To begin, this computer will be replacing my HP 8300 Elite SFF equipped with an i7, 16gb DDR3 Ram, 240 SSD and PNY 8400 gt GPU. I had my doubts of switching to AMD, but the case won me over. MY overall objective was to build a computer that would perform as good as my current setup, if not better, and stay below $600.
It all started with the Thermaltake Core V1 computer case. I saw this on http://www.pcpartpicker.com and immediately knew I had to have it. It had enough room for cable management and was easy to work with, based on the pictures I had seen. Due to the size of the case, I would be forced to use a Mini-ITX motherboard. This was my first obstacle. The only CPUs that AMD offered for Mini-ITX boards were A-Series and Athlon series. I ultimately chose the A-10 7850k because of the performance offered and integrated GPU. If my GPU ever ran into problems, I would have the APU to carry on while I RMA’d the GPU.
Next was finding the GPU. Under $150, I was initially looking at a R7-370 2GB offered by Sapphire. While comparing it, I noticed the ASUS Strix 4GB R7-370 that supported 4k and 2x as much VRAM. No brainer. ASUS Strix it is.
Then I browsed for DDR3 RAM in AMAZON and stumbled across some PNY Anarchy 2400MHz 2x8GB for less than $80. What a deal! BTW, PNY is definitely pushing the limits and offering quality products made in the USA. The ram matched the other components with the black/red heat sinks.
When it came to the power supply, I knew that I wanted something that was Modular and 80+ Gold. Shopped around for a couple of minutes and had my mind set on the EVGA 650GQ 80+ gold power supply. It would fit perfectly and allowed me to custom sleeve the cables in the future. Speaking of custom sleeving, I was really set on sleeving cables and installing them on this build.
After I initially built the computer, I ran some tests and noticed how hot the APU was getting. IT WAS REACHING TEMPS ABOVE 90C! Hmmmmm…. Time for an all in one liquid cooler. Thermaltake case, why not go with the Thermaltake Water 3.0 to coll my APU. After installing the liquid cooler, I read into thermal margin and how it would give you a more accurate temperature reading than just the CPU temp readings alone. This is when I started utilizing the AMD Overdrive application to get better readings of my APU. It really helped me to understand the difference of the operating temperature of the cpu, and maximum operating temperature of the cpu, and what temperature I should really be concerned about.
After all was said and done, I really enjoy coming to work and looking at the machine that I personally built. Overall I’m very satisfied with the price to performance aspect and how satisfying it is to have the PC that you want perform like the PC that you need.