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Newbie needs help and advice

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Please don't crucify me. I am no expert nor do I claim to have half the experience or knowledge that you guys and gals have.

I have been wanting to build a PC for a while now and finally got up the stones to set off on this adventure a few weeks ago. Well, I picked up a NIB A8 3870k last week off of CL for $55 and this has set me off on my path. I know it wasn't the best choice but I figured WTH I'll give a shot.

Two days ago I picked up a Thermaltake Commander Series case(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133196) also off of CL for $25 still in the box.

That's $80 on my build so far, which doesn't seem too bad, at least to me anyway. I don't really have a budget per-say, but being married with 2 kids and being in the USMC, I don't make a hell of a lot of "fun money."

Right now I am struggling trying to decide on a decent FM1 socket board and I am about to start pulling my hair out. All the reviews seem to have some kind of negative about them and frankly I really don't know what I am looking for. I know I want at least 8gigs of 1866 and I want to utilize Crossfire with a 6670 but beyond that I am at a loss.

Can someone please help a confused Marine out.
post #2 of 9
Well we need to know what you need to do with it first and on what monitor resolution is it 1080p smaller or larger etc smile.gif

To be honest dual graphics(or crossfire like you call it) is not that good value for the money on the APU.
It is good value for the money if you already had 6670 and used it before so it made ok progress bar but to go out of your way to get that graphics just to use dual graphics configuration ( or crossfire even tho they are not same thing) is not something i would consider good value for the money.
On the other hand APU on there own are good value for the money if they are withing your demands.

Since you already have 3870 best bet for you would be just to get some very cheap fm1 motherboard and 2x4gb 1866 ram, any ram should do it really pick some cheaper gskill if you can.
Add some quality 400w power supply, seasonic or silverstone will be both quiet and reliable in the long run.
Hard drive 500gb Western Digital black would be good start, increase size as much as you think you need. Since you are on the budget i dont think you should invest into ssd or anything like that.
Motherboard should be some nice and cheap one ... something like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157277
I personally have good experience with asus and gigabite but in general everyboard is story for it self.

That will keep it at very low price around 200$ price tag. Now you wont play newest games but in general computing and older games at lower resolutions it should perform well and also dont use too much power in doing so. Running relatively cool and quiet.

Ofc if you really want dual graphics you can just add that another graphics card but still it provides too little for its cost. Again not really smartest buy if you dont already have one.

Unfortunate thing with that A8 that you picked is that it is on the dead socket so you will have to upgrade both.
Fortunate thing is that both cpu and motherboard are very cheap now due to introduction of trinity and fm2 socket so it is not that big investment. Also if you want later on to jump on trinity or later iterations of APU series it will probably be easy and not that expansive.

So in long term you can think about Kaveri APU for 2013. It should be considerably better then Trinity is now and based on steamroller instead of piledriver CPU while having even better graphics probably 8xxx series (by most expectations steamroller should be real upgrade unlike piledriver is or so we hope). So that probably means Kaveri will be even better then Trinity is compared to Liano that you bought.

Upgrade process will probably be for you just to replace cpu and motherboard. Shouldnt cost more then 150$ or so at the start. Older parts you can save and make anotehr comp or sell.
By that time i would expect that you should be able to play reasonable well most games at up to 1080p resolutions at anything from low to high settings depending of the game in question .

That is what i can advice to you if you want to be on the budget and go for best investment with what you already got smile.gif
Edited by Stormscion - 10/14/12 at 7:40pm
post #3 of 9
I would go with either an msi or gigabyte board. Dont let the msi haters get you down either

-Sent from my Galaxy Player 4.0-
post #4 of 9
I've personally used this board in 3 builds so far and haven't had a single issue with it to date.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138333

I haven't had a bad biostar board to date, there is also a ATX version of it as well, I just linked the M-ATX one.
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, I know it's pretty much an outdated platform but I am going to make work.

That Biostar board was one of the ones I was looking at.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by LArifleMAN View Post

Thanks guys, I know it's pretty much an outdated platform but I am going to make work.
That Biostar board was one of the ones I was looking at.

Why don't you try to sell the A8 on ebay or something for more than you bought it for and get into a FM2 socket processor and CPU. I think that this would be your best bet for performance and longevity.thumb.gif
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post #7 of 9
As a general reminder so that we, the members of OCN, can better serve and help each other, I want to point out a function the website called Rigbuilder (http://www.overclock.net/rigbuilder). If you are a new member who has yet to add their rig (computer) to their sig rig (if you look below this post, you will see my system specs), then please do so. Any time you ask a question in general about your machine or help associated with it. Know your specs REALLY helps us out. 
 
If you don't know how to use Rigbuilder, please check out this link (http://www.overclock.net/t/1164692/overclock-net-site-features-and-explanations/0_100#user_rigbuilder).
 
Xeb out!
 
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Gsvlip Dudyrm
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Oda'maksv
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post #8 of 9
Hello LArifleMAN,

I would suggest the following board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138333&name=AMD-Motherboards
The reason being, it currently comes with a free 2x4GB memory kit that should have enough headroom to hit 1866 speeds with a voltage bump. Also, this MOBO comes with a decent enough VRM package to handle some overclocking of your new K edition chip.

Best of luck with your build.
Eric
     
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post #9 of 9
Let me go with some basic information that you may or may not already know.

First of all, AMD's APU's (your a8-3870k) aren't going to blow anybody away doing anything. There's a reason they're cheap. They do, however, come with good integrated graphics. Not as good as your average discrete gaming card, but good enough for casual gaming. This is their singular advantage: they can do casual computing for cheap with no significant weaknesses. Intel chips can also do casual gaming for very cheap, but they have a significant weakness: their integrated graphics can't handle many games even on very low settings.

I say this because AMD APUs really only make sense for one thing: building a dirt-cheap computer that is nevertheless satisfactory. At no point are they ever going to be good for a "souped-up" or "screaming" rig. You CAN take late-80's Toyota Corrola engine and plug it into a custom Mustang frame - but it just doesn't make sense. That doesn't make a late-80's Corrola engine useless, however., You just need to revamp your expectations of what you're building.

So, a few other factiods:
overclocking doesn't make a huge difference in the a8's performance
1866 speed RAM does help out the a8's integrated graphics performance
motherboards do not generally have a major impact on a CPU's performance unless you're shooting for a high overclock
if you wanted a top-of-the-line gaming rig, you need to start over, and return or just absorb the loss of the a8-3870k
if you just wanted to build your own computer and can find a use for a good casual-computing rig (for a non-gamer, parents, child, actually more computer users than gamers, heh), then you're on a good path
Quote:
Right now I am struggling trying to decide on a decent FM1 socket board and I am about to start pulling my hair out. All the reviews seem to have some kind of negative about them and frankly I really don't know what I am looking for. I know I want at least 8gigs of 1866 and I want to utilize Crossfire with a 6670 but beyond that I am at a loss.

In-line with the revamped expectations & advice above, I suggest changing your goals here. First of all, you just want a cheap FM1 board. There's a minor difference between a55 & a75 versions, most of which are USB 3.0 capability, which isn't too important. You shouldn't be aiming for much of an overclock (small performance gainst = not worth time or $ for extra cooling for pushing the envelope), so you can pretty much go with the cheapest motherboard available. Exception: using integrated graphics, you need a mobo that has the right monitor connection to avoid having to use an adapter. So pay attention to which mobo comes with HDMI, DVI, whatever you're looking for. Generally the cheaper versions have one of HDMI or DVI & you have to pay $10 more or so to have both.

You probably don't need 8gigs of RAM. 4 would probably be fine. But RAM's not too expensive, so to be honest I'd probably get 8gb myself.

You probably do NOT want to utilize Crossfire with the 6670. Frankly, the 6670 is old and it's not going to add much graphics oomph. If you ask me, you should just stick to real cheap with just the integrated graphics or abandon the integrated graphics altogether and get a real discrete graphics card that blows away integrated+6670 crossfire. Essentially, you already have a good base level. The extra $50-60 for the 6670 will not improve graphics settings all that much, but a $150 or so card would blow away the 6670 Crossfire if graphics settings were important enough to you to spend the money. Maybe if you can find a dirt cheap 6670 used on the marketplace here or something. But mostly, not worth it.

What would I get if I were you, assuming you already have CPU, case, monitor, mouse, & keyboard? (If not, I recommend the Dell u2312hm if you can find it on sale as an excellent quality monitor with no big weaknesses, the Mionix Naos 3200 for the most comfy & gaming-capable right-handed mouse you'll ever own, and a dirt-cheap keyboard.) The following:

Mobo: BIOSTAR A75MG FM1 AMD A75
Why this one? It's $70 on newegg, there's a $15 mail-in-rebate, and it comes with a free 8gb of RAM. As an a75 version of the FM1 chipset, you get USB 3.0 if you ever want it. You probably don't want to shoot for much overclocking on it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138361&name=AMD-Motherboards

Ram: See above. Now 1866mhz RAM is better for AMD APUs and that mobo comes with 1600mhz RAM... but remember the goal here: satisfactory for dirt cheap. There is no possibility of creating a gaming rig with a lot of power with this CPU. So we shouldn't spend money we don't have to trying. That said, if you wanted to go with another mobo, here's a RAM possiblity: Geil Legara 2x8gb ($38)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144636&name=Desktop-Memory

PSU: Corsair CX 400 This is a bad week for PSU sales, as there are no good ones. Common good but cheap PSUs to look for are Corsair CX400 (not the CX v2 series), Rosewill green 430w, Antec Earthwatts, Antec Neo Eco 450c, XFX Core 450w, and supposedly Seasonic is coming out with a 'g' series that includes a 360w PSU, something like Seasonic g360, but I haven't seen it available for sale yet. This corsair is quality and costs $40, though sometimes you can find it for $30-$35.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=33357&vpn=CMPSU%2D400CX&manufacture=Corsair
note us.ncix.com offers free shipping, but only for orders over $50, so you may want to pick up a DVD-burner or whatever if you order from there.

HDD: Hard drive actually has one of the larger effects on casual gaming performance nowadays. You generally want a 7200rpm drive of whatever size (faster performance than the slightly quieter 5400rpm drives). SSDs make everything on them load super fast, and may actually be worth it for many people, but we're staying on the cheap side here. You can get 1TB for $70 - 500gb comes at about $55.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=65701&vpn=ST1000DM003&manufacture=Others&promoid=1258

DVD-burner: $16 after promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151256&name=CD-DVD-Burners

(These are all new components. You can, of course, continue to look for used). The components above come to $196 including shipping and will allow you to complete the tower itself, which means you'll get a working computer, sans Windows & peripherals, that's capable of casual gaming (running most any game, but many at low graphics settings) for about $275. To be honest, not something to write home about, but a nice lil' build if you need the computer.
    
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