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10 Year old son has been begging to build a computer

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December 4, 2011 9:21:48 PM

Hello,
I need help on components for a system for my 10 year old son to build with me. It would be the first time either of us have actually built a computer, so easy setup and no compatibility issues are the 2 most important things. A few months ago I looked at Neweggs bundles and the selection seemed great but now in the mid $500 range it seems very sparse. Any help will be greatly appreciated:

Approximate Purchase Date: This Week
Budget Range: $600 max all in
System Usage: Light gaming, Internet surfing, school work, watching movies, maybe some very light video editing.

Country: USA

Additional Comments: A cool looking case would be nice to show off.

Thanks again.
December 4, 2011 9:59:27 PM

Welcome to Tom's Hardware! :D 

[:aford10:8]
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December 4, 2011 10:06:33 PM

hairycane said:
Budget Range: $600 max all in


Do you need a copy of Windows, monitor, keyboard, and mouse? Usually when we talk about the price of a computer, those things aren't factored in, just the computer itself.
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December 4, 2011 10:06:52 PM

$600 is a tough nut "w/ everything" but building is something I would highly recommend..... I have done this at 12, 15 and 18 w/ each of my 3 sons and it's a very rewarding experience.

Frankly though....$600 is a tough build. For a family computer, I generally recommend something that will last 4 years and $600 doesn't really allow for that especially when considering mouse, speakers, monitor, KB aren't coming from an old build.

Here's a $800 build I did for a neighbor family w/ a 12 year old

Case - $ 70 - Antec Illusion http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 60 - XFX 650 Core Edition http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 170 - ASUS P8Z68-V http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $ 220 - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 26 - Hyper 212 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 40 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later - ASUS GTX 560 Ti 900 Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - $ 150 - Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But he had as monitor, KB, speakers, mouse and Operating System. For the above, ya can use the on board GFX until such time as ya add a GFX card.....the big games like Battlefield 3 etc won't be played on this. He was getting a GTX 560 Ti for XMas ($230). Ya could skip the cooler and TIM, saving $31 if ya not gonna OC. If anyone in the family is a student, can prolly get an OS for $10-$25. The items below are recommended.... you can get cheaper...a $20 KB for example, but if ya want it to last....

OS - $ 100 - Win 7-64 Home Pre
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor - $ 140 - ASUS VH236H 23.6" LED
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$20 off w/ promo code EMCJHKJ38, ends 12/7

Keyboard - $ 70 - Logitech 920
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$15 off w/ promo code EMCJHKJ54, ends 12/7

Mouse - $ 36 - Logitech L300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 4, 2011 10:20:22 PM

ASRock H61M-GE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $62.99 Free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 $124.99 Free Shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT $22.99 Free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $159.99 after mail-in rebate card Free Shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Fatal1ty 550W Modular Gaming Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom $49.99 after mail in rebate $5.99 shipping.

Total: $426.94

For $65 more you can get a Quad core CPU
OCZ Fatal1ty 550W Modular Gaming Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom $184.99 free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will require a copy of Windows Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM $99.99.

Keyboard and mouse needed? You will need to go back to the dual core CPU and a less expensive video card.

Still leaves you with $110 for the case. Fancy cases cost fancy $$$ but look around, I'm sure you can find something.
I use an Antec 300 but it's not fancy.

OOPS! Forgot the monitor. That ASUS monitor is good.
Also, you need only spend $20-$25 for a DVD burner/reader.
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December 4, 2011 10:21:24 PM

Thank you so much for the reply. I should have mentioned that we do have monitor, keyboard, and mouse from other systems. We do not have a clean operating system.

The above system sounds great but pushing $900 is going to be a bit of a stretch. Perhaps there is some savings in switching to a different CPU?

Again, I really appreciate the help.
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December 4, 2011 10:31:55 PM

C'mon, Jack. OP says he wants to spend $600 for a 10 year old's first time build. Looks like you want to set him up for a gaming rig. I wonder haw Dad feels about shelling out $60 apiece for games that can actually take advantage of your setup.

I knew this would happen, someone immediately suggesting a $220 CPU/Fan/MB combo which quickly closes in of $400 leaving no breathing room for the rest of the parts.
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December 4, 2011 10:38:26 PM

I decided $600 is impossible if you're playing games and need an OS, keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

But, I can get you close...

CPU: Pentium G620 2.6GHz Dual-Core $72.99
GPU: Sapphire HD 5770 $109.99
Motherboard: Biostar H61 $49.99
RAM: Kingston 4GB DDR3 1333 $19.99
HDD: Hitachi 500GB 7200rpm $89.99
DVD: LG 22x DVD Burner $17.99
Case: NZXT Source 210 $39.99
PSU: Antec NEO 400W 80+ $34.99
Monitor: Acer 20" 1600x900 $89.99
Keyboard + Mouse: Logitech MK120 $20.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM $99.99

Total: $646.89 (before $13.27 shipping and $30 mail-in-rebates)

You could skimp on the video card and maybe hit your $600 budget, but I really recommend against it. You'll regret getting less than a 5770 for games. I had a 5670 for a while, and it was ok for Counter Strike: Source, but it certainly struggled in Bad Company 2 and GTA 4, for example. I know your 10 year-old son won't be playing these games specifically, but it's still something to keep in mind as games get more demanding.
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December 4, 2011 11:04:26 PM

Thank you both so much Hapkido and Delroy. It seems like Delroys setup is a bit more powerful (ram and cpu) but doesnt have all the components that you list Hapkido. Since I do not need the monitor, keyboard and mouse should I go with a hybrid of both of your suggestions?

CPU Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 124.99
GPU SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 159.99
MB ASRock H61M-GE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX l " 62.99
RAM G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 22.99
HDD Hitachi 500GB 7200rpm 89.99
DVD LG 22x DVD Burner 17.99
CASE NZXT Source 210 $ 39.99
PSU : Antec NEO 400W 80+ 34.99
OS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM 99.99


Which puts me approx. at $650.00

Any compatibility issues there? What do you guys think?

Thank you.
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December 4, 2011 11:27:41 PM

hairycane said:
Thank you both so much Hapkido and Delroy. It seems like Delroys setup is a bit more powerful (ram and cpu) but doesnt have all the components that you list Hapkido. Since I do not need the monitor, keyboard and mouse should I go with a hybrid of both of your suggestions?

CPU Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 124.99
GPU SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 159.99
MB ASRock H61M-GE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX l " 62.99
RAM G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 22.99
HDD Hitachi 500GB 7200rpm 89.99
DVD LG 22x DVD Burner 17.99
CASE NZXT Source 210 $ 39.99
PSU : Antec NEO 400W 80+ 34.99
OS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM 99.99


Which puts me approx. at $650.00

Any compatibility issues there? What do you guys think?

Thank you.


Just remember you still need the monitor
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December 4, 2011 11:32:00 PM

Sorry I forgot the DVD drive, hard drive and whatever else.
That should work just fine. The Radeon 6870 idles at 20 Watts and at max. uses 162 w.
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December 4, 2011 11:41:20 PM

I'm glad to see you don't need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse (I missed your earlier post).

I have two suggestions:

Spend the extra $5 for 200Mhz: i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core (with hyper-treading) $129.99

You'll need more than 400W for a HD 6870: Cooler Master 450W 80+ Bronze $49.99 (not including $4.99 shipping and $15.00 MIR)

I know we're putting you a little above your original budget, but I think it's worth it. i3 with a 6870 will be a capable gamer. It will play Battlefield 3, which is one of the most demanding games out right now. And you and your son will get much more enjoyment putting it together yourself than buying a Dell.
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December 5, 2011 12:39:22 AM

If you are going to be doing light gaming you may benefit from an AMD APU. An APU is basically a CPU with stonger than average graphics.

I was able to price out this list for $551.92 (WITH Windows 7)

Lite on DVD $21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Windows 7 $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

500Watt PSU $64
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

NZXT Source 210 Elite case (White) $49.99 Free Shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

4GB of GSKILL Ram $29
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

500GB hard drive $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz + Motherboard Combo $199 (-$20 combo savings)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The shipping (at least to my place) is around $9.99
So that should put you at about $560

My preference would be to get the AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz CPU with the HD6550 in chip graphics for $139 however it is currently out of stock at newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The AMD A6-3650 has HD6530 in chip graphics which is not an HD6870 by any means but will let you play MMOs and other games.
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December 5, 2011 12:46:59 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-overclock...

This link leads to a frequent competition that this website hosts to determine the best way to spend $500 on a gaming computer. Add to that a copy of Windows 7 (anyone with a student email address can get this for $65 or so) and you have $565 with a few extra dollars to spend moving up to 2x 4GBs and maybe a bump here or there.
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December 5, 2011 1:19:44 PM

hapkido said:
I'm glad to see you don't need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse (I missed your earlier post).

I have two suggestions:

Spend the extra $5 for 200Mhz: i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core (with hyper-treading) $129.99

You'll need more than 400W for a HD 6870: Cooler Master 450W 80+ Bronze $49.99 (not including $4.99 shipping and $15.00 MIR)

I know we're putting you a little above your original budget, but I think it's worth it. i3 with a 6870 will be a capable gamer. It will play Battlefield 3, which is one of the most demanding games out right now. And you and your son will get much more enjoyment putting it together yourself than buying a Dell.



Thank you all - This is such a great resource for newbies like me.

I am leaning towards spending the extra $ and going with this build. I noticed the motherboard is a micro ATX. Is this a good idea for a first timer? Can you a full size ATX MB that would work with this setup?

Also I am thinking of going with the following case and would greatly appreciate any comments :
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan
[


Thanks again for all the help!
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December 5, 2011 3:42:03 PM

Micro ATX is fine. It has 2 RAM slots which is all you really need and it has 1 video card slot which is all you really need.

I only suggest to get a bigger one if you are sure you have a need that can't be met by the smaller size.

If you want 2 video cards or you have some pressing need for 16 GBs of RAM, that would be a reason to go higher.

Motherboards aren't made for her pleasure. Bigger isn't necessarily better. You pay for the increased size and for many people its a complete waste to have the unused capacity.

There is also a risk management aspect to it, however small. If you get a 20% larger board with 20% more circuitry the additional circuitry can have some sort of flaw that ruins the board. Having it does entail ever such a teensy bit of risk as compared to not having it.

I would carefully consider the decision to upsize. This isn't McDonalds where supser sizing costs 40 cents, its more like 40 bucks.
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December 9, 2011 5:12:19 PM

Alright so I was all ready to order the exact specs we talked about (thanks raiddinn - I went with the micro ATX) and went to Newegg. When I got there they had a "Shell Shocker" deal that was about $80 off and in a fit of impulse buying I just bought it.

So now I have this coming:

1 BIOSTAR H61MGC LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel MotherboardItem #: N82E16813138332Standard Return Policy
$54.99$49.99

1 Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 ...Item #: N82E16819115073Iron Egg Replacement-Only Return Policy
$209.99

1 G.SKILL Value 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBNTItem #: N82E16820231423Memory Standard Return Policy
$19.99

1 Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare DriveItem #: N82E16822148767Standard Return Policy
$109.99


1 DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #787570

-$79.97


Subtotal

$309.99

Can I and should I still order:

GPU SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 159.99
Cooler Master 450W 80+ Bronze $49.99
DVD LG 22x DVD Burner 17.99
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Please let me know if anyone sees any conflicts or has any recommendations.
Thanks so much for all the help - I getting excited to build this with my son.
I hope it actually powers up!!

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December 9, 2011 5:36:14 PM

Remember the 10 yr old?
No GTA, No BF3.
He'll learn more upgrading as he grows.
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December 9, 2011 6:15:13 PM

Wow, you got a pretty good deal. The parts you picked should work fine, and you need all of those to have a complete system.
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December 9, 2011 6:23:15 PM

Avoid the Cooler Master 450w, get an Antec EarthWatts 430w or a Corsair Builder Series 520w instead.
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December 25, 2011 2:19:29 PM


ALLRIGHT!!!! Super excited son ran around in circles as he tore open the packages. Cannot thank everyone here enough for the help.

We started the build this morning. So far so good as we did the external build connecting most of the parts until we hit the power supply.

I went with the Antec Earthwatts which appears to have only one 6 pin PCI-E connector. The Radeon 6870 card seems to require 2 6 pin PCI-E connectors. Is there an adapter to convert a different connector? The documentation for the GPU specifically says not to split the 1 wire with a Y connector.

Does this PSU need to go back or is there a way of making this happen?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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December 25, 2011 3:05:31 PM

No adapter in my box - looks like I'm headed out on christmas day to try and find one.
Wish me luck!
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December 25, 2011 4:25:52 PM

Hmm strange they don't include those anymore. Make sure you take a look around the floor/table/boxes to see if you may have thrown them somewhere in a "fit of joy". If it does not come with them, go to your local Frys or other component store and look for a 6pin->2molex adapter
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December 25, 2011 5:24:36 PM

Did some checking around and apparently they do not include the adapter. Not a place open today to pick one up. I'll try again tomorrow.

Build on hold for now.

I am wondering if I shortchanged us with the power supply. Should I take the fact that my PSU has only one 6 pin PCI-E cable as a sign that the card needs more power than this PSU can supply? Should I be looking into returning this PSU and buying a different one rather than just picking up the adapter?

Any thoughts are much appreciated.
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December 25, 2011 5:47:15 PM

If they will take a return and you have the funds, you could grab a corsair or antec PSU with more watts and the correct cables. You should be okay with the one you have if you have the connectors.
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September 15, 2013 7:13:31 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1E0hy

CPU: AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($134.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($74.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Cooler Master NSE-200-KKN1 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($86.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $550.87

It's actually $613 but there are combo discounts and mail in rebates that reduce it to $550.87.
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September 15, 2013 7:33:14 AM

^ This is quite an old thread, last post other than yours was made in December 2011.
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