not sure, but I believe you can DISABLE the Intel graphics if you want to add a better graphics card in the future, however I don't think you can disable the graphics on the APU. I'm not 100% though.

Regardless, based on the charts there seems to be no reason to buy the APU. It's great for laptops where cooling is difficult, but in a desktop that's not really an issue.
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March 26, 2012 4:57:16 PM

You can disable both of em's on-die GPUs
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 5:01:35 PM

Actually the APU has ssuperior graphics to the i3. If you planning on gettin a gfx card the i3 is better but for using integrated graphics the APu is much better. The i3 is a better CPU the APu is a better gpu
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Anonymous
March 26, 2012 6:54:45 PM

Wow, thanks for all the replies!!! In answer to some questions about Windows, I don't plan on using Windows. I'm either shelling out $30 for OS X to make a Hackintosh or running a flavor of Linux. I already have a laptop and the only real reason to build this desktop is for fun and to have a better system than my crappy laptop. I chose a AMD Fusion because the GPU is integrated and the cheap mobo I chose didn't have onboard graphics. I also didn't want to shell out money for an extra graphic card. If the one $10 more AMD Fusion is easier for overclocking I will for sure go for that. I'll repeat I don't want anything to do with a laptop or anything else pre-built.

More Revisions:

New Case/PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$38

OEM
Better CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$120

OEM

If I get some more OKs on these revisions of the build I'll start adding them to the first post (RAM added). Again thanks for all the help I'd appreciate more suggestions/comments.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 7:02:03 PM

That cpu is an oem^ meaning it doesn't come with a heatsink/fan.
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Anonymous
March 26, 2012 7:06:31 PM

Thanks for the quick reply!!!

OK CPU is definitely out then because I don't really want to spend extra money plus by the heatsink fan. Thanks zooted.

Another ?:
Do I need more fans for the case I suggested above???
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 7:21:41 PM

Even though llanno sips power, I would be weary of the psu that comes with that case. I suggest getting an adequate one from a reliable brand.
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March 26, 2012 8:16:23 PM

Anonymous said:
Thanks for the quick reply!!!

OK CPU is definitely out then because I don't really want to spend extra money plus by the heatsink fan. Thanks zooted.

Another ?:
Do I need more fans for the case I suggested above???


No you will not need any more extra fans.
The fan for the CPU which comes in the box will be more than enough.
Sorry I recommended a OEM CPU to you, I didn't know that.
Sorry for any inconvenience.
i got more or less similar build for my mom and I tried Star Craft 2 on it and it was ridiculously awesome.
The HDMI for this processor works awesome, I even tried blu ray and it was awesome.
I didnot use that motherboard though.
The four core is future proof , will last for 4 or more years.
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Anonymous
March 26, 2012 8:17:06 PM

If possible zooted, I would prefer to keep it cheap. However if I get some more money I can consider a better quality power supply.

EDIT:
Thanks for the info about the fans mitunchidamparam. I will proceed with adding the case to the first post.

EDIT:
Refer to first post for some changes.

Current total:
$307

Should I get a better PSU then the default one with the case???

Can I get anything cheaper??? Possibly downgrade something???
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March 26, 2012 8:30:38 PM

$
Anonymous said:
If possible zooted, I would prefer to k $eep it cheap. However if I get some more money I can consider a better quality power supply.

EDIT:
Thanks for the info about the fans mitunchidamparam. I will proceed with adding the case to the first post.

EDIT:
Refer to first post for some changes.

Current total:
$307

Should I get a better PSU then the default one with the case???

Can I get anything cheaper??? Possibly downgrade something???


This is a better case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
19$
The power supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
14.99$
Maybe this is better
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March 26, 2012 8:32:11 PM

One more thing, don't compromise on the ram , that is a good price for it
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Anonymous
March 27, 2012 1:06:59 AM

@e56imfg
Sorry I prefer to stick with my build and avoid Intel.

@mitunchidamparam
I think I will stick with case I have and its PSU.


Can someone check out and find the 3 cheapest 7200 RPM hard drives (any size for now) on newegg?

Also, is it cheaper to get a AMD processor and a video card or to stay with my AMD Fusion???
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Anonymous
March 27, 2012 1:26:25 AM

I'll consider intel. I will think about it. I agree I don't need a gaming PC but I want a medium-build. The medium usage would probably some games (rare) and programming. I'll also possibly consider one of those hard drives but I doubt it. I probably just stick with the cheap refurb.

Possible Revisions:
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKX 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$75

Another ?s
Do you know if any of the AMD Fusion dual-cores have unlockable "sleeping" cores??? Would it be cheaper for me to use a regular AMD dual-core unlockable with a video card than the AMD Fusion???
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March 27, 2012 1:42:46 AM

HDD prices are just ridiculous these days. Try to not even spend money on a HDD and re-use one that you already have.

None of the APUs have locked cores. It's either dual, tri, or quad. Llano is cheaper than any AMD CPU + GPU combo.
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Anonymous
March 27, 2012 1:50:49 AM

That sucks. Before choosing the Llanos I was planning on using a Triple or Dual Core Athlon II with unlockable cores. FYI First Build I don't have any previous parts. I know the monitor, keyboard, mouse costs money but I don't need help with those.

Crud, just realized I need internal wifi. Can anyone give me a decent suggestion???
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 1:56:52 AM

Anonymous said:
That sucks. Before choosing the Llanos I was planning on using a Triple or Dual Core Athlon II with unlockable cores. FYI First Build I don't have any previous parts. I know the monitor, keyboard, mouse costs money but I don't need help with those.

Crud, just realized I need internal wifi. Can anyone give me a decent suggestion???


I have three wifi devices for desktops and all of them work great, this one is the cheapest that i can give a recommendation on:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also have:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The second one requires an available PCIe x1 slot, and it has a better range than the previous one. It all depends on how far you are from the access point.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 2:00:31 AM

This is a Llano and cheaper than any of the Athlon IIs:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its not horrible, I wouldn't get it cus I'm a gamer but it can game and would be fine for your purposes. If you want a graphics upgrade in the future you can always put a vga card in your system later.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 2:02:32 AM

Heres a good combo for you to consider, you can throw in an optical drive and still be under budget!
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Anonymous
March 27, 2012 1:35:08 PM

New CPU Decision(s)

Significant Revision:
AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$80

Should I go for a triple instead of the quad???

Revision if not using triple:
AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$140
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March 27, 2012 1:45:36 PM

I would say go with the quad core one.
This A6 is a quad core.
A6-3600
This A6 has better graphics.
The triple core may not be a good build for say, maybe 3-4 years.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 1:49:18 PM

I have the a6-3500 that I used for a replacement when my wifes old prebuilt psu died. I am pleased with the performance with it (I can even run older games maxed out and new ones on low/medium settings) I also got it to 3ghz without a sweat. Could possibly push it further if I wanted to, but really don't have the need for it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 4:51:38 PM

The a8-3870k is a great APu to make a budget build with. A friend of mine made a $400 build with one and he can run all sorts of newer games and it overclocks really well. It is $140 but I feel it's completely worth it for a mainstream all around pc.
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Anonymous
March 27, 2012 6:47:21 PM

Okay, I guess I'm going to add the unlocked (and faster) quad core processor. So right now I guess I'm a bit over budget lol. My solution I think will be to look for some of the parts on Ebay. Any other advice is greatly appreciated. I think I'm very close to the final build/revision.

How do you make wish lists on newegg??? Do you need an account???
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March 27, 2012 6:59:35 PM

Ordering computer parts in ebay I dont think is a good idea.
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Anonymous
March 27, 2012 7:03:59 PM

Not even new???
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 7:05:14 PM

Yeh just register with newegg and when you click "add to wish list" right above "add to cart" it goes to a temporary and if you register you can transfer it to titled lists. I have so many different wish lists i wish I could afford. It's pretty handy because I change my mind a lot.
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Anonymous
March 27, 2012 7:09:22 PM

OK cool maybe I'll decide to register at newegg and make my list above easier to look at.

Do you agree that I shouldn't go hunting on Ebay for parts???
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 8:06:25 PM

eBay is bad news and the only time you get stuff cheaper is when it's used or it comes from hong kong and shipping takes two weeks. Done it before not worth it never again
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March 27, 2012 11:12:12 PM

Why not get the 3670K instead? Almost identical performance when OCed and it's cheaper.
If you don't know how to OC, just go with the cheaper a6 models.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 11:53:16 PM

While the A6-3670k is also a good option it does offer slightly less graphical performance. Its a 6530D compared to 6550D of the A8. The 6550D of the A8 has a GPU clock speed of 600mhz and 400 shader cores versus 444mhz and 320 shader cores of the 6530D. So for the 300mhz more stock clock of the CPU and the better graphics I would choose the A8 even if it is a $30 difference.
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