My New A10 Rig
Thanks for the advice I recieved on my earlier post about my CPU decision. In the end I decided to go with the AMD A10-5800K. I gave the i5 Ivy Bridge CPU's serious consideration but given my needs the A10 would be way more than adequate and came far cheaper. (i5-3570K CPU chip alone is $229 - almost the price of the A10 + mBoard)
The A10-5800K was $116.24 based on Memory Express's "Uber Price Match" to NCIX's on line price.
I paired that with an ASUS F2A85-M PRO motherboard ($129.99) and added 32 GB of Kingston's Red HyperX 1600 mhz RAM. ( 2 x $74.99) Looks cool & was a cool price. I did not want to find myself regretting not having bought DDR3 RAM when it was cheap.
I wanted a CPU cooler but there were very few that said they supported the new F2 socket. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus was on sale for $29.95 but didn't list the F2. The salesman said that if I wanted to have it installed they could try and see if it fit and if not I didn't have to pay the $15 install fee. For that fee they would install the CPU, RAM and Cooler onto my board. Given that I would have paid $12 for Arctic Silver anyway to do my own install, and given I had never installed a CPU or cooler I figured sure go for it.
But notice the tight clearance with the RAM and the Cooler - it's more obvious in this view.
I could not have installed any RAM with tall cooling fins like the Corsair Dominator or the Ripjaw ones.
I could have stopped there but I decided to add a few more items to my upgrade.
I decided that I "needed" a SSD and went with the Kingston HyperX 128 GB kit. Need is such a subjective term. I picked this up for $$96.24 through the 'Uber' price matching to NCIX.
I am told this SSD will really speed up performance if I load my Windows OS onto it - which is what I intend to do.
But lets not stop there.
Since my board supports SATA III why would I want to just have an old SATA II storage drive. So for $100 more I added a new 2T Seagate hard drive.
I also threw in a pair of Scythe "slip stream" fans for the case (they were on a clearance price of $5.00 each) I figure it was worth while to upgrade them while I had the box in pieces anyway - why not?.
I wanted to buy a power supply to replace that "Scary" one I have - it could do the job but given the angst expressed by some on this board I thought new system - new PSU. But Memory Express was all out of the lower cost units - the lowest priced unit they had in stock was over powered for my system (started at $120). I wanted one of their $59-$79 units.
Later while shopping in Staples I happened upon a "Retail Plus+" brand 700W PSU. It has the Bronze 80+ sticker and is semi-modular. I talked to the store manager and he said it is their best seller and he has never had a single unit come back. For $59 how could I go wrong?
I made the mistake of checking this beast out on line. Nothing but bad news. Well there was one satisfied customer in Quebec - but he did say it was noisey. And if I try to go to Retail Plus.com I get a "Forbidden" message. Tried both IE and Chrome. Odd. See: Staples for this unit.
I plugged it in to see how it sounds - nothing happens when I plug it in. Shouldn't it at least power up the fan or those blue LED lights or will a PSU not power up if it is not attached to anything?
Am I worried for nothing? Anyone out there using this brand of PSU?
Upside - I can take it back to my local Staples for a refund or so I was told.
So do I take a chance on this Retail Plus unit, use my current power supply or get a different one. There is one local computer store that might have PSU's in stock, I'll call them tomorrow and see what they have locally. But I would not expect discount prices. I have an old 300w one in the basement. But that is too underpowered for my system.
I see on NCIX there is a 750w unit for $89 which is only $65 after mail in rebate and it comes with Dirt3 which might be a game I might even play. XFX 750W PRO750W Core Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 62A 24PIN ATX Power Supply 80PLUS Bronze PSU And the A10 handles Dirt really well according to the reviews. I did try to see if I can by Dirt3 in the stores in the city - nobody has it anymore - try eBay I guess.
I also see that Memory Express has some of their $59-$79 units available on line which were not available in store. A 550 Antec Antec Basiq BP-550 Plus Modular Power Supply at Memory Express or a Cool Master 625 Cooler Master Extreme 2 Power Plus 625W Power Supply at Memory Express And they have a $4.99 flat shipping fee for parcels under $100 this month, and given the cost of postage in Canada that is a good deal.
So, I have most everything just that pesky PSU issue to sort out.
All I need to do now is assemble it.
Any advice on what I should do to get ready to assemble this rig?
I am thinking I'll install the new 2T hard drive, install the OS (Windows 7 64 bit) and get it going. Then I'll install the new SSD - it comes with a utility to copy your hard drive onto the SSD. That way I could boot from either if I needed to should either of them fail in the future.
I am also planning on creating a RAMdisk with some of my 'excess' RAM - say a 20 GB RAMdisk leaving 12 GB for operations. Any adivce on this idea.
You will notice I did not buy a graphics card. I did look at the dual graphics capacity of the A10 - I could pair that up with an AMD HD 6570 or 6670 but well under $100 each and when run in dual graphics mode the outcome is a performance boost beyond the 6570 or 6670's norm. But only for certain games.
But that comes back to the point of a APU - do I need a graphics card at all? I do not own nor expect to own any of the current line of violent video games. I might buy a racing game, sim game (I do have SPORE) or a flight simulator. But I checked a few of these out on the shelves in the stores and none had specs that required more than the A10 could deliver. So - do I need a graphics card?
As I understand these things the GPU in my A10 is superior to the 9800GT card I have now so there is no point in installing that card into my new system. Or is there any benefit to having that card in the system?
I'll post pics of my efforts and the outcome of the Saga of the PSU.
I know it's overkill for what you're building, but I don't think you'd go wrong with the XFX unit if you can fit it into the budget (isn't it cool how every PC build ends up well over the original budget??? ;) ).
As far as the discrete gfx cards is concerned, why not try with just the APU and see how it treats you? You can always add discrete graphics at a later date if you feel you need a little bit more horsepower.
Retail Plus 700W ATX Power Supply (PS70-700W80) : Power Supplies - Future Shop
Get rid of that "Retail Plus" power supply. A 700W PSU with only two PCI-E connectors = false advertised wattage :shok: That junk will probably explode (literally) if you try to draw 550W from it.
Definitely install the OS to the SSD - actually I'd recommend you install to the SSD with the hard drive unplugged, so the installer doesn't do dumb things like try to put the bootloader on one drive and the OS on the other.
You don't want to clone the OS from hard drive to SSD because Windows 7 actually detects when you install to the SSD and does a few optimizations (disable defrag, change SuperFetch settings, etc). You may have to apply those SSD optimizations manually if you start with the hard drive.
You won't even load a decent 300W power supply with that computer, even if you run dual graphics with your APU. Your older power supply might actually work if it actually has a good deal of its wattage on the +12V rail. (If most of the wattage comes on the +5V then it's too old.)
well people seem to forget that a quality PSU is just as and maybe even more important that anything else because a cheaper one could surge ( I am not sure if that is the correct word) and take out everything. that happened to me it took out my motherboard cpu and video card I learn my lesson from that but I was lucky because my system was a couple of years old.
Nice build. Let's see it in a case :) Also, I agree get yourself a decent power supply. I would have gone with the 212 EVO but the performance is almost the same.
Here is a great power supply for a great price (its seasonic oem) after price match at memory express. Return the staples one.
On sale for $75 at NCIX
Antec HCG-620M 620W ATX12V Modular SINGLE-RAIL 48A 80PLUS Bronze 135mm Fan Active PFC Power Supply
Its $120 at memory express, so $63.74 after pricematch at ME.
Antec High Current Gamer 620W Modular Power Supply at Memory Express
I should have mentioned this in our review: FM2 sockets have the same heatsink offset as AM3, FM1, AM2, etc.
Ya, it's always the same basic socket and IHS size, through all their sockets (opterons excluded). They just add or delete pins as necessary.
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