One of my uncle’s computers recently had a failure and took out most of the components and I decided to build a new computer for him since it was ancient. I researched and told him I can probably build a system for under $150 and he told me that would probably be the best route to go.
I decided to increase the budget to $170 since I wanted to add an 128GB SSD to the system and the final system came out with the following specs
MSI AM1I Mini ITX motherboard with Military class components (more on this later)
AMD 5350 “Kabini” Quad core 2.05Ghz quad core 25W processor
8GB DDR3 Corsair ram
USB 19 pin to usb 3.0 header converter (so I could use the front USB 3.0 headers with this motherboard which only has USB 19 pin connection)
Thermaltake V1 Mini ITX Case
Adata Premier 128GB SSD
Logisys 480W powersupply
The build was pretty straight forward and I am surprised how simple these AM1 systems are, very little work was needed to get it installed and up and running. The system is super cool and is pretty much silent (even though there is a CPU fan, it runs at 10% most of the time). I installed Windows 10 and it boots very fast in under 15 seconds.
Performance wise, it isn’t an Intel I7 or even an Intel I3 first generation but it is enough for my uncle’s needs which is watching movies, youtube, email etc. I highly recommend this chipset combo if you need something fast enough to get work done and also low cost. Especially with an SSD, this system seems very smooth and I didn’t experience any lag even with 10 tabs open in Chrome.
Now onto the computer marketing term “military class”. I have used this in the past to describe servers and I have been flamed before because of it, and I must admit I did not know what it meant before as it was what was advertised to me and it sounded “cool” haha, but it does have some merit. According to MSI, the military spec’ed components on the motherboard are spec’ed to last longer , run cooler, and offer better power efficiency. As quoted from their website
Overall I highly recommend this system if you just need a simple system to do email/watch videos. I would not recommend it if you are doing any heavy programming, CAD , database development as this system would slow you down. With a decent graphics card (750TI), this would make a perfect budget gaming machine depending on what you want to play. Either way I highly recommend this CPU at this price range, at this price it doesn’t hurt to just buy one to place next to a television to watch movies. AMD may not be the fastest, but in terms of price they got their stuff together! Gone are the days when AMD made Durons, Thunderbird and K6 processors (how I miss those days!)