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$400 system build vs buy?

Ok so my nephew asked me to build him a computer. His budget is only $400 firm.(he is 14 and has no job) He mostly will be using it for minecraft and games like Tropico/sim city, ect. He might try and play call of duty too.

I can get windows 8 for $70. So my budget is only really about $330. I've never built a computer this cheap before. I live near a microcenter.

What do you suggest? I don't care what parts as long as its not more than $330 with tax/shipping.

Instead of building I thought about even buying this pc:
http://www.microcenter.com/product/408364/H520s_Desktop_Computer

and putting in this video card:
http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Profile-PCI-Express-Graphics-11202-10-20G/dp/B0095MRLJ2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1368326694&sr=8-4&keywords=low+profile+video+card


EDIT
Had to change video card because the case is low profile.
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More about 400 system build buy
  1. It should work. At 1080p he will be able to play minecraft and games like sim city no problem. Mode graphically demanding games will run at low settings at 1080p but will work. Call of duty should be playable at medium settings or low depending on the resolution of the monitor.
  2. If you're really looking for dirt cheap, then buying the prebuilt is probably the best option, especially since he's not wanting to play hardcore games. Because of how cheap OEMs get their copies of windows, really low end prebuilds are actually better options.

    EDIT: It's more than enough for 1366x768, and an overclocked A10 with fast ram would probably beat it, but it would also be more expensive.
  3. Thanks, I figured that would work ok. I should mention he is only going to play at 1366x768.
    This would be faster than an A10/A6 APU build right?
  4. I don't think that 180 watt power supply is going to be enough to power that graphics card. Also, being a slim line PC, I'm doubtful that graphics card would even fit within the case (length, not height). As to your original question, I tend to lean towards buying if the budget is below $650.

    -Wolf sends
  5. I didn't think about the power supply being too low. I have a spare power supply here that I could switch out I guess. I figured the 7750 would run on about anything.
  6. That system probably does not have a standard ATX power supply. I don't think it will be that easy to replace.

    -Wolf sends
  7. I just checked. I have a spare Thermal Master 500w and 300w psu that came with cases I bought. They are unused, but I just wouldn't use them in my own computers. Maybe I could use them in this.
  8. Sorry didn't see your post. Will have to check to make sure its full size.
  9. nonewsgoodnews said:
    I didn't think about the power supply being too low. I have a spare power supply here that I could switch out I guess. I figured the 7750 would run on about anything.


    You're just fine - the 7750 draws all of something like 36w under load
  10. Yeah the 7750 will run without any issue on the system. It doesn't even require a PCI connector,
  11. DarkSable said:
    nonewsgoodnews said:
    I didn't think about the power supply being too low. I have a spare power supply here that I could switch out I guess. I figured the 7750 would run on about anything.


    You're just fine - the 7750 draws all of something like 36w under load


    Thanks!
    That did get me thinking though. I'm not sure I want to give him a pc with a non standard power supply. I wouldn't want to have to replace it later.(which I'm sure I will be responsible for since I "built" the pc).
  12. tiny voices said:
    Yeah the 7750 will run without any issue on the system. It doesn't even require a PCI connector,


    Erm, you mean pci power connector, right? Because that gave me this image of a graphics card hanging in mid air... :P

    nonewsgoodnews said:
    Thanks!
    That did get me thinking though. I'm not sure I want to give him a pc with a non standard power supply. I wouldn't want to have to replace it later.(which I'm sure I will be responsible for since I "built" the pc).


    That's actually a pretty good point. However, it shouldn't be hard to find comparable, non-slimline computers, yes?
  13. DarkSable said:
    tiny voices said:
    Yeah the 7750 will run without any issue on the system. It doesn't even require a PCI connector,


    Erm, you mean pci power connector, right? Because that gave me this image of a graphics card hanging in mid air... :P

    nonewsgoodnews said:
    Thanks!
    That did get me thinking though. I'm not sure I want to give him a pc with a non standard power supply. I wouldn't want to have to replace it later.(which I'm sure I will be responsible for since I "built" the pc).


    That's actually a pretty good point. However, it shouldn't be hard to find comparable, non-slimline computers, yes?



    I couldn't find any comparable non slimline computers actually at microcenter.

    And yeah, PCI power 6-pin. :p
  14. tiny voices said:


    Good deal! However I'm going to look for a full size machine. If I cant find one I will go with that. Thanks a lot guys.
  15. Ok just for my own sanity, I priced out a built computer as cheap as possible.

    For $230 I got this:

    4gig PNY memory- $35
    Antec basiq 450w power supply- $37.99
    Diablotek case- $20
    Toshiba 500gb HD- $50
    Celeron G1610 - $35
    Asrock H61-m DGS motherboard- 45

    Total would be $236 with tax. So with windows 8($70) I'm looking at $306.
    I could then add a 7770 graphics card for $115.

    So I come in at $420. Which I could probably donate $20 for the cause.

    What do you think? The toms article here makes it sound like the Celeron may work ok?
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-wolfdale-yorkfield-comparison,3487.html

    I actually think this may be the better option because it could be upgraded later? What do you guys think?
  16. That's a decent option, and yes it can be upgrade later, but it's using flimsy parts... upgrading later to something more powerful wouldn't help until pretty much everything was upgraded.
  17. Your right, I guess. I was just thinking that this way he wouldn't be throwing any money away if he did upgrade. He could keep the case, motherboard, psu, and ram. If he put in a i3/7850 later he could. He would also be getting a 7770 vs a 7750 in the low profile case.

    Not sure what I'm going to do.
  18. How old did you say he was? Fourteen?

    It's going to be a long while yet until he's going to know enough and care enough about graphics and performance to want to upgrade; I wouldn't worry about it too much. Most likely, when he wants to upgrade, he's going to want to upgrade and build it himself, with your advice.
  19. Good point. I guess I should try and squeeze as much performance out of this as possible.
    Which would you go for the prebuilt with the i3 and 7750 or the other that I build with a 7770 and a Celeron G1610. I would think the GPU would matter most right?
  20. Best answer
    I'd go with the celeron, yeah. If you can squeeze a Pentium out, that would be amazing, and ideal - a pentium is an i3 without hyperthreading.
  21. Thats what I was leaning towards too.
    I think I'm going to let him build it himself(with me watching) so he will learn something while we are at it.

    Thanks again.
  22. Sounds like a plan; he should have fun with it. :)
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