Description

This build is what I'm currently using in my home office. Every part I've included has upgradability and functionality in mind.

The graphics processing is done on an A6-6400k, which takes advantage of a lot of AMD architecture to push out some decent graphics for $50. I can play Battlefield 3 on low, Counterstrike Source on medium, and Hawken on medium with the APU alone.

For the motherboard, I went with the Gigabyte F2A78M-D3H. This motherboard is practically filled to the brim with features. Also, since it's has an FM2+ socket, it will accept the high end AMD A Series APUs for future upgrading. I plan on upgrading to the A10-7870k in the future.

For the RAM, I chose a single HyperX Fury Black 8gb stick. While some may say that you should opt for dual channel RAM, I knew I'd be upgrading to 16gb in the future. Only getting 1 8gb stick will allow me three open slots for a possible 32gb of RAM.

To power this all, I chose an EVGA 430W PSU. While the 500W variant would also suffice, I chose the 430W because I knew I wouldn't need to be pushing much power. It's far more than enough to power the whole system, and likely many low-power graphics cards in the future.

To hold this all, I chose a Thermaltake Versa H25. The case itself has reasonable quality, and for under $45, it's practically a steal. The inside is black, which was one of my main concerns(to make the build look good), and it has somewhat decent cable management in the back. There is a windowed version, but I opted for the windowless version to save $10. The cable management area is a bit slim, so it may require some more effort to route cables.

Part Reviews

CPU

This is a great APU for an HTPC or budget build. It runs Windows fantastically, and I've found that Counter Strike Source, and Hawken run great on it. I've gotten Battlefield 3 to run on it, but being that Battlefield 3 is optimized for a quad core CPU, this dual core APU had a little trouble with sound and stutters. Don't expect to run AAA games on it, but do expect a smooth performing APU, and smooth 1920x1080 video playback.

Motherboard

This board is filled with features. However, a motherboard is a motherboard. The software that Gigabyte included is a bit choppy, and is always running in the background. While it doesn't hinder performance, I've found the implementation a tad annoying. Besides the software, the BIOS is very nice, and has all the FM2+ features one can expect.

Memory

The HyperX Fury Black is some of the best looking RAM that I've come across. It performs without any issues, and looks good while doing so.

Case

The Thermaltake Versa H25 is an average case. It looks good, but doesn't stand out too much. I do enjoy having a USB 3 and USB 2 on the top, alongside microphone in and audio out. However, cable management in this case is slightly annoying. The motherboard sits all the way against the top, so there are no cable routing holes right above the motherboard for CPU power and radiator placement. Room in the back of this case was almost only given by the plate, which raises out towards the center in a sort of house-shaped rise. Other than that, it's alright.

Power Supply

The EVGA 430W PSU is a very good power supply. Coming from EVGA, I expected no less. The PSU itself is also 80 Plus certified, which is a much if you plan on using it for the long haul. Overall, I have no gripes with the PSU other than the cable wrappers are very firm. Routing them through a case may be a bit of a struggle if you don't have ample room to work with.

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Comments

  • 52 months ago
  • 2 points

Very good for the price point. +1

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Indeed, thanks for the vote! It's my second budget build, but my third build overall.

I mainly wanted to see what I could do with less than $300, while also only using quality components that I trust. I could have made it less than $200 by throwing in a case/psu combo and 4gb of off-brand RAM, but I doubt it would last me 5+ years like my first rig if I did.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice 240$ computer!

If I were to purchase an A10 today, I would pick the A10-7800 because of the lower TDP. Less heat, less fan speed, less noise, better living! It still has 8 gpu cores, same ddr3 speed, but lower gpu clock (720mhz) than the 7870k (866mhz gpu clock).

My second choice would be the A8-7600 because of the lower tdp. It has same ddr3 speed (2133), same gpu clock as A10-7800 (720mhz) but 6 gpu cores instead of 8. The A8-7600 is the lowest APU I would get.

And of course when the budget permits, the A10-7870k would be the option. Gaming with an APU with a combined tdp for cpu and gpu is 95w, I think it's a great option when you accept a compromise on ultimate gaming performance. If you can afford a 300-400$ dedicated gpu then obviously going the APU way is useless.

  • 52 months ago
  • 2 points

Valid points! I'm actually trying to decide between the A8-7870k and the A10-7870k. From what I've seen, the A10-7870k puts a lot more power into its integrated graphics than the A8-7870k.

If I do opt to remain without a dedicated card, I'd likely end up purchasing the A10, however if I opt for a dedicated card, I'd go with the A8 because of the lesser cost and similar CPU ability.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Dual channel would've opted more performance, but nice cheap build!

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup, I had dual channel in mind as a future upgrade. While 2x4gb was very well an option that wouldn't have costed much more, I do like the idea of 32gb of RAM. I know it's overkill for everyday use, however I do a lot of C/C++/Java compiling, and I've found having way too much RAM creates a much smoother environment. It's on my list of future upgrades.

The only draw that single channel memory has over dual channel is small. It's usually less than a 3% drop in speed, which is minuscule in the most applications.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Hard drive? OS?

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

This build assumes you already have the two. A 1tb hard disk can be picked up new for $39, and can be found used for well under $25 locally. An OS is not included because everyone is different.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

I made a part list including OS for $260.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

do you reckon this pc would be able to run games like csgo?

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

I run CS:GO regularly on medium settings, however I am running a 720p monitor. I usually get around 50-70fps with that. I can't vouch for similar performance on a 1080p monitor only because I have not tested it.

Luckily I have a 1080p monitor on it's way so I'll inform you on performance when I can.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

okay thanks man :)

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

1080p is a different story. Before I put my GTX 950 in today, I ran CS:GO on medium on a 2560x1080 monitor and saw around 30-40fps. I assume that it's because of certain settings I calibrated for 720p.

I can recommend, however, an A10 APU in this rig. The A10 is quite the performer for the price, and would only bring the total price up about $60.

Further though, I highly recommend a GPU upgrade in the future before/after an A10. I just installed a GTX 950 in this rig, and it makes a world of difference in games.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Fair enough, the reason im searching for a cheap setup is because my comp is old now and everything is old and doesnt work like it used to and on the lowest settings on Csgo i get 40 Fps and have Fps Drops which make it impossible to play, https://pcpartpicker.com/user/AlexMarkovskij/saved/#view=FJsG3C thinking of going for thiss setup purely for playing csgo and one or two more games.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a really good build for the price i am thinking about making this for my first PC thanks for the inspiration

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I would switch out that 80+ certified psu before it is too late!!! I hear they don't last long.hope was helpful good build overall +1

  • 52 months ago
  • 0 points

if you are changing out the APU in the near future

i think it will be better to go for the 860K + R9 380X GPU

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually thought about slamming an R9 in there at some point, however in all likelyhood I'll just be putting an A10-5800k/A10-7870k in there along with a GTX 750ti.

However, the R9 would give me CrossfireX support, as well as support for dual graphics. I do want to stick with a low budget though, so it all depends on what's on sale when the time arises.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

sadly CrossFire only works with R7 240 or the 250 at prescribed by AMD themselves

the GTX750Ti price to performance have been beaten by the GTX950

if you want a real GPU that won't get bottleneck by the CPU

the R9 380 should do the trick

things to note that the A10-5800K is no longer a good APU to pair with any GPU

in fact, when you use a GPU

it will be much cheaper and sensible to get the Athlon 860K

the 860K is a non iGPU version of the A10-7850K

and with good cooling

most could hit 4.4-4.6GHz average