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$300-$350 Build

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February 9, 2013 11:59:50 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: End of the month.
Budget Range: $300-$350
System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Parts Not Required: Perhaps HDD
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: -
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: -
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Doesn't matter, don't have enough for it to matter. ;) 
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 and 1920x1080
Additional Comments:

Hello everyone! I have been trying to come up with a 'nice' build for around $300-$350. I am unsure if I need a HDD or not, as it's at my folk's place; depends on if they can find it or not. :p 

I really just want this to be a fun project, as I have never built a computer before. The only requirements I really need are to have 8GB of RAM, and have an integrated/discrete GPU that out preforms my laptop's Intel HD4000. So I ended up with this build. If anyone could please critique me, I'd appreciate it.

I opted for the more expensive motherboard for USB 3.0, two PCI Express 2.0 slots, and Sata III (using SSD). I would really like to favor upgradeability for later down the road. No need for an ODD and I plan to use Ubuntu. This also does not include the wireless card that I will inevitably require. Do draft ac cards exist? If not, could someone recommend a nice 2.4Ghz/5Ghz b/g/n adapter? Thanks for all your time! :D 

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Cuk8

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($72.74 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card ($51.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $295.66
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-09 20:54 EST-0500)

Additionally, would the AMD a4-5300 be better suited here? Shaves off another $20 and it's a more recent processor, but I am unsure of the performance. Thanks!

More about : 300 350 build

February 10, 2013 12:23:09 AM

If your not going to be using your pc for gaming these are still some very good references, as they usually hold up with internet brosing and other things very well
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February 10, 2013 12:56:01 AM

How would the APU in the A10-5800k perform versus the Intel HD4000?
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February 10, 2013 1:10:27 AM

seande said:
How would the APU in the A10-5800k perform versus the Intel HD4000?


It's currently the best iGPU on the market, and it can play BF3 on medium settings with good FPS. So, it's MUCH better than the HD 4000.
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Best solution

February 10, 2013 1:12:08 AM

seande said:
How would the APU in the A10-5800k perform versus the Intel HD4000?
The GPU in the AMD chip will blow the doors off the HD4000. Here's a head-to-head comparison. I would put at least 1866mhz memory in this build, as the A10-5800k's video performance is very sensitive to memory speed, i.e., the faster your memory, the better your framerates. I recently put a system together using the A10 and have been very happy with it so far.
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February 10, 2013 1:15:15 AM

MTSe7en said:
It's currently the best iGPU on the market, and it can play BF3 on medium settings with good FPS. So, it's MUCH better than the HD 4000.

So, for light gaming, I wouldn't really need to add a GPU? The most intensive game would be Skyrim, since this computer is replacing an Xbox. Everything else that would be played on it would be the equivalent of Minecraft I would guess.

So I replaced a lot of my build with the suggestions:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CwYk

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Other: MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 FM2 AMD A7 ($59.99)
Total: $309.95
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-09 22:14 EST-0500)

Any critiques? Does anyone have a draft ac adapter they could recommend?
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February 10, 2013 1:16:53 AM

seande said:
How would the APU in the A10-5800k perform versus the Intel HD4000?

I am no GPU expert but from what I read (and you could Google it yourself). The IGPU in the APU is far superior to Intel's.

Edit: too slow.. tooo slow :) 
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February 10, 2013 1:17:06 AM

jwesley said:
The GPU in the AMD chip will blow the doors off the HD4000. Here's a head-to-head comparison. I would put at least 1866mhz memory in this build, as the A10-5800k's video performance is very sensitive to memory speed, i.e., the faster your memory, the better your framerates. I recently put a system together using the A10 and have been very happy with it so far.

If I sprung for 2133mhz, would that be overkill? Thank you for that link. Extremely helpful. :) 
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February 10, 2013 1:23:53 AM

That's a pretty good build. I used the same MSI motherboard and have no complaints. You may need to flash the bios or go in and manually set the memory profile before it runs the memory at the correct speed. And, no, you won't need a discrete video card for light gaming. My A10 build runs WoW, Call of Duty, Fallout: New Vegas and similar games at high or medium settings and 30-40 fps. If you want, you CAN run dual graphics Crossfire mode with the A10 and a discrete video card.
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February 10, 2013 1:27:13 AM

"If I sprung for 2133mhz, would that be overkill?" No, especially if you ever plan to overclock. You can also use the faster memory at a slower speed say (1866) and run tighter CAS timings, if I recall correctly.
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February 10, 2013 1:57:48 AM

jwesley said:
That's a pretty good build. I used the same MSI motherboard and have no complaints. You may need to flash the bios or go in and manually set the memory profile before it runs the memory at the correct speed. And, no, you won't need a discrete video card for light gaming. My A10 build runs WoW, Call of Duty, Fallout: New Vegas and similar games at high or medium settings and 30-40 fps. If you want, you CAN run dual graphics Crossfire mode with the A10 and a discrete video card.

Alright thank you so much for your recommendations. Barring any other input, I think I'll be looking to build this system.

You said flashing the BIOS or changing the RAM settings. Is this particularly difficult? I've only dealt with locked BIOS settings on prebuilt computers. Well, that and a MacBook Air. :p 
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February 10, 2013 2:46:23 AM

No, flashing the BIOS can be done from within Windows, using the MSILive software, or you can download the BIOS update from MSI and run it in windows or from a USB stick. It's pretty foolproof. You can find the relevant memory settings in the "Overclock" section of the BIOS.
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February 17, 2013 7:02:55 PM

Best answer selected by seande.
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