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The box of questionable decisions: Lila Mark Two (Friend's sleeper desktop)

by fn230

20
19 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Jan. 1, 2018

Date Built

Dec. 10, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.02 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.4 GHz

Description

This build was cobbled together from Lila Mark One and some parts I had lying around. The motherboard is left over from my main desktop and some bad decision making, which is why it's so stupidly gutsy compared to the rest of the build. The case, PSU, and GPU are from Lila, the SSD is a leftover, and the CPU and RAM are new.

Memory sticks weren't purchased individually - what I did was buy a 2x8 set and mix it up with the 2x4 set from my own desktop, giving both systems 12 GB.

Lila Mk2 will be used for typical computer tasks (work, browsing, etc) and some occasional light gaming. Friend is happy with it, says it performs much better than the Core 2 Duo box he had before. I expect that the Athlon will last him another good 3-4 years, but even if not, AM4 has a good upgrade path. EDIT: Operating system is Fedora Linux.

Build thoughts

The was my first time installing one of the lever-action AMD coolers, and it was a joy. I don't know why this isn't a more common mechanism - it's just so much easier and more convenient. On the other hand, the fan is loud and overall kind of terrible, so not all is good here. Plus, the Vector's case design can't be helping with airflow.

The motherboard is diminutive, even for the already small PDS Vector CQ case. This made assembly easy because of all the empty space, although I had to reroute the cables so that they could reach the board. Good thing there isn't a window anywhere, because as with most OEM cases, there are no compartments to hide the cables - it looks terrible.

The Vector's PCIe slots are raised, blocking the HDMI port on the GPU. Worst design. But fortunately, the DVI and VGA ports are fine, and that's okay for now since the monitor accepts DVI and VGA.

Once it was all put together, I went into the BIOS, disabled the LED strip on the motherboard, and set the fan profile to "Quiet". This helped reduce noise while idling, but the CPU fan is still whiny under load.

Part Reviews

CPU

The value proposition of this little guy is unfortunately harmed by the loud stock cooler, which is okay when idling but whines like a clogged laptop fan under sustained load. If you're willing to put up with the noise, and you really don't need more performance, then it might make sense to use this over Ryzen. Otherwise, you should just save up for the R3 1200 (or upcoming 2200). For your troubles, you'll get yourself a better CPU and a better cooler.

EDIT: With murmurs of upcoming Zen-based Athlons, most notably the Athlon 200GE, I've decided to dock yet another star.

Motherboard

It definitely doesn't make sense for the build it's being used in, but that doesn't make it bad - just overqualified for the job. :P

I had some teething problems with it initially, but after a BIOS reflash, it's been decent. I suspect, however, that if we had more and better ITX options for AM4, I might not recommend it as readily. Worth mentioning is that it only has a 4-pin power connector, and its VRMs aren't that great, so you won't be overclocking much.

Storage

Performs "well enough" for most people, I think, and easily better than the old 5400 RPM hard drive it replaces. Mind you, I bought this before the NAND shortages, so I got it for a reasonable price. I wouldn't recommend it for over $50.

Video Card

One of the few low-profile cards with acceptable levels of performance. Nowadays, it's beaten out by newer models, but it can still hold its own, maintaining a steady 30+ FPS for the most part.

It still stands out as a viable budget option if you can get it (or another 750 Ti model) used, as it often goes for much less than the RX 460/560 and GTX 1050 (Ti).

Power Supply

It's SeaSonic, it's 80+ Bronze, and it hasn't gone boom yet. On the downside, it's non-modular and looks ugly.

Comments Sorted by:

Eltech 20 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Another awesome build from you! Way to go with re-purposing parts and sounds like your friend is pleased regardless.

The was my first time installing one of the lever-action AMD coolers, and it was a joy. I don't know why this isn't a more common mechanism - it's just so much easier and more convenient.

I wonder why it isn't used often too for AMD when it comes to the tight budget spectrum.

On the other hand, the fan is loud and overall kind of terrible, so not all is good here.

And this is normally why some of the AMD stockfans are not used. My AM1 stockfan was the loudest in my opinion. It's too bad as it sounds like they don't the Athlon X4 950 the "quiet" stockfans like they do now with its previous siblings?

I enjoyed reading about your build and may your friend enjoy it for a few years to come. Great work as always fn230. Plus one!

fn230 submitter 8 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Thank you for the kind words.

And this is normally why some of the AMD stockfans are not used. My AM1 stockfan was the loudest in my opinion. It's too bad as it sounds like they don't the Athlon X4 950 the "quiet" stockfans like they do now with its previous siblings?

I suppose not. Fortunately, my pal usually wears headphones and hasn't complained about the noise yet, so I think it's fine for him.

Eltech 20 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Correction: It's too bad, sounds like they don't offer the Athlon X4 950 a "quiet" stockfan like they do now with its previous siblings?

Wow, my wording went off the walls there. And that's good. Normally headphones can drown out the stockfan if it's loud when gaming.

fn230 submitter 8 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Wow, my wording went off the walls there. And that's good at least. Normally headphones will drown out the stockfan if it sounds loud when gaming.

Yep, this is generally the case, I find. Don't worry about the wording. ^^;

shplody 2 points 14 months ago

I always thought it strange that that board doesn't have wifi. Ah well. As for the cooler, I can attest, pre ryzen AMD coolers were awful and barely got the job done. Im not sure why it took them so long to figure out a better solution. Also, AM4 should be around for a while, so this could easily be upgraded in the future if needs be, provided biostar still provides bios support. So, I cant blame you at all for trying the athlon x4 950...

A strange but lovely little build you have here. Always nice to see folks reusing old but functional hardware.

Cheers

fn230 submitter 8 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

Thank you. As far as connectivity goes, my pal has Ethernet to the desktop, so all is well on that front. We'll see how Biostar does with future support.

evert7877 2 points 14 months ago

That is actually a pretty cool case you got there.

fn230 submitter 8 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

You think so?

BlorgusAmorngus 2 points 14 months ago

Nice Build! I was wondering if you (or your friend) could run a couple CPU benchmarks? I'm building my brother his own computer for his birthday which is coming up soon. Thanks!

fn230 submitter 8 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

Sure, any particular benchmarks you want to see? The computer runs Linux, so it may not be possible to run some of them.

Leleedler 2 Builds 2 points 13 months ago

I can answer your question about lever action coolers, they fall off. It has happened to me and the people I have built PCs for. It seems like it's a 33% chance it'll fall off after 2 years and beyond that, I am unsure. I do really like the build anyways... I also have to agree, that specific cooler is a piece of crap. I used it in an ultra budget build for my little brother and jeeeeesus! It does a terrible job anyways, very high temps, into the 90s easy and leaking in the hundreds! After a month or so we put a proper Hyper 212 Evo in it but, that build was a few years ago!

fn230 submitter 8 Builds 2 points 13 months ago

Ah, I see. That helps explain some of it, thanks!

Viperous362 1 point 12 months ago

you could have built a way better pc for $500 (not a hate comment just construtive criticism)

fn230 submitter 8 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

I agree entirely, but I already had some of the parts lying around anyway.

Viperous362 1 point 12 months ago

This is what I would of recommended

PCPartPicker part list](https://pcpartpicker.com/list/fpqmq4) / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD - Ryzen 3 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor $93.10 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock - AB350M Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $54.89 @ OutletPC
Memory G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3200 Memory $103.99 @ Newegg
Storage Kingston - A400 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $44.94 @ Newegg Marketplace
Storage Western Digital - RE3 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $15.40 @ Amazon
Video Card MSI - GeForce GTX 1050 2GB Video Card $154.79 @ OutletPC
Case Rosewill - SRM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $9.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair - CX (2017) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $23.98 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $531.08
Mail-in rebates -$30.00
Total $501.08
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-03-27 14:15 EDT-0400
fn230 submitter 8 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

We're actually going to switch him over to a Radeon GPU because Nvidia on Linux sucks, lol.

droem 1 point 8 months ago

It got better. You just need to do some digging in the web,

fn230 submitter 8 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

There were other reasons being considered as well, but regardless it's waaaaay too late for that, he's using an RX 460 now. P:

droem 1 point 8 months ago

Ah, hope he likes it!

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