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MicroATX Budget Desktop Build

by daviesben33



Date Published

May 27, 2014

Date Built

May 12, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

54.0° C


This build was a much needed upgrade after having a slow Compaq PC for 5 years. I wanted to keep to a budget of £350 and don't need to do gaming. This was my first build so everything was a very new experience for me. Whether it was applying thermal paste or tidying up my cable management, I hadn't done any of it. This meant that even the process of choosing my parts took a very long time. After a good couple of weeks of deciding whether my parts were what I wanted, I decided to go ahead with it. This is my first write-up so I'm sorry if I bore you a bit too much...

The build actually went smoothly, I had a bit of an issue getting the stock cooler onto the motherboard, but apart from that it all went very well. Overall it took about 5 hours as I was trying to be very careful and not damage any of the parts.

I've been very impressed with the case, as it was surprisingly easy to work with and has a lovely look with a soft touch finish. I would totally recommend it for those looking for a smaller build, but still packing a punch. It still means i can upgrade with a long video card, as the case allows up to 320mm. I can have a large CPU cooler if i ever feel the need to do that. I can't say too much about the fans that come with the case as I haven't had any issues with them so far. The back 120mm fan is a bit on the loud side, but I am not really complaining as it is hardly audible.

The CPU is great for my budget as it offers great performance at a very good price when compared to Intel rivals. Installing the stock cooler wasn't easy, but it's on and working which is good I guess.

One bottleneck in my build is that my motherboard only supports SATA 2, which means my SSD can't run at max speeds. There aren't many AM3+ micro ATX motherboards, and only a couple with SATA 3. After contemplating whether I needed SATA 3, i decided against it and to go with the ASUS mobo which supports USB 3, and fits my CPU and RAM.

RAM went down in price for about a week on Amazon and saved about £15, and it has been working just fine and looks pretty cool. 8 gigs has been enough, generally only maxing about 6 gigs at heavy load. I love having Windows 7 OS on the SSD. I can go from powered off to using applications in about 30 seconds. The 500GB is from my old PC and is pretty old, so will probably get a new one in the near future. It generates quite a loud whirring noise, but it works well for storage of my music, videos and applications.

The power supply is all I need for keeping to a budget. It is great having modular cables for a small case as it made the wiring a lot easier and neater. The fan isn't too loud which is good, and i haven't had any problems with it so far. Regarding my WiFi, i can't get an Ethernet cable to my PC so I have a CISCO dongle which is substantial for what i need and download.

So, that's my first build. I managed to keep to my budget of £350 as I took the disc drive and hard drive out of my old PC. I really enjoyed the whole experience and now I can enjoy using it. Any tips would be great for future upgrades, just leave a comment below, that would be great. I hope this wasn't too long and boring, so thanks for reading!

Comments Sorted by:

istealunderwear 9 Builds 2 points 59 months ago

I'd say you should've went with an APU, but that's just my opinion.

n00bsaibot1337 1 Build 2 points 59 months ago

Haha, this is really similar to a build I just did. Impeccable taste!

daviesben33 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 59 months ago

I saw your build on here yesterday. It made me think that there is someone out there who actually likes the same stuff. Crazy. How's your build doing, and any reccomendations, cos you've had yours for a couple more weeks than me

OblivionXBA 4 Builds 0 points 59 months ago

Nice job with the build, but don't you need a discrete graphics card since there is no integrated graphics in the FX-6300? +1 for the great job.

Akut 1 Build 3 points 59 months ago

The ASUS M5A78L-M has an onboard video codec, think of it as an onboard video (like ones found on the CPU dye), except it's located on the motherbaord itself. Not 100% sure, but thats what I can gather form a quick google search.

daviesben33 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 59 months ago

The onboard video is on the motherboard. It is an ATI Radeon HD 3000, so nothing special, but considering I don't need it for gaming this is substantial for now.

tabascosauz 3 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Throwback to the Prescott days when integrated GPUs were on the chipset

except with a FX 6300

OblivionXBA 4 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

Ah yeah I forgot about onboard video on some motherboards. Thanks for the clarification!

P.S: I just saw your build on your account and that thing is a monster. Beautiful job!

[comment deleted]
metzine -1 points 59 months ago

just buy a gtx 750ti and you can play games at 1080p with max settings.