Gaming PC for my 61 year old dad!

Hey folks!

My old man is coming back home after a very long trip, and has decided he wants me to build him a new computer. As the title says, he is a gamer. He will probably try some modern games at my direction, but he really likes his MMORPGs, namely Everquest 2. EQ2 is a bit old, but he has shown interest in Rift as well as some Battlefield 3 and RTS games.

He tells me, "no budget", but knowing his gaming habits I know it's unnecessary to spend more then $1500, and that's for EVERYTHING. All he has now is an older laptop, so no leftover parts to throw at a new build. He will probably never build another computer in his lifetime, so maybe just a few choice upgrades along the way. I'd like it to last for him.

With that said, this is what I've come up with so far... Some items, like the case, a mouse, keyboard, wireless NIC, are just fillers to get an estimate price. I may wait for him to pick those items himself as they are based slightly more on personal taste. Also, there is some room left on the $1500 budget on purpose to make room for a nice headset.

So, with that...

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: this week (the closer the better)

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400) Before / After Rebates; Before / After Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes / No

Parts to Upgrade: Everything

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg (primary) or Amazon

Location: Ft. Worth, Texas USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU is the only must.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: He is a sucker for a coooool looking case. He understands to some degree what is going on inside, but really thinks a nice case stands out. He likes a viewing window.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Needs something other than an old laptop.

Here is a link to the Newegg wishlist to show all items as well as the total. Let me know if this doesn't work.


Any feedback is welcome!

Are the parts compatible?

Are the parts high quality?

Will the computer have some longevity?

Anything need to be swapped?

Thank you all for your input, I really value the opinion of the forums and I can't wait to see my old man's face when this is all put together!
12 answers Last reply
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  1. I'm also an old geezer who does some gaming. You've got a nice build, but here are my suggestions:
    1. Get a full 24" monitor and don't use the built-in speakers, these are affordable and have a decent sound with plenty of bass.

    2. Since you are not planning to overclock, you can save some money by getting the non-K version of the cpu and a lesser h-77 or b-75 motherboard.

    3. You don't have a solid state drive listed, so a WD Caviar Black or Caviar Blue is a more desirable hard drive.

    4. If he's gonna be playing in a dark room, consider a keyboard with backlit keys like the Microsoft Sidewinder x4.

    5. You can save some bucks by getting a less expensive wireless adapter. I've been using the $15 Rosewill or Sabrent cards on five different computers for four years without any problems and good connectivity.
  2. id suggest this build

    i dont see a point for a window when it does nothing to increase your system performance.

    i got you a nice IPS monitor. better colour accuracy and better ergonomic features
  3. Spankmon, thanks for the excellent suggestions. Really. I'm using all five of your points while moving forward.

    TheBigTroll, also thanks for the help... if you read the post, he simply likes it. Not everything has to be centered around performance. He just likes the way it looks.
  4. I have some suggestions from another seasoned citizen:

    1) The single most future proof and enduring purchase you can make is the monitor.
    Without a real budget, I suggest a 2560 X 1440 monitor. Yes, I know they are expensive, but the added display real estate will make games and internet work so much better.

    2) You might defer the hard drive in favor of a 240gb ssd. It will hold the os and a lot of games. If you ever need to store large files, like video's, you can add a hard drive later.

    3) The 3570K is as good as it gets. With any Z77 based motherboard, give it a conservative OC to 4.0 or so.

    4) GTX670 is good. 7970 is similar, and GTX680 is not really worth the difference.

    5) I happen to like smaller, quieter cases. But lian li makes some great quality units such as this lancool PC-K58W

    6) You will want a cpu cooler like the cm hyper212.
  5. The only thing I see that really struck me was the GPU. Radeon HD 7850 is a little underpowered for that build. I would suggest you upgrade that to a at least Radeon HD 7950 or GTX 670.

    For cases you might want to have him look over some of the options here: They can do customized versions of almost any case you want and they also have a better selection than Newegg or Amazon.

    Save some money on the Wireless card and just get a USB one. A basic Wireless N150 USB adaptor will work just fine and you can get a good one for around $20. Many of these are also very small so you can install one on a front USB port without it sticking out so much that knees and feet will catch it.
  6. If you have a viewing window then you won't be able to have a side fan. All cases need a rear exhaust and an intake from somewhere. An intake from the side is best, as it'll cool down your GPU. just a suggestion
  7. Some excellent suggestions. I truly appreciate the feedback.

    @geofelt I agree with the monitor and will look into prices. I can scrape by with a 24" monitor for just under $200 for now and upgrade later when the time comes. I also know that's like going with SLI/Xfire "later"... it probably won't happen so I will definitely check into this.

    As far as the SSD... a great idea also. With a size like that he would be just fine. Windows 7 along with a handful of games installed, he could get by and upgrade later. I have never worked with an SSD, and being something new to me dealing with a lot of money, it's kind of intimidating. Is setting one up an easy task? Is it similar to a standard hard drive in that way? Definitely looking into this.

    I've heard a couple of different pieces of feedback referring to the video card so it looks like I'll go ahead and spend the extra dough. I wouldn't want to hold back the entire machine because of a handful of dollars in one area.

    @JKatwyopc ^^ Good to know, I appreciate the feedback on the video card and will adjust accordingly. Also going to check out that website, thanks.

    Yeah I had a feeling the wireless NIC was a little overboard. Turns out I was right and will be going with a cheaper option, regardless of USB or PCI.

    @envy14tpe Good point. I don't think the window was an absolute requirement, as long as everything looks top notch.

    Again, you guys are awesome. Thanks so much.
  8. 3570k is 180 @ tigerdirect right now, save some cash for a better video card!

    And if he is really a serious online gamer get a 100ft cat5 cable for 20 bucks and get a solid connection to the router.
  9. Newegg has a Samsung 830 256gb ssd on sale for 48 hours for $160 if you use the promo code EMCYTZT2359
    That is about as good as it gets. A SSD makes everything you do feel so much quicker. Today, Samsung 830 or Intel would be the best for reliability.
    I think Samsung may be clearing out inventory in anticipation of their 840 series. I see no need to wait for the 840.
    A SSD installs just like any sata hard drive, it has a sata power attachment and a sata control cable.
    A SSD will come in a 2.5" form factor. Most new cases have a way to install them. Even if not, one can bolt one to the bottom of the case, or even use duct tape. The only install suggestion is to set the sata mode to AHCI, not raid or ide.

    On the 2560 x 1440 monitor, it will be $700 or more from a name brand.
    The panels are superior with a 178/178 viewing angle.

    On ebay, you can find the same monitors for half the price. They use A- panels which are rejects from apple which demands a+ quality. They are sold under the name catleap and others. Normally, I would be doubtful about the wisdom of such a product, but there seem to be many happy users. Search for "catleap forum" on google to do some research.
    Here is one thread:

    If you need wifi, buy a add in card, not a usb dongle. You will get a stronger signal with a decent antenna.

    On the keyboard and mouse see if you can't try them out at a local store. Everybody has diffent hands.
  10. One big thing on an SSD, DO NOT DEFRAG IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. In my history of building PCs I am always the least confident in my choice of motherboard and power supply. I am moving forward with a few items, namely the great deal @tigerdirect (thanks cbag!) but before I do, any input on the MOBO or PSU?
  12. Airek said:
    In my history of building PCs I am always the least confident in my choice of motherboard and power supply. I am moving forward with a few items, namely the great deal @tigerdirect (thanks cbag!) but before I do, any input on the MOBO or PSU?

    Not to worry.

    For the psu, the first criteria should be QUALITY.
    My short list would include Seasonic, Antec, PC P&C, Corsair, and XFX.
    Here is one list of psu's ordered by quality tier:

    As to sizing, the simple rule is to count the number and types of aux power connectors your graphics configuration will use.
    For example, a GTX670 needs two 6 pin connectors.
    Here is a list of what many graphics configurations will need:

    Modular is a plus mainly for very small cases.
    You are unlikely to save anything with gold rated efficiency.

    And, since a psu will use only the wattage that is demanded of it, you can safely overprovision a bit.

    On the motherboard side, most any Z77 based motherboard will do when using a 3570K.
    Pick your favorite brand, they are all good.
    No need for high priced enthusiast motherboards unless you are seeking record high overclocks.

    Even size(ITX,M-atx, atx) may not be an issue. How many expansion slots would you really need?
    7 for atx, 4 for m-atx, and 1 for itx.
    They all come with a PCI-E X16 graphics card slot. That is good enough for a card as good as the $1000 GTX690.
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