AMD PC Build: The Bee - $550 1080p Beast

Published: October 1, 2014 1:00 PM /



There are a lot of new developments happening with computers right now. Nvidia recently revealed two new graphics processors, and AMD is expecting to counter in the coming months. A lot of people want to build new computers now, though. They've been saving up for ages. Unlike the last build, though, this rig will be more about what AMD has to offer on the processor side. This is the AMD PC Build.

The Bee

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k (Newegg | Amazon)

AMD recently released this chip (within the last month, actually), but it builds upon what they have been doing with the Athlon platform for about 3 years. It is essentially an AMD A10-7850k APU but without the onboard graphics, meaning all power goes to CPU processes. Now, the Athlon X4 line has been touted by a lot of people as great budget build CPUs, because it's a four core processor with great overclocking potential. It doesn't have L3 Cache, but it has 4Mb of L2 Cache, which can kind of make up for it. It won't let you down playing games, though, especially multi-core enabled games such as Battlefield 4 and future games like The Witcher 3.

CPU cooler: Stock or Cooler Master Hyper TX3 (Newegg | Amazon)

Now, with the CPU Cooler, the cooler that comes with the processor can be enough for a little 5-7% overclock. It already has a relatively high clock speed, so getting to 4.0Ghz would be fine with the stock cooling. If you get the Hyper TX3, you can easily get up to 4.5Ghz, which would allow less of a "bottleneck" with the GPU in CPU heavy games.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-HD3 (Newegg | Amazon)

Having used a similar board in the past, I can say that this Gigabyte board will be really good for this build. As an A88X chipset, it will allow better overclocking and more stability, while also having Gigabyte's really good Ultra Durable quality. These boards last a long time, and this board is definitely full featured.

RAM: Kingston 8GB (Cheapest RAM for this build) (Newegg | Amazon)

So for this build, one stick of 8GB RAM is being recommended for this motherboard. The motherboard only has 2 DIMM slots, so to make a better upgrade path, using one 8GB DIMM will allow you to drop another 8GB stick in some time in the future. It's not fantastic or anything, but it does get the job done just a tiny bit slower than two 4GB sticks. Also, I recommend the cheapest RAM you can find usually because most RAM uses the same parts as most other DIMMs, and cases have gotten so good at having decent air flow that heat spreaders aren't needed except on the highest end builds.

Drive: Seagate Barracude 1TB (Newegg | Amazon) OR Seagate 1TB Hybrid (Newegg | Amazon)

For this build, using the same HDD from the Intel build will be more than enough. However, if you wanted to spend a bit more, you can get a 1TB Hybrid drive. Hybrid drives combine the capacity of a standard hard drive with the speed of an SSD. With a good hybrid drive, booting from a cold boot can take about 15 seconds. They're a good investment, and the Seagate 1TB Hybrid still keeps the price under $600, just barely.

GPU: Gigabyte Windforce R9 280 (Newegg | Amazon)/MSI N760 TF GTX 760 (Newegg | Amazon)

Same cards as the Intel build, but this time, let's talk about some features each card has to offer. For the R9 280, the main feature is definitely AMD's Mantle. Mantle is an API similar to DirectX for games, and removes overhead from the CPU. This means games run faster, but so far, support is limited to just a few games with more in the future. The main feature for the GTX 760 is Gsync. It eliminates screen tearing, display stutter, and the input lag caused when using Vsync. It's a really interesting technology, but the problem is it's not fully adopted yet. AMD has a similar product known as Freesync or Adaptive Sync, but there's not much word about that.

Case: Rosewill Line-M MicroATX (Newegg | Amazon)

The Rosewill Line-M is still a recommended case. However, cases are a very subjective item for a setup. Some people don't like the look of certain cases, and that's completely fine. Some cases don't have features others have, so search around for something you personally like within your price range.

PSU: Fractal Design Integra 500W 80+ Bronze (Newegg | Amazon)

Once agian, the Fractal Design Integra gets a really good recommendation. It is silent and powers all your components really well, making sure everything gets the perfect amount of juice.

In conclusion, the Bee, much like the Butterfly, is all about overclocking. It's about taking good quality but inexpensive parts and getting the most out of them without breaking them. You'll easily play games at 1080p, and because of the adoption of more slower cores over fewer faster cores will help the X4 860k stick in your system for a long time. The lowest cost of the build is $551.99 before Windows, according to PCPartPicker.

Happy gaming.

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Gamer, Computer geek, Musician, Writer. Favourite series are Star Fox, Halo, Battlefield, and Forza. My last name is pronounced kite. Or kout, for the… More about Ben