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Old 03-30-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
SpeedDMN
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New AMD A6 3500 build

I recently ordered parts for a new desktop for my step father. He does not game or do anything too resource intensive so I was going on the cheap on this one. Componets are as follows.

New stuff:
AMD A6 3500 APU tri-core
ASRock A55M-HVS Mainboard Socket FM1 Micro-ATX
2 x 2g G.Skill Ripjaws memory DDR3 1600MHz
Samsung Elcheapo DVD optical
XCLIO Blue I Black 0.5 mm Steel / ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Grand Total: $214 including shipping

Old stuff:
For HDD's I dusted off my old 74g 10k raptors. I'm running both in RAID0
For the PSU, right now I am using my old PCPAC 850w Turbocool.(I'm going to switch it out with another one I have at my mom's house. It's more then a little over kill for this machine obviously.

Set up was a little bit of a pain in the ***. The pain mainly coming from the RAID setup. The broken english instructions were all but useless so I had to figure it out myself. Even with Win 7 you must preload RAID drivers during setup. Once I got that worked out it was smooth sailing from there. The case was shipped separately, so I just laid the hardware out on some static bags and built it up that way. Heh I am typing on it now

Aside from the overly complicated RAID setup, I am EXTREMELY impressed with this very low budget system. I did the usual software updates then ran some tests. First of all this APU OC's like crazy! It's like Sandybridge where you really just have have to raise the multiplier. I easily got it from 2.1g stock to 3.5g OC!! Stable on Prime95 and very little heat rise with a dinky stock cooler! For the hell of it I loaded up Metro 2033 to see if it would run at all. To my amazement it is very playable. That's at lower res and low settings of course, but handles DX11 just fine. DX11 is native to the core. With the exception of the SSD speed I'm used to, my old raptors still give it a very snappy feel. For the money this A6 series by AMD is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a basic gaming machine on the cheap. Just my 2 cents
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
Sir Skully
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

Congrats on the build, reads like a neat budget rig...
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

The main thing that amazes me with this APU is the temps. I left prime running for almost a half hour and the hottest it got was around 46C. I was skeptical as to the accuracy of the temp monitor but the heat sink was still cool to the touch. CPUz is gospel in my book as to actual clock speed. For some reason it showed higher clock speeds than the ASrock utility. Also weird because like the sandybridge it's base clock x multi so easy math. From 2.1g stock to 3.5g is quite significant in my book. Heh I ran heaven on it at 1920x1080 tessellation normal. It was a bit of a slide show with a grand score of 286 . Still the fact that this rig games at all for $200 is pretty amazing to me. It is even possible to add a dicrete graphics card and it becomes automatic xfire. Again I'm impressed with AMD on this one. Not that I want to trade in my i7 rig but that cost over 10x this one. I have major complaints about the case I got though. To be continued....
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

Nice build Speed, new record for low-budget. If you are just surfing the internet then you don't need expensive parts.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:27 AM   #5
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

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Originally Posted by Sandog View Post
Nice build Speed, new record for low-budget. If you are just surfing the internet then you don't need expensive parts.
No you don't and this machine is actually quite capable of much more then just surfing the web. Metro 2033 playable for $200!? If it will run Metro it will run anything. Also I am impressed with the very low power consumption. Not to mention adding just one card gives you X-fire with the APU. The only things left out in the cost are HDD's and PSU. Things that most of us have just laying around anyway. NOW back to my rant about the damn case. For the money it's quite sturdy and attractive but it has a serious design flaw. I was in a bit of a hurry ordering it when I should have taken more time and attention on it. When you remove the side cover there is another plate directly under it that is supposed to hold your HDD's. Now it also has (what I thought was for the HD's) this nice quick release/install feature for the 5.25 bays. Who the flip needs to change 4 optical drives in and out fast? Wouldn't that make more sense for the actual hard drives? Anyway the side panel has a screen and mounting holes for either 120, 100, or 80mm fans. Nice huh, except there is just one problem. The stupid HD rack is in the way making it impossible to install any size fan on the side panel! It also has a 120mm fan mount in the front of the case, but there are no air holes making it fairly worthless too! So, what I am going to do is use some adapters I have to fit one HD in the 5.25 bay and the other I am putting in the floppy bay. I could cram both in the 2 slot floppy bays but that would put them too close together and these drives always ran hot. So I am just leaving the idiotic HDD panel out altogether and installing 2 80mm fans. It isn't a huge deal but you wonder what the designers were thinking on this one. Now to actually put this thing together.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

Congrats on the new budget build and welcome to the wonderful 'price/performance' world of AMD APUs!
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Desktop:
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Antec SOLO II, Corsair TX650M, Asus F1A75-V Pro, AMD A8-3870K, 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600, Asus R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2GB, Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD
Antec SOLO, Corsair TX650, Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P, Intel Q9550, 4x2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800, EVGA 9800GTX+ 512MB, Asus U3S6, Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD

Mobile:
Acer Aspire V5-552G-x852, AMD A10-5757M, Radeon 8750M 2GB, 2x4GB DDR3,
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
Acer Aspire V3-551G-X419, AMD A10-4600M, Radeon 7670M 2GB, 2x4GB Corsair DDR3 1333, Corsair Force GT 90GB SSD

Asus Eee PC 1215B-PU17, AMD E-350, 2x4GB Corsair DDR3 1333, OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD

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Old 03-31-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
Congrats on the new budget build and welcome to the wonderful 'price/performance' world of AMD APUs!
Thanks it's been fun I still can't get over the OC headroom with very little heat rise, and with a pitiful tiny stock cooler. 22x stock to 35x like nothing. Let's see if 40x can BSOD this thing Anyway I'm glad to see AMD come out with a decent product. My step father is still using one of my old socket A machines. It still runs, but he finally noticed how slow it is. That build is actually a testament to AMD as well. About 10 years of constant use. I don't think he ever turns it off. I have cleaned it out where the dust was so thick you could weave a rug out of it. He should notice a little speed increase with his new one .
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:02 PM   #8
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

Ok I am freaking out a bit here something just doesn't add up. This is contrary to everything I know about computers thus far. Right now I have the multi set to 40x. Writing on it now as I run Prime95. The asrock utility show me at 40x with a core speed of only 2.4g. Cpuz shows me at 4g which it should be with the multi at 40. 40 x 100 is 4000 right?! Temps show 41C!? I should be on fire not to mention at least a BSOD. How is this possible? 100% overclock? DOes anyone else have some experience with this chip? Not sure what to believe here it's just too weird!!

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/1479/wtflh.png
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedDMN View Post
Ok I am freaking out a bit here something just doesn't add up. This is contrary to everything I know about computers thus far. Right now I have the multi set to 40x. Writing on it now as I run Prime95. The asrock utility show me at 40x with a core speed of only 2.4g. Cpuz shows me at 4g which it should be with the multi at 40. 40 x 100 is 4000 right?! Temps show 41C!? I should be on fire not to mention at least a BSOD. How is this possible? 100% overclock? DOes anyone else have some experience with this chip? Not sure what to believe here it's just too weird!!

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/1479/wtflh.png
If this is not a "K" (Black, unlocked) APU, the BIOS will let you change the multiplier, but it isn't actually doing it. I think that's what's happening here.
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Current systems in the house, in chronological order. Mine in bold:
Desktop:
Corsair 550D & AX750, Asus Sabertooth
Z87, i7-4770K, 4x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600, EVGA GTX560Ti SC 1GB, Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD
Antec SOLO II, Corsair TX650M, Asus F1A75-V Pro, AMD A8-3870K, 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600, Asus R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2GB, Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD
Antec SOLO, Corsair TX650, Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P, Intel Q9550, 4x2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800, EVGA 9800GTX+ 512MB, Asus U3S6, Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD

Mobile:
Acer Aspire V5-552G-x852, AMD A10-5757M, Radeon 8750M 2GB, 2x4GB DDR3,
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
Acer Aspire V3-551G-X419, AMD A10-4600M, Radeon 7670M 2GB, 2x4GB Corsair DDR3 1333, Corsair Force GT 90GB SSD

Asus Eee PC 1215B-PU17, AMD E-350, 2x4GB Corsair DDR3 1333, OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD

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Old 03-31-2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

That makes more sense than an effortless 100% OC not to mention no temperature rise. I mean what else could it be? The thing that had me going was CPUz showing what it should be at that multi. It even fluctuates a bit like it's reading real speeds. I didn't even know about the K series. This was a 24 hour only Newegg chip and I was not looking to OC it other then playing a bit before I gave it over. I also never heard of a locked multiplier that wasn't greyed out in the bios if it showed at all and certainly not pretend to function. That definitely explains it. Well don't I feel like a horses *** So everyone please disregard my previous comments regarding such a remarkable OC. I was obviously in error. Thanks PeterT for the explanation. I thought maybe the laws of physics dramatically changed on me there for a minute I suppose it's like the locked Sandybridge chip where you can only raise the base clock. Probably not much either without it crashing.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:21 AM   #11
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
If this is not a "K" (Black, unlocked) APU, the BIOS will let you change the multiplier, but it isn't actually doing it. I think that's what's happening here.
Peter has hit it....

If it is not an unlocked APU----the Multi will not actually change regardless of what you set in BIOS

Oveclocking the new APUs is a little of a challenge

You not only have to increase CPU voltage----but also APU voltage.

And I have found it best to to overclock the Graphics manually----don't try to let your board do it automatically

having said that....I overclocked an A6 3670 APU Unlocked....the graphics side of the APU from default 400 to 888.----so a nice sized jump.

Mix an A6 or A8 APU with a cheap HD 6670 discrete card in Hybrid crossfire.....

And you have yourself a VERY nice, cheap little gaming rig that will play almost everything on high settings with very decent results.

Graphics on the APU are AMD's total advantage right now. A core i3 doesn't come close on the graphics side of the house.....not even close.....
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:59 AM   #12
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Re: New AMD A6 3500 build

Yes PeterT is obviously right. I still think it's odd that it allows you to "pretend" to raise the multiplier. What is stranger still is that CPUz shows the speed it should be running at with the "fake" multiplier setting. Very strange stuff. To me anyway. I am not up to snuff for the new AMD chips. The reason I got this one at all was because it was actually a little cheaper then the dual core AthalonII. Something like normally $120 down to $70 with the 24 hour only shell shocker. I was going to get the AthalonII with a MB that supports "core unlocker". I bought that set up for my wifes father and the cores do indeed unlock turning a dual core into a quad core.

I'm not surprised that the APU's are a pain to OC (real OCs that is ) I remember just getting an extra 200MHz out of my FX-57 was a bear. It took lots of manual settings and a advanced mathamatics degree to go much higher. I'm still impressed with the temps on this chip. Even without any OC, 41C after a half hour of Prime's torture test is pretty darn good. Especially with the dinky stock cooler. ANyway it's always fun to do a new build even if it isn't a super system like most of our rigs
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