I finally finished my updates on my new machine build. The last update was installing the AMD A-10 5800K APU, and a 3rd Hard Drive, that I didn’t really need (a 600 gb drive) but it holds 400 gb’s of software, open source and freeware, and paid, that I have picked up in the last few years or purchased. and upping the memory to 16 gb from 8.
That is the board specs. Doesn’t sound impressive in stock form, but you can see it is very up-gradable. Mine came with an A-6 and four gb of memory. A 300 gb HD that I ditched. I purchased it as a small form factor machine, stuffed in a little case with a 200 watt power supply, no space for other drives, ditto no space for cards of any kind but I had heard how powerful these boards could be if you played with them a little. When I was finished stripping it, all that was left was the motherboard, which is sometimes advertised by some sellers as an ATX, but is not an ATX at all.
As you can see this is not an ATX MB. The card risers are reversed, on the right instead of the left. The mounting holes do not align with an ATX mounting pattern, but even if they did you could not use an ATX case as the cards are on the opposite side.
However, it does have the AMD FM2 socket, and two PCIE 16 card sockets, plus a PCI riser that can hold a 4x card, perfect for adding a bunch of drives if I need it. It also has USB 3.0, ethernet, 4 SATA in, proprietary connectors to distribute SATA power or IDE power.
More negative, you can not use a standard ATX power supply. And of course, as I mentioned, you can’t put it in a standard ATX case either.
But, I am cheap, and I did not want to spend a few hundred for a board with those same features that would fit an ATX case. So far I had only 20 bucks or so in the computer, out of which I had managed to gain the MB, and salvage the included hard Drive, a DVD drive and a few sticks of memory. Ahead, but not where I wanted to be.
I considered cannibalizing an ATX case, a little cutting, nipping, and in it would go. But I had a better idea.
I purchased the machine on the right, an ancient HP 6005 that lifted another twenty bucks from my wallet. But look closely. The IO on the back is exactly the same layout (The ports in and out.). Opening it up: I did that but looking at detailed images of both motherboards on-line; the board mounts were also exactly the same proprietary BTX pattern.
The 6005 MB has an AM3 socket, the 6305 has the FM2. They are the same BTX format, not ATX as I have seen advertised. That meant that my 6305 could make this tower case its new home, with a proper IO line up, mounting holes. What remained was a power supply.
When I purchased the case it came with the Power Supply, but the case was purchased as scrap. No HD, no memory, no testing had been done, so there was no guarantee the PS would work, or if it did that it would fit. Studying the images of both boards on-line it looked like the proprietary power plugins were the same. No way to know until it arrived. Since I was getting the case with a DVD player, and the available mounts for my motherboard, plus there was a motherboard in it, the older 6005, I thought, well, the 20.00 bucks is cheaper than I can get a case for; that I would then have to snip and cut to fit, so on that basis alone it was worth the money. If anything else worked or fit it would be a plus.
When I got the above case, I found it had a working modern DVD player, I found that the front panel would mount the USB 3.0 setup from the other motherboard, a bonus. It had looked as though it would, and it did. I plugged the unit in and the Power Supply kicked on. Most motherboards do that, power on when plugged in, a light should come on somewhere on the MB. On some machines it will even flash power to all the components for a split second, then shut off. That lets you know that the PS is at least cycling. Mine turned the small light on on the motherboard and it stayed on, meaning the power supply was supplying the BIOS. Good news, so I gutted the case, leaving in the power supply and the DVD player.
Then I mounted my 6305 board and it slipped right in. I plugged in the larger 350 watt power supply, but I noticed there was a difference. Although all of the plugins were the same, the older board utilized most of the ten wire plug, while the newer board utilized only four of the ten (The middle plug on the PS above). I was concerned that because of that the PS might not power the board correctly, or even damage the board.
I checked every internet site that I could think of, or locate to find out. I found a few people asking the same question, but no answers at all. So, I plugged in, crossed my fingers and fired up the board to see if I could at least hit the bios.
The board stripped out of the SFF case and going into the tower case. Above, I have taken the board back out of the case, installed the A-10 5800, yes, I could have done it in the case, but this board does not have the AMD clip in mount, or any way to install one, so I was relying on the four point heat-sink/fan mount which was a bit of a pain. So, out, installed the A-10-5800 and 8 gb of ram, then back in and mounted up. I turned it on, nothing.
I played around, uninstalling, reinstalling, and nothing. Finally I pulled the A-10 and replaced it with an A-8 I had and tried that. It worked immediately, so I assumed a possibly bad A-10. I threw a quick touch-up paint on the case to make it look a little better, then reassembled everything and set it up so I could begin to transfer my files to it and see what it could do.
Yes, I made a complete mess of my desktop and my office, but within 2 days I had installed all my programs. I keep all my files on a separate 3 TB drive, so that part was easy, slip it in, mount it, hook it up, all files available. So, it was only the software I had to deal with.
My stressed paint job that I like more than I should, and the machine mounted under my desktop as I already have the PLEX server sitting on the desktop, six monitors, a PLEX server screen and a 32 inch monitor for my YouTube addiction, so the desktop real estate was sparse.
At that point I had about a hundred bucks into it, including the A-8 I put in in place of the A-10. Once I had my software in I was amazed at how well the board did with the larger power supply, faster processor and 8 gb of ram. The board and A-8 were able to run all of my game building software. Unity, Unreal, RAD, Ultimate Unwrap, Terrain maker, OFX Modeler with no glitches at all. In fact I was able to work on models that I could not before without splitting them into small files so as to not overload the processors or the the memory.
As hard as I could push it I used only about half of my resources. Pretty good for a hundred buck build, but, dammit, I wanted that A-10. It was a quad core. It cost me 50 bucks. I wanted it, and more memory, and I had forgotten to add my third drive that had all my software on; I had simply run a USB cable and transferred only what I needed. So, I tested the A-10 in another board. No go. Hmmmmm, did I get screwed on a new A-10? Then I remembered I had had a little trouble getting the APU in, so I flipped it and looked it over, but since I am blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other one, I went and got my glasses. And, lo and behold, I had bent a pin. I had bent a pin on a new A-10 Black edition APU, so I got some tweezers and straightened it, slipped it in the other board, and it came right up.
I took it out, slipped it into the package, put it back in the box and ignored it. Angry with myself, and unwilling to take the machine apart again to put it in. So, I decided to wait until I got the 16 gb of faster memory, and then I would do all three things, the last drive, the A-10 and the memory upgrade. Well it came and so I pulled it apart, and hoped I would not screw up again.
It’s odd, but since it allows me to use all four channels instead of two, I also use less of the memory resources as well. I haven’t added my third drive to the monitor yet.
Something to think about: If you read up on this King Cobras 6305 MB, you will find it can not run the A-10 5800K processor (See the Spec sheet above). It has to have the A-10 5800b processor designed/recommended by HP, and when I installed this A-10 5800K APU it misidentified it as an A-8 quad core, and it would not run faster than 3.2 ghz, although the A-10 5800K runs @ 3.8 ghz, with 4.2 ghz as the turbo setting. I clocked it, it gave me four cores but wouldn’t budge off the speed at all. What to do. I could just deal with it, after all the stats showed it was using half the resources, it was only a speed issue. But like everything else, I couldn’t leave it alone.
As you can see, I did get it straight. I installed HP assistant. Sounds nuts, but it is not recommended to do a BIOS update on this board unless it comes directly from HP. I saw several updates to flash my BIOS, but none that might not turn it into a boat anchor, so I installed HP Assistant and let it analyze my machine. It decided I need an Audio update and a BIOS update and then it did it. I rebooted and there was my speed and correct identification of the processors.
So, it is done, and I am happy with it. I have a machine that can do everything I want it to do, modeling, video editing, writing, gaming. I have two 2 GB GEFORCE 710 Graphics cards. Each runs 3 monitors flawlessly. I would only say that running mixed monitors is a no no. It will stumble, so I bought six of the same, and I have had no problems. So, in the end I have about $150.00 U.S. in it, not including my time, maybe three hours including a quick paint job.
If you are a geek like me, I hope you found this useful. I found none of this information on-line when I was trying to figure it out. If you need it, here it is, and feel free to ask questions I didn’t answer, Dell.