Description

First of all, thanks to the fellas in the forum that helped me making this rig. If you guys want to check that thread, it's here:

https://pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/119615-help-building-a-computer-under-400-based-on-amd-a10-7870k

Initially, I wanted to build an office desktop for less than $400, for working, some photo editing, etc. Although I thought I wouldn't use it for playing games, I wanted to leave the door opened to getting a discrete graphic card in the future (doing Crossfire with the iGPU or using just a new graphic card).

Finally, I made the rig for $439 ($498 after California taxes). Taking into account the monitor, the cost was $543 ($580 after California taxes). The components are:

  • AMD A10-7870K 3.9GHz Quad-Core Processor. On sale, $104 ($111.80 after CA taxes). Amazon.

I do like this AMD APUs with a R7 integrated graphic card. Power consumption was a priority for me, and that's why I chose this design instead of FX/Athlon/i3 + discrete graphic card.

  • Biostar Hi-Fi A88W 3D ATX FM2+ Motherboard. $82, ($88.14 after CA taxes). Newegg.

I wanted this combination in the MoBo; latest chip (A88x) + memory 2400Mhz or higher + Crossfire capable. This Biostar is the cheapest non-ASRock Mobo I could find. I like its look and it's performing well. In the BIOS I had to set up the XMP to make the RAM working at 2400MHz, the fan control (because by the default all fans work at 100%), disable the XHCI controller to make the USB 3.0 ports work and enable AHCI to ensure the SSD is working at super speed mode.

  • G.Skill Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory. $40 (including a $5 discount code), $43 after CA taxes. Newegg.

Good brand, speed and price. Take into account that APUs work best with memory over 2133MHz!

  • Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive. $75 (including a $5 discount code), $80.61 after CA taxes. Newegg.

Probably one of the best SSD options around.

  • Corsair SPEC-03 Red ATX Mid Tower Case. $30 (including a $15 mail rebate), $33.36 after CA taxes. Newegg.

I love this case, it looks good with its red frontal fan and side window. UPDATE: I got on ebay another red frontal case fan (A1225M12S), just to complete the look

  • EVGA 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply. $55 (including a $25 mail rebate), $55 after CA taxes. Newegg.

Way more than I need, even if I get a discrete graphic card in the future. But hey, it's a great PSU and I got it for an excellent price!

  • Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer. $20.48. Amazon

Just a regular DVD reader, good reviews.

  • Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I 802.11a/b/g/n/ac PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter. $33, $35.46 after CA taxes. Amazon.

The one that everybody gets.

  • Acer KN242HYL 60Hz 23.8" Monitor. $104 ($10 price match gift card included), $112.24 after CA taxes and fee.

Great price for an IPS monitor. Clean design with integrated speakers, but just 2W, pretty useless.

  • Logitech K350 Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard.

It was a present from my father-in-law. I like the padding, but I am not getting used to its curvy shape.

  • Logitech M510 Wireless Laser Mouse It was a combo with the keyboard. I like it, but it's not anything special.

  • Thought 1: I am pretty happy with my rig. It boots in 6 seconds and windows 10 works smoothly. I got almost everything on sale, with discount coupons or mail rebates, so I think the final price is pretty good.

  • Thought 2: This design is pretty questionable. I could have chosen a FX/Athlon/i3 + discrete graphic card, that offers a better performance, for almost the same amount of money. Also, I guess the power consumption would be pretty similar.

  • Thought 3: I could have paid $15 more for an Asus A88X-PRO MoBo. It seems it is the best FM2+ MoBo you can use for overclocking.

  • Thought 4: If I finally want to play with OC, I will need a better fan. I am seriously considering to purchase a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO...UPDATE! I got it! Now when I am bored I can start learning about overclocking...

  • Thought 5: I might get a MSI R7 250 for $45, getting a boost on FPS when pairing it with my iGPU. But Crossfire is not as great as I thought, it only works with certain games and this performance is far from a CPU+discrete card config.

  • Thought 6: The mail rebates were easy and faster than I thought.

  • Final thought: Remember when I said I was not gaming with this computer? A few weeks ago, I installed Fallout 4 because I just wanted to check the performance...well, I am playing it almost everyday (I get over 30FPS using 1600*900 resolution, low detail and AS off) so I guess I made the wrong rig hahahaha!

Part Reviews

CPU

Probably the best APU you can get. If you are not a gamer, this CPU will be more than enough with its R7 integrated graphic card.

I got it for $104 before taxes.

CPU Cooler

Great price and performance. 16ºC cooler than mi AMD A10 7870K retail fan when working at top rpm.

Difficult to install, take it into account if you are not handy!

Motherboard

Good MoBo. It has an a88x chipset, supports 2600Mhz memory and Crossfire. It looks pretty good too!

It loses 1 star because the download links in the support page wasn't working. I had to tell it to the support guys.

I got it for $82 before taxes.

Memory

Good brand, speed and price. Excellent option for AMD APUs.

I got it for $40 before taxes.

Storage

Probably one of the best SSD options around.

I got it for $75 before taxes.

Case

I love this case, it looks good with its red frontal fan and side window.

I got it for $30 before taxes.

Power Supply

Great PSU, powerful and good quiality.

I got it for $55 before taxes.

Optical Drive

Just a regular DVD reader, it does its job.

Wireless Network Adapter

It works well. Fast and stable connection.

Keyboard

Nice pad and features. Easy set up, stable bluetooh connection.

You have to get used to the curvy shape.

Mouse

It does its job. Easy set up, stable bluetooh connection.

Comments

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Even though everyone is most likely going to say that this build isnt very good for the price point, I kind of like it. You were patient and waited for some pretty good deals, and deal hunting is what makes a pc build pretty exciting.

Hope you enjoy your build!

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks joshzpants!

I am a deal hunter so yeah, I enjoyed the search a lot XD. Anyway, I was lucky with the deals, I got everything like in 10 days or so. The processor for $104 was what pulled the trigger.

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Dad gum. Nice price. +1

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

A nice clean build, and great photos. +1

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I will try to update the pics with some night shots...

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Oooh, can't wait.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

More pictures added ;)

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey nice build, a lot of criticism coming from people saying that this is too high of a cost, but they do not realize that this can do 1080p low very well. By the way, Newegg right now has an r7 250 for $45 which can do dual graphics. I got mine for $31 because MSI decline my rebate and when I appealed and showed proof they were wrong they gave me $15 refund and $14 rebate ($1 off for fast shipping). Check it out, you may be able to get it for $31!

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

I knew it, thanks. I have till tomorrow to pull the trigger for $35 (I have a $10 gift card). I really don't know if getting it, or wait for a deal on the GDDR5 version. Some people say to get the DDR3 version because the iGPU uses DDR3, but other people say there is a way that the iGPU uses the GDDR5...I can't find a good source that explains this Crossfire case. I could also spend the money in getting a 750ti for $100. Or I might spend $25 in a 212 EVO and OC the processor...choices!

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes I suppose a 750ti would be a much better choice. Sometimes I look around on Craigslist and OfferUp, sites like that and see 750ti's for $70 that are fully functional and still have manufacturers warranty! A part does not always have to be new, one person sold me an r9 380x that had only 1 fan working for $100, it turned out I was able to RMA the card with it's Serial Number and I got one as good as new after they determined the product was defective and not user error based. My main point is, if you want true budget gaming sometimes you may have to go for some second hand parts, but be careful in the process.

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Rebate and RMA were good moves!

Slickdeals for new stuff, and CL and offer up are my Trinity XD. Anyway the main point is that I don't really need to improve the PC; I am happy with the performance of it, and anyway if I want to gaming I have a brand new PS4 still in the box since November XD

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Very clean build and very nice pictures! I'm not familiar with canadian prices, but these all look like good deals to me. The build also is pretty good (I always liked the idea of an APU as a cheap office/light gaming processor + iGPU combo), the only gripe I have with it is: it's old, and let me tell you why. Supposedly next month, or not much further, AMD should launch the first AM4 motherboards, along with a refresh of the Carrizo line (laptop APUs) for the desktop market. That means APUs with performance around those of the current generation ones (I think, maybe slightly higher), but with a bit less tdp. More importantly, it means an upgrade path towards zen and higher hardware in general. The FM2+ socket (aswell as the AM3+ one) is dead, that means with an A10-7870K you already have the top of what you can get there (even if they release something like a A10-7890K the improvement will be small). So, if you had the opportunity to wait, that might have been a better choice (the new platform also uses ddr4 memory, for instance). If you needed it now you made the right choice.

Also, the psu and monitor deals are very nice, I'm pretty envyous :P good job overall though.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I think I prefer when people say they like my pictures, more than my rig haha.

CA means California, no Canada!. I agree with you is not the best idea to put money in an obsolete technology, but I needed a new PC. I was using an old Dell 1545 laptop; the HDD was broken, so I had to run a Linux Mint in a USB...you can imagine the performance XD

I found the deals on slickdeals, if you live in the US is a nice way to save a few bucks

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

CA means California, no Canada!

What a gaffe there on my part xD No I don't live in the US unfortunately (you get really a lot of deals here), maybe that's why I misunderstood California for Canada xD

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Comments are very welcome, BTW!

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Update: night pictures.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

When you put the ram in did you have to overclock the ram slots(if thats possible) or did the mobo automatically read it as ddr3 2400?

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I remember I had to set it up in the BIOS. I think I had to chose XMP 1.3...

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok thx

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

You are welcome. Why did you ask it? Did you get the same MoBo, or do you have any problem with 2400MHz memory?

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Im planning on using this mobo and 2400mhz ram and i saw on the website for the mobo that the ram had to be overclocked

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=670#cpu

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

haha, I just realized there is an update for the BIOS (2015-11-05)

So I just checked it, the 2400Mhz memory set up is located inside the BIOS at "O.N.E." -> "Memory Clock Mode" -> choose "XMP 2 ...."

If you do upload a build using this mobo please let me know!

[comment deleted]
  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

No, I paid $104 before taxes. It's in the description.

[comment deleted]
  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I just updated the part list, with the prices I already paid. Is $437 too high?

[comment deleted]
  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

yeap, that was before taxes, O.S. and monitor.

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  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I had no idea about this brand, one member told me in the forum that Biostar makes excellent MoBos.

Why don't you like Biostar?

[comment deleted]
  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Damm it! Too late for me :/

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

It was a really good deal, yeah. I didn't need 750W, but for that price...