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Build

AMD "GameCube" (Budget Ryzen 3 update)

by FatBoyJD

23
43 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

April 25, 2018

Date Built

April 17, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.224 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

61.0° C

Description

This build is an update/extension of my first Budget Ryzen 3 Cube build. This update includes the addition of an RX 560 that I've purchased and after doing some benchmarks (Gears of War 4 is my reference because I'm broke like that), I'm glad to say that this GPU is here to stay. The original owner only used this card for 2 months and it works just as well as it did on day 1. Check my Gears 4 benchmarks for reference. The Intel/Nvidia benchmarks are from my Dell Inspiron for comparison.

This build right here is pretty good; it pretty much rivals my Dell Inspiron 15 7567 Gaming Laptop with performance that trounces the laptop when unplugged. My laptop does edge out this build when plugged in marginally until it reaches high-ultra settings, in which the difference in performance is easily in the Dell's favor. Setting the frame rate limit to unlimited brings the performance disparity in AMD's favor once more, though. All-in-all, this build performs relative to my laptop ($664.99 open-box purchase on Mar. 6) for roughly $100 less (excluding Windows 10) before taxes. Windows 10 Home brought this build to pretty much the same price all things considered, so I'm pretty psyched about my first gaming build. Adding another 8GB for dual-channel memory is wonderful (I'll post that as a separate build once I finish my upgrades) and brought the price to $647.63 vs $731.24 (Dell + 8GB RAM).

I'm looking into upgrading the storage next; I've got my eye on some M.2 2280 SSDs and 8TB HDDs. On the GPU side I'm looking at an RX 580; 570 prices are near identical so why bother? The Ryzen 3 will likely stay with a possible 2nd Gen Ryzen 5 upgrade, though I'm keener to simply do a separate Ryzen 5 build. Ryzen 7 may be an upgrade or simply a separate build as well.

Definitely open to any suggestions, critiques, and questions. Thanks.

Edit: Don't mind the dual-channel RAM in the RGB pics, they're taken to show RGB effects. I'll make an update build once I place more parts, though performance is noticeably smoother.

I've also added photos of the build all cleaned up. I also swapped the RGB fans for the red LED fans.

This build has been upgraded, check it out!

Part Reviews

CPU

Intrigued by the first generation of Ryzen processors, I decided to look into the 2nd generation based on performance benchmarks I've seen with integrated graphics. This is the little CPU/APU that could. Whether I'm streaming HD videos, running multiple programs, playing games, or all the above, this little guy definitely performed well. Considering the $70 price difference between this 2200G and the Ryzen 5 2400G, its performance was actually relative to the latter CPU. For that difference in price, I'd recommend this CPU over the 2400G.

Note that the Vega 8 Graphics will take up 0.3GB of RAM. This also means running dual channel will optimize performance, though this ran just fine even on single channel memory.

This also pairs wonderfully with the RX 560. Sure, the card could use a bit more CPU performance, but the bottleneck isn't as severe as with higher-end cards. This pairing is perfect for budget builds.

Motherboard

There's a lottery to be had with this motherboard: its BIOS. Some people have an older BIOS that's incompatible with Ryzen. Fortunately, mine came with the F10 BIOS that introduced Ryzen 3 2200G compatibility.

This tiny terror includes 2 RGBW headers, RGB lighting on the motherboard, dual channel DDR4 memory, 2x Gen 2 USB 3.1 Type-A ports, 4x Gen 1 USB 3.1 Type-A, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a P/S2 port, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, ALC1220/RealTek GbE LAN, M.2 Intel Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi+BT Module (3165) with antenna, M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4 2280 connector, 4 SATA 3 ports, SATA RAID (0,1,10), 2 hybrid fan headers, 2/4/5.1/7.1 channel HD audio support, front panel headers, USB 2.0 header, USB 3.0/3.1 header, and a single PCIe x16 slot. Talk about packing a lot of features into this tiny board. That alone has raised my expectations on larger motherboards.

You get 2 SATA cables, the WiFi antenna, and 2 installation CDs: a drivers and BIOS CD with the other being the Intel WiFi+BT drivers CD. Installation is fairly straightforward. SmartFan5 helps keep an eye on temps and you can customize your fan settings (CPU and System 1).

The limit of 2 fan headers and the BIOS lottery are two reasons I didn't rate this motherboard 5 stars. However, this baby could handle quite a good deal while gaming, so I highly recommend this for Mini ITX builds that pack a punch on a budget.

Using the Gigabyte Radeon RX 560 4GB OC (rev 2.0) on this motherboard worked with little issues. This card doesn't use any connections to the PSU, so all its power is drawn from the PCIe slot. This motherboard performs admirably with the card; it helps that they're both GIGABYTE products.

Memory

This RAM runs beautifully. Vega 8 Graphics take up a dedicated 0.3GB of memory, yet run well. Ryzen runs well on dual channel, but even in single channel it ran well.. It's also a stunner with its red aluminum plating that dissipates heat very well. Aluminum is a great metal for heat dissipation as its thermal retention is poor. Also, 2,400MHz is decent for gaming applications.

Storage

I thought I purchased a 7200RPM WD Blue 1TB. Turns out my tired self ordered the 5400RPM. Slower speeds notwithstanding, this HDD holds up fairly well with data transfers and storage. As a boot drive I could've done a lot worse, though I'm planning on using this for raw storage.

Video Card

Unlike the first revision (rev 1.0), this card does not use any power connectors whatsoever. Its power comes directly from the PCIe slot. That should result in marginally slower clocks (1176MHz), but I'm seeing core clocks at 1224MHz anyway, regardless of what monitoring software I use. Even AMD shows the core clock at 1224MHz, with AORUS showing its Gaming Mode clock at 1224MHz, Silent Mode at 1275MHz, and OC mode at 1300MHz. So far, I've been able to overclock to 1350MHz with -15% power target. Wonderful. It also helps to have 2 fans and a larger heat sink than other RX 560s. This card's temps never rose above 61 degrees Celsius when under load.

Do you like games like Gears of War and Forza Motorsport? Mid-High settings play just fine on this card. Performance is comparable to an Nvidia GTX 1050Ti for roughly 65-80% of the price. It's also pretty good with the Ryzen 3 2200G: a great budget gaming option to have.

Case

Hello, beautiful! This Mini ITX case may not hold the longest graphics card (255mm with the front grill on, 285mm without), but it's probably the most voluminous case of its class. Cable management is easy given its spacious volume and included zip ties with holes to anchor cables down. Included is a 200mm case fan at the front (and a foam filter), 2 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, separate mic and headphone jacks, a power button, reset button, power LED, and HDD LED.

The rear sports two 80mm "slots" for additional case fans, the rear motherboard panel, and the slots for the PCIe expansion (most definitely for my graphics card). Bottom panel comes with a filter for the power supply, with the rear panel including the slot where you'd access the switches and plug. ATX power supplies are compatible with this case; 2 rubber bumpers are included with 3 pairs of slots to fit into for different size PSUs. The bottom is basically a dedicated space for the PSU.

Top panel comes with a glass/plastic window to see the motherboard (which sits horizontally) in all its glory. While the rest of the case is pretty much grill and metal. There are black hand screws holding the panels in place, as well as the 2 HDD caddies included. The front panel is removable only from the inside, with the rest of the panels being interchangeable. The top window is removable for those who want to install a grill/filter for even more airflow.

Small, compact, and stunning in white is what this cube is all about. It's spacious, yet compact and can definitely do what you need it to. Its airy interior also helps with airflow and maintaining lower temps. Its motherboard and PSU orientation definitely contribute to a beautiful interior. A dual-fan RX 560/GTX 1050 Ti looks surprisingly small in this case. I've got an RX 580 8GB on the way that'll fit a bit more cozy in this case.

Power Supply

I've been told this PSU will go nuclear if you reach/exceed its wattage limit. Considering my build is a Mini ITX build, there's little need to worry. If I slapped a Ryzen 7 and RX 580 into this build, I'd still be roughly 140W shy of reaching its limit. Speaking of which, my RX 560 doesn't even bump total wattage beyond 220W. The RX 580 I just bought uses as much as 95W more. The Ryzen 5 2400G I'm waiting on is rated the same as the 2200G. Gotta love technological progress.

Eco Mode is a neat little switch on the back that throttles power to the computer. It's a neat little thing to use if you're conscious about power consumption (i.e, running electronics on a surge protector near its threshold). Keep in mind it will throttle performance as well, so keep off if performance is a must. Otherwise, this unit supplies power without fuss. Its fan definitely keeps the unit cool, too. Eco Mode throttles the fan, too.

Fully Modular with three 6-pin connectors (2 SATA, 1 peripheral), 1 VGA 6+2, 8-pin CPU, and 24-pin ATX MB connector is exactly what's needed for smaller builds. The SATA cables have splitters, there are molex cables and adapters, too. This is excellent for smaller cases that require meticulous cable management.

Comments Sorted by:

jakster840 6 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

Personally not a big RGB guy, but the colors on those fans are just delightful. Sweet, compact little build you got there. Also glad to see that you bought the REAL RX 560 and not the RX560-D, which is just a glorified RX 460.

I love that case.

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

Thanks! I was a little disappointed (yet pleasantly surprised) by the fans, with the LEDs being permanent and not programmable. Since the motherboard has RGB it works, but I'm getting red LED fans and keeping the board to its default red. This RX 560 is the 2nd revision, so it doesn't use the 6-pin connector. Honestly, it performs marginally worse than the 1st revision so it's not much of a loss there. This case was my dream, I saw it on a budget build video and found the Snow Edition. I needed it in my life.

Khaosix 20 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

I always up vote Core V1 builds.

Solid build man, love the old school LED fans.

+1

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

Thanks. I do the same myself.

I'm definitely going to swap those out with Red LED fans. It's a shame I can't upload the video, my motherboard does RGB but pulses through each color, it's cool.

Khaosix 20 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

I don't know how old you are, but I was in high school for the golden age of LAN parties.

Takes me back when 80mm fans with the rainbow LED effect was the bee's knees at a LAN.. I've been trying to convince one of my clients to let me build them an early 2000s theme'd build but they just don't understand :(

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

I'm 25. LAN parties were KING. Except my buddies and I did that with Xbox 360s. I'm not crazy for the effect, given I mistook them for being programmable, but I'll definitely get my red LED fans and use these RGB for another build. Probably an Intel build.

BakerB0at 1 Build 2 points 10 months ago

Wii is better. +1

Tetsuclaw 5 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

Look for a dolphin bar on amazon and you can use Wii controllers with a PC. With an emulator you can play Wii games on a PC. This PC should be more than ample to run such an emulator.

+1 from me as this budget build looks really good.

BakerB0at 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

No, I'll use my black Wii with a remote that has motion control acting up recently.

Tetsuclaw 5 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

Look up on youtube Wii vs Dolphin emulator and Dolphin can actually play wii games better than the original wii ever could. It can run resolutions much higher than Wii's native 480p resolutions and add AA too.

My Black Ice HTPC after adding my RX 470 that used to be in my main rig is able to play Wii at 1080p with 8x AA and the quality compared to the Wii is night and day. OP's build should be powerful enough to do the same thing if not very close.

BakerB0at 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

Hm. I will take a look into it sometime. How does it use games (download, disc conversion)?

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

Use Homebrew to rip the ISO off the games onto a hard drive (formatted to WBFS first), then rip the ISO from the HDD with the WBFS manager onto the computer. Dolphin Emulator would recognize it.

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

This build should be capable of taking the Wii U to town, so Wii is child's play.

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

Wii (my first Nintendo console purchase) is a souped-up GameCube. Think AMD RX 460 to AMD RX 560.

BakerB0at 1 Build 2 points 10 months ago

Exactly. Wii is refreshed GameCube, but better.

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

And the Wii U is what the "hardcore" wanted the Wii to be. Honestly, Nintendo could easily have done that.

BakerB0at 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

Nintendo probably was lazy and wanted to save money by going for a GameCube based system, and then doing nothing to support it past 2009.

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

Considering they played the specs game and lost twice (N64 vs PS1, GC vs. PS2), they practically fell back until cartridges were affordable to produce. At this point they're pretty much going the Wii route except they now know how to program in HD: the major gripe they had with the Wii U.

bringmepeterpan 2 points 10 months ago

I was thinking about doing something like this as a streaming gaming system. Steams game stream works pretty well at least in my experience, I think this would be perfect for that while using my main rig to do all the heavy lifting. Nice build though, I love the small form factor cube cases they just look so awesome.

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

Thanks, this little cube here could hold a 255mm GPU with the front grill on and as much as 285mm with the grill removed. Basically, you're playing with RX 580s and certain GTX 1070s/1080s right there. Other Mini ITX cases could hold over 300mm GPUs, but they look like some throwback to a 90's stereo system with grills to match.

There are also Micro ATX cube cases, like the Thermaltake Core V21, if you want that form factor in a slightly larger case.

Fishboy9449 8 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

Looking good man!

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

Thanks! I just bought a Ryzen 5 2400G and an RX 580 8GB (same brand as the 560), so expect a final update on this build. I'll keep it at 16GB since my budget is currently too low for 32GB RAM right now.

An M.2 SSD and extra HDD are in the works as well. I'm about to build a Micro ATX desktop (Core V21) for the 2400G and RX 580 after I upgrade this build for testing.

Fishboy9449 8 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

Oo nice, tell me how that goes! I just upgraded my 7700k to an 8700k. Got it delidded and clocked at 5.3ghz! Very nice and fast chip :p

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

That's some serious stuff you're doing. Right now I'm running 16GB (2×8GB) with the 2200G and RX 560 4GB. I updated to the latest BIOS after resetting Windows 10, all drivers up-to-date and running stable. Ran Gears of War 4 on high with 30+ FPS online (Horde Mode). Regular multiplayer modes run 45+ FPS stock. Can't wait to swap out for the 2400G and RX 580. This board can take it.

Fishboy9449 8 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

Nice though I'd keep the 2200g tbh. Even though it may have support for SMT, there isn't enough of an fps lead to recommend to upgrade for that. If you upgrade the 2200g, I'd suggest the 2600x or even 2600. The X model has the spire cooler which does a great job at cooling!

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

You're right, but it was $140! Not arguing with that. Still, I'm curious to benchmark it, I'm planning on selling one of the desktops I'll have built (my current vs whatever I decide on the mATX). I don't entirely think I'd stay with the 2400G, I'm plenty satisfied with the 2200G (and even keeping the 560 paired with it, but that 580 @$293 is too tempting to let go of). Having the 2400G paired with the RX 560 is actually a decent budget build, so I may just sell that pairing.

avidoza 1 point 9 months ago

Did the APU work right out the box with the motherboard? What type of games do you play and how much fps are you getting? Love the build btw! Good stuff!!

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

It did. I tend to play mostly Forza Motorsport 6: Apex, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Gears of War 4 at the moment. I had already upgraded to the RX 580, but this 2200G/RX 560 pairing handled those games in Med-High settings just fine as shown in the Gears 4 benchmarks. Regarding the 2200G, it now uses 1GB of RAM so if you play games that aren't too demanding (Overwatch being the most popular right now) graphically, I don't see how you wouldn't lock in 60 FPS with mixed settings. eSports titles should run just fine.

FatBoyJD submitter 5 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

The 2200G at 3.85GHz, Vega 8 iGPU @ 1550MHz with 4GB will play Gears 4 with mixed (recommended) settings, similar to the recommended settings for the 560, at 21-30FPS. Forza 6 with Medium preset and dynamic rendering was running 45-60FPS with or without V-sync at 1600x900. And it still looked gorgeous. It's a slight drop at 1080p, with 35-50FPS.

eSports titles are less demanding, so I don't see why it wouldn't tackle those games if it can handle more intensive games.

The 560 I have only made the build that much better.