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Build It: Picking Parts For Your Kid's Entry-Level Gaming PC

Picking A Platform: Comparing Intel And AMD

Selecting the Right CPU and Motherboard

Our first decision sets the stage for the rest of our build. Should you buy an AMD APU or an Intel CPU with HD Graphics? Intel’s Pentium G620 and Celeron G530 CPUs are a little cheaper than AMD’s A8-3850 and A6-3650. But most of that savings is negated by Intel’s generally more expensive motherboards. In the end, we're left to consider slightly more affordable Intel-based solutions.

We aren't including the AMD A8-3870K CPU in that comparison either, since it's quite a bit pricier and only makes sense for overclocking. The -3850 is a more budget-friendly choice.

Intel Pentium G620IntelCeleron G530AMDA8-3850AMDA6-3650
Core Frequency2.7 GHz2.4 GHz2.9 GHz2.6 GHz
Cores/Threads2/22/24/44/4
Cache512 KB L2 + 3 MB L3512 KB L2 + 2 MB L34 MB L24 MB L2
Turbo FrequencyNo TurboNo TurboNo TurboNo Turbo
TDP Rating65 W65 W100 W100 W
Lithography32 nm32 nm32 nm32 nm
Integrated Memory ControllerDDR3-1066DDR3-1066DDR3-1866DDR3-1866
Integrated GraphicsIntel HD Graphics850 MHz Base1.1 GHz Max Freq.Intel HD Graphics850 MHz Base1.0 GHz Max Freq.Radeon HD 6550DRadeon HD 6530D
Price$64$50$110$95
MotherboardH67 Chipset$65H67 Chipset$65A55 Chipset$54A55 Chipset$54
Bundle$129$115$164$149

One Intel CPU, well-cooled

AMD's A8-3850 can quickly push smaller heat sinks to their limits

Bottom Line

Right out of the gate, we see that Intel's solutions have a slight advantage over AMD's from a pricing standpoint. Next, we'll take a look at how to keep these respective platforms cooled adequately, quietly, and inexpensively.

  • velocityg4
    Interesting, but I'm assuming most parents that build there own computers, game and read toms hardware would be better suited just giving their kids their old gaming PC's. Since many this enthusiastic will already be replacing them every couple of years. Now they have another excuse to replace them and their kids get computers made from former high end and quality parts that are still very fast and more than capable of playing any kids games and edutacational/edutainment software.

    Although I say just give them an Apple IIe so they can learn on what we learned on in school.
    Reply
  • s3anister
    velocityg4Interesting, but I'm assuming most parents that build there own computers, game and read toms hardware would be better suited just giving their kids their old gaming PC's.I see the reasoning in this, however, for someone like myself I found this an interesting article; as I'm actually about to build a computer for my nieces and they do not need a fully featured gaming rig. It doesn't make sense to give them a machine that doesn't suit their needs and I'm sure many other parents/uncles/aunts are in the same boat.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    or at that age, you could just buy an Android tablet or an overpriced iCraplet. Both probably support AngryBirds or other games and you can take them along to trips, dinners, church and other events to shut them up.
    Reply
  • belardo
    JOSHSKORNor at that age, you could just buy an Android tablet or an overpriced iCraplet. Both probably support AngryBirds or other games and you can take them along to trips, dinners, church and other events to shut them up. So show me a top of the line Android tablet that costs less than the "overpriced" iPad...
    Reply
  • Maximus_Delta
    iCrap (something for the fashion victims & super creative types to show off whilst sipping their skinny lattes in starbucks whilst facebooking their friends about the fact that are in starbucks, having lattes, and got a new iPad / macbook)
    Reply
  • belardo
    What *YOU* do is hand your kid the OLD computer when you upgrade. But yeah, since about the age of 1 and a half, my son has had his own PC... keeps if off ours. He did damage his CRT monitor with paint - which was somewhat cleaned up. Fine. His first was a client's out-dated Pentium III-1Ghz which he paid $2500 when it was NEW. Then he got a compaq handme down from mom.

    Today, age 7: AMD X4 CPU, 4GB RAM, ATI 4670 card I built from various parts. I use it for background work since its so powerful. He does his educational and game software on it.

    When I was age 7, the Apple II was just released and most people didn't know what one was. It wasn't until 1980 that we started seeing these $1200~3000 computers... usually in the school library with 1 or 2 units. My 1985 PC: 1-2Mhz 128k RAM, 360k floppy drive system with a monitor was $900+. I still have it and it works. I forgot how to use it.

    Suggestions when building a PC for 3~8 year olds: buy a logitech notebook mouse ($15~20) as these are smaller but perfect for little hands. Use a cheap keyboard as kids tend to be messy and destroy them. if they are real young (1~3yrs old) try to get your hands on a CRT. Harder to knock over, costs $0~5 if you can find one.

    Also, a $200~250 netbook makes a good "notebook" for young kids (4~9 years old). Or give your kid your old notebook. My kid was given a 17" notebook a friend gave away when he upgraded.
    Reply
  • acerace
    9534995 said:
    So show me a top of the line Android tablet that costs less than the "overpriced" iPad...

    You're feeding the troll, genius. :heink:
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    Leave out the bling and dedicated video card for a basic pc for grandma and grandpa! I've already built a couple for senior citizens who are not gamers.

    BTW - there is an option to dedicate some of the memory to the integrated graphics. I installed inexpensive 8GB memory and dedicated 2GB to the graphics. What I don't know is if it makes a real difference. Would that help gamers?
    Reply
  • amdfangirl
    JohnnyLuckyLeave out the bling and dedicated video card for a basic pc for grandma and grandpa! I've already built a couple for senior citizens who are not gamers. BTW - there is an option to dedicate some of the memory to the integrated graphics. I installed inexpensive 8GB memory and dedicated 2GB to the graphics. What I don't know is if it makes a real difference. Would that help gamers?More or less dependant on the speed of the RAM.
    Reply
  • Proximon
    After all that build up a cheap PSU is used based entirely on claims written on the box. No reviews exist and apparently Cooler Master knows it's junk because they haven't bothered to get it certified by 80plus.
    Reply