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A8-3870k Temporary Entry Level Gaming Platform

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August 23, 2012 5:01:46 AM

Okay, so I know good and well that for a little bit more money (that I didn't have), I would be able to get better performance from an i3 and a dedicated GPU. Don't even say it. I KNOW.

For now, I have:

A8-3870k purchased on CL for $80 (Brand new in box thanks to Quakecon handing them out like candy). Seriously, check the Dallas Craigslist site, I bet 5 are still up.
Asus mATX mobo for $50 (just what I need it for, plugging stuff in). I won't even use a pci/e lane.
Mushiken 2x4GB DDR3 1600 C8 for $50
Corsair Builder Series 430w 80+ for $45 ($20 MIR to bring it down to $25 in a few months)
NZXT Gamma for $40
Generic DVD-RW/CD-RW drive for $20
Pulling my laptop HDD out temporarily, so no money spent there.
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ evo for $35 in a few weeks, for now I can't afford it. (I desire to OC the APU)

Currently my total cost was $285, later going to be $320 for the entire setup (not going to count buying a HDD because that is a very long term investment). I really don't think I could have done this with an i3 rig without sacrificing either the case (setting the parts in a pizza box) or getting a crap PSU that would likely fry my components; not to mention I would have needed to find a BNIB i3 for $80.

My question is, will I be severely disappointed come Friday when I assemble it? I'm shooting for 720p gaming at Medium quality. If the game I'm playing has a 360 counter-part, I'll likely be playing that version. So the game titles in question will typically be PC exclusives. I know that poor console ports wouldn't even make the 720p Medium Quality mark on a setup like this.

List of games I desire to play:
CS:GO (Not playing 360 just to handicap myself)
DayZ
GW2 (if my friends get into it)
SC2 (if I decide to torture myself and finally get out of Bronze League, yeah yeah complain that Brood War had a steeper learning curve, I don't care)
XCOM: EU (assuming the controls don't get the SNAFU treatment, I'm seriously hoping not considering the original game's background. Otherwise it's 360 for this one)

Extra Thoughts:
I can later add a 6670 1GB GDDR5 if the support for it is worth it. I haven't been able to track down a XFire list. For now I am maxed out budget wise and I only went this route since $80 for a GPU/CPU made the entire idea doable.

Going AMD makes me feel like I'm supporting the underdog, even though they gave the processor away. Haven't bought AMD since there were actually competitive. That Athlon 64 x2 6400+ BE lasted 4 years!

I'd prefer to run this rig into the ground, but I realize that may only be 1.5 years.

Thanks for reading my novel. lol
August 23, 2012 5:21:03 AM

Outlander_04 said:

Id use 2 x2 gig of 1866 Mhz memory

Any reason in particular? I was given to believe that 1600 C8 would be 95% the performance of the 1866.
Obviously for only $20 less I wasn't getting some 1333 C9. Can't sacrifice that kind of FPS drop when I'm already flirting with 30FPS.
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August 23, 2012 8:57:52 AM

Beacuse 8 gig wont improve game performance , but higher bandwidth will
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August 23, 2012 9:04:37 AM

Your current build is fine at low to medium settings. Not sure about DayZ, though. You should get the 6670 GDDR5 version later down the line then you can crank up your settings quite a bit or even max at least 50fps at 720p. Again, not sure about DayZ.
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August 23, 2012 9:33:18 AM

Most games should be quite playable at medium settings on 720p. Especially after you overclock.
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August 23, 2012 2:23:51 PM

@Outlander: Yeah. Normally I would be right there with you. But in the past when I say 4GB people look at me funny. My fault for listening to them I suppose. Though 4GB is pushing it now days.

@Willyroc: Little bummed to hear about Dayz, but as it stands my hd4250m makes the game look like PS1 graphics and still can't manage 30FPS. So if I get to 30FPS under any conditions, I'll be stoked.

@FinneousPJ: Glad to hear. Do you think the Hyper212+ Evo will be sufficient? I'm relatively new to OC. I've done it on a 2500k, but that was so retarded simple I feel like I learned nothing.


I plan on running fraps on a few of those games tonight/tomorrow whenever the parts come in. Maybe this thread can help some others. Benchmarks tend to show games that I don't know how to relate to others. (eg, metro 2033 might have 11fps for this rig at MQ 720p, but that game is notorious for being hard to run.)

Thanks for the replies guys
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August 23, 2012 2:27:51 PM

Overclocking the A8-K should be equivalently simple.
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