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Red Alert

by MSD2550


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Sept. 3, 2015

Date Built

Oct. 31, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.9 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

50.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

625 MHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.333 GHz


2/26/2016 Edit: I've downgraded to Windows 7 since I am passing this down to my mom, and since she knows Windows 7 more, I figured I'd make it easy for her. I'll keep updating the PC if I feel like it, but I feel I'm better off working on my main PC or building a new one completely.

1/22/16 Edit: I've added 3 pictures with the updated RAM, new HDD, and a back view of the case.

My first build ever, I've always had pre-builts but this time I wanted to build a new computer just see how it feels.

Went the budget route since I had no idea what I was going to use this for. Well, turns out that this bad boy uses way less power than my main PC so I'm using it during school semesters (I live at home, it helps with the bills), but when I'm on break I'll switch out again.

Will I upgrade this PC? If I have extra cash to spare I'd like to treat this PC to something nice, but I'll probably focus on my main PC from now on.

Case issues? No place to manage cables, had to stuff 'em into the drive bay or behind and under the drive bays.

I did have to dip in extra to get a 3.0 USB to 2.0 USB adapter since my MB doesn't have a 3.0 header, while the case has 2 front 3.0 USB ports. Its funny too, since the manufacturer of the case, Silverstone, also sells the adapter. I guess they take advantage of mistakes like the one I made. I didn't notice at the time too that PCPP warned me about the compatibility so I'm at fault here.

PC Issues? Too much to list, but mostly just struggling with different OS's, specially Linux. I tried Ubuntu at first, but it only gave me trouble by restarting in an infinite loop because of the APU (according to the Ubuntu forums). Gave up after messing with Ubuntu for 2 months and decided to set the PC aside, until I found out about Dreamspark a few weeks ago and got Windows 8.1.

I recently purchased a weak graphics card which was compatible with the CPU to use AMD Dual Graphics.

Despite what others think, it has helped improve the performance of several different games (CS:GO, Skyrim, Metal Gear Solid V, Dragon Age 2). However, when I started using Dual Graphics I suffered from a lot of micro-stuttering, thought I screwed up somewhere, but turns out this was due to AMD CCC having something called "Frame Pacing" on. (Frame pacing is under the dual graphics tab in 3D Application Settings in case anyone else is having this issue and is looking for a fix.)

Conclusion: Anyway, its been a year using this PC, was planning on uploading this at the time I built it, but I was having too many issues to bother. Finally got it to work and I have to say I'm impressed... I honestly forget that I'm using this Budget build instead of my main PC. Gaming wise, however, it's plenty obvious.

Part Reviews


Pretty much what you'd expect from a dual-core, with the added bonus of an integrated GPU. Performance with the iGPU and dual graphics are great. I had some issues with stuttering, but was fixed by turning off Frame Pacing in the CCC. There was also Ubuntu (infinite restart loop issue), according to their forums it was the APU, either way I've since switched to Windows 8.1 and have had no problems.


BIOS is easy to use and have not had any issues with it. Wish there was a DVI port and a 3.0 header, but you get what you pay for.


Does what RAM does, looks nice and helps aid dual graphics even if only a little.


I usually stay away from PNY since their GPUs always cause my PCs to BSOD, however their storage items have always been good to me, this being one of them. No issues at all, Ubuntu (when I had it installed) and Windows recognized the SSD with no issues at all. Fast boot up times too.

Video Card

Not exactly the greatest, but is good if you need extra display ports. I use this in dual graphics (with an A6-6400K) and I'm not entirely sure if its just me, but I really feel as if there is an improvement in performance (not big, but not small either). Either way, I was probably better off getting a better GPU and ignoring dual graphics overall. Still good imo.


Good looking and small, but some parts of the case don't align well with the hardware. My PSU, MB and its PCIe/PCI slots are not aligned correctly. No space for cable management, had to stuff my cables in the CD drive bay.

Power Supply

No issues with the PSU, thermaltake has always been good to me. I even have a 600W powering my main PC for 3+ years.

Wireless Network Adapter

Had issues with its initial setup (crashed my PC once launched or loaded at startup), but for some reason it worked all of a sudden and have had no issues.

Comments Sorted by:

gotenks85 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Did you add any parts since you built it or are you planning on adding anything any time soon? Overall budget builds are the best :)

MSD2550 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 43 months ago

I only added the GPU later to try out Dual Graphics. I might or might not add more later, I'd rather just leave it the way it is and focus on my main build.

liammc 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

I run Linux zron that is based on unbuntu Linux and have had no errors the most have improved it because it runs games and videos just as good as my other pc Windows so I'm sorry to here that apu gave all that trouble but AMD will make open source drivers soon

MSD2550 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I know its late replying to this but I wanted to let you know that I don't have that much trouble with Ubuntu anymore. My laptop also uses an APU so when I tried Ubuntu it had the same issue. I fixed it by downgrading to 12.04 or it was one of the versions in the 12s.

I really like Linux though, if I build another PC I'll definitely go back, but for now I reverted both my laptop and PC to Windows and run Linux off of Virtualbox.

tiny_voices 4 Builds 0 points 43 months ago

You will get better performance without the GPU installed honestly.

MSD2550 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 43 months ago

Mmm I'm not too sure about that, I tried games with the APU alone like CS GO and Skyrim and had less performance than I did once I installed the GPU and went Dual Graphics. However, I would agree that a better GPU would have been a wiser choice.

BigAll 5 Builds 0 points 43 months ago

low powered gpus in crossfire/sli cause problems in general. They only really give performance increase with older games that have had a lot of optimization.

MSD2550 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 43 months ago

That was kinda the plan, I had no intention of using this PC as a gaming one, just something that uses less power then my main PC when I'm in school. Also I've never had issues with Dual Graphics (or the GPU) aside from the micro stuttering that was from Catalyst control center using frame pacing which can be turned off anyway.

ROG2000 0 points 43 months ago

What's with the GPU? Should have at least saved for a 750Ti (even though the 950 is only $50 more and has nearly double the performance)

MSD2550 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 43 months ago

I wanted to test out Dual Graphics lol. Plus this build isn't for gaming its just for school and watching videos.

ROG2000 0 points 43 months ago

Ah ok