Description

This is my third PC build overall and my first mini-ITX build. This is for my Grandpa to use to browse the internet, check his email, and play a few old games. His old PC's died and the PSU, motherboard, and hard drive were bad. This was a good replacement for that PC, which had a 2.5GHz Core 2 Quad, 6GB RAM, Radeon HD 5450, and 500GB HDD. I am so far impressed with AMD's new AM1 Platform. Here is why i picked the parts:

APU: I liked the aggressive price of this chip. The Athlon 5350 is a 25W Quad-Core SOC, meaning the motherboard has no chipset! This keeps things nice and cheap and gives my all of the features needed. This APU gives me 4 cores at 2.0GHz, 128 Radeon R3 GCN shaders at 600MHz, and up to DDR3-1600MHz RAM. My only complaints are the RAM is single channel, there are only 4 PCI-E 2.0 lanes, and no front USB 3.0. This makes the GPU limited by RAM even more and gives you no expansion. However it is better than the Intel HD in their Pentium CPU.

Motherboard: I have not liked or used ASRock motherboards but they have become much better in the last 2 years. I thought I'd give them a try and must say I would use them again! I like the option to add Wi-Fi or any half-slot card. The other benefit was that this motherboard supports front USB 3 from an ASMedia chip. It also has 2 more SATA3 Ports from that chip. If you happen to want this PC in a media center case, it supports DC IN on the back rather than a PSU.

RAM: I like G. SKILL RAM and this kit is nice for this PC. The motherboard had no profile for this kit and set the latency to CAS 11, rather than CAS 8. I had to go in and set it to 1600MHz 8-8-8-24. Overall it's now working stably.

HHD: I like this Seagate drive because it's a Hybrid with 8GB SSD cache. It is a bit faster, but I don't think it was worth the money in this case. I would rather get the 7200RPM drive and use a Sandisk Ready Cache, which is what I have now.

Case: This is a very nice case and I love the PSU mounting features. Easiest installation yet in the smallest case yet! The fans are both very good too.

PSU: Seasonic 300W 30+ Bronze... Enough said... It's not the best and doesn't need to be. It does the job though.

DVD: It works :)

Overall this build went well and I would hardly change anything in it. Comments are appreciated!

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Comments

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

I plan to use the same CPU & motherboard combo for my next HTPC build for when I "cut the cord". Very nice build!

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice little system. I may build something similar to stream Steam games to the TV. What OS are you using; it's not listed in the parts list.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

I installed Windows 7 Pro. I have so many copies around since I'm using 8.1 on my PCs.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build +1, I always love seeing Mini ITX builds!

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

+1

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Great Build! I was just looking at that case for another build!

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! I've been dying to almost exactly this build with the Elite 110! +1!

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

that looks pretty good for $400. hope you enjoy it! :D

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Great little budget build. I really dislike mITX cases due to the lack of cable management... or any spare room at all. Great choice on the 5350, as similarly priced parts are dual core.

+1 buddy.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Hella sweet compact build haha. I've never seen a case that small before.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

can it do multi-screen? like just 2 monitors?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

How does the AM1 processor work for you? Are you using it as an HTPC?

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

It's being used as a desktop PC, but it would do fine for an HTPC. The motherboard has VGA, DVI, DP, and HDMI. That APU has decent performance and I would say it matches an Intel Celeron nicely. The GPU in the Athlon is much better though! It would probably work really well with Linux as an HTPC.

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

I may be building an htpc/backup computer for my mother in the next little while. I showed her your build and she said she'd be happy with a similar setup. How has the cpu performed over time for you and your grandpa?

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

It's done very well. Plays older games well and of course does great on the web. If you want to go a cheaper, you can get a standard 7200RPM drive and cheaper RAM (Cas 9+, lower clock, etc.), but remember this platform is only single channel. This does limit the iGPU a bit.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I think that'd work quite adequately. It'd mostly be a backup/htpc. I just hadn't seen many reviews on how it had done over time. I'd figured that it would do alright since it doesn't have a high wattage and doesn't seem to produce much heat.

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Yep, that build uses almost no wattage and SeaSonic is a fantastic PSU manufacturer. As you can also see, the TDP is only 25W. I'm not a fan of the included heatsink/fan, but there are few solutions available. Just a tip, check the clips holding the heatsink on after you attach it to the motherboard. Mine stayed in but didn't go in correctly the first time. That was almost the hardest part of the build.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, that seems good for such a low price on this processor.