Rig of the Month by ulrikov
Just a few months ago, AMD introduced their second line from the APU line, which was spearheaded by the A8 quad core CPUs. Performance may not be as competitive with more expensive Intel CPUs but these things seem to be afloat for quite some time now.
For this month, we're going to highlight a "Gamer on a Budget" concept. Since this is the start of the year, what we expect would be a new line up of video cards emerging all throughout the year. And we all know that new technology will always wield high prices in the beginning, we fill in the shoes of someone who wants to do a lot of tasks and is decently waiting for new video card prices (HD7XXX series) to go down in the following months. Following the PVP Principle, we try to go for the A8-3870K platform.
*Components with +2.5% Cebu Gaisano Interpace
**Prices as of January 25, 2011; May change without further notice.
**Based on Pricelists, call local store for availability
PURPOSE - Gamer on a Budget
This rig is specifically designed for someone who loves entertainment, plays some MMOs and DOTA on the side, and alternatively does some light post photo processing. Yes, you got it right... an average user who wants a little bit of chunk on everything. We purposely left the videocard out since HD7XXX series videocards just came out and it's still expensive. Apparently this is designed for someone who is waiting for the entry level HD7XXX cards which are due to release mid-year.
Now, I know we could go i3/i5 for this build but it wouldn't be efficient to buy a low-end card to compensate; and the HD3000 is just slow. The perfect spearhead for this rig would be the A8-3870K CPU. It comes with 3.0 GHz raw power, true Quad core and has a built-in accelerated fusion graphics unit, which still plays light games like DOTA, MMOs and even Crysis on decent FPS. Another additional feature of this CPU apart from its built-in graphics is that it is the Black Edition. It means that overclocking is very easy with this CPU, if one wants to squeeze a little bit more out of it. For the enthusiast, it's as simple as raising the multiplier.
For the motherboard, the AsRock A55-HVS is decent for the job. It supports DDR3 dual channel and even supports up to DDR3 2400+ in OC, comes with Gigabit LAN, 5.1 Channel Audio and most importantly, supports AMD Dual Graphics. Powering up this rig is the HEC Raptor II 500 watts, which boasts of 80+ efficiency and robust built. With HDD prices still up high the 3k line, Hitachi 500gb is the only feasible solution while we wait for HDD prices to slowly go down throughout the year. This month we choose the Philips 202EL2S, it comes at a good native resolution of 1600x900 unlike the lower versions which only supports the lowly 1366x768. It comes with DVI-D plugin also which makes it hefty on transfer rates.
With only 25k on our budget, we were able to come up with something that can do a little bit of everything and still multi-task. Light gaming, multi-tasking, overclock headroom and entertainment solutions all in a 25k price tag is actually quite a steal. This is an excellent choice for someone who wants to do these things without paying for the expensive price tag.
CERTIFIED : PVP (Performance, Value and Practicability)