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Christmas Build for Teenage Son - Suggestions?

morganm

63 months ago

Mostly gaming and web surfing. Usually plays Minecraft or FTL but sometimes plays more demanding games like Planetside 2 or DayZ mod for ARMA II. Watches a lot of YouTube and tends to play music via YouTube in the background while he games.

I'm open to any suggestions but if you're going to change CPU, MB, and/or GPU I want to know why. Please back it up with stats or benchmarks.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/morganm/saved/pxxTwP

PCPartPicker part list](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/KtNJNG) / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i3-4160 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor $119.98 @ SuperBiiz
Motherboard MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $89.79 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $82.99 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $47.00 @ Amazon
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 280 3GB TWIN FROZR Video Card $190.91 @ Newegg
Case Raidmax ATX-298WY ATX Mid Tower Case $29.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $29.99 @ Newegg
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $590.65
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-05 19:39 EST-0500

Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

I like your list but you can do just a little better for your money friend:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor $114.99 @ NCIX US
Motherboard ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $87.99 @ Mwave
Memory Kingston Fury Black Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $71.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $54.98 @ OutletPC
Video Card Sapphire Radeon R9 280 3GB Dual-X Video Card $164.99 @ Newegg
Case Fractal Design Core 2300 ATX Full Tower Case $34.99 @ NCIX US
Power Supply Corsair CSM 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $49.99 @ Newegg
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $579.92
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-05 19:52 EST-0500

Basically the same cpu, a few bucks cheaper. Memory swapped to another brand that is much cheaper for the same speed and amount. Spent $10 more to quadruple your storage. Dropped to another r9 280 that is about $40 less and spent that difference on a nicer looking case with a much better psu (80+ gold rated and 50w more).

  • 63 months ago
  • 0 points

I'll have to respectuflly disagree on the RAM; the G.Skill Ripjaws are CAS 7 and the Kingsont is CAS 10. I don't mind pay the extra $5 on the CPU.

Nice catch on the R9 280; prices must have changed since I first put this together a few weeks ago.

PSU is likely money well spent; agreed.

Looks of the case is subjective. I wanted something that said "Hey, this is custom built and didn't come from a big box store!" ...and that isn't expensive =)

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

That case is also from a "big box store" it just happens to look garish instead of refined. :P I'd pay the extra $5 but that's just me!

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

What stores do you see a case like that? All I see at Best Buy, Microcenter, Wal-mart, Sams Club are the standard issue black box. Just as it was over a decade ago with the off-wight powdercoating.

You gotta understand the average teen mind here. I agree the case you list is much more refined. It's sharp and pro. When his dork friends come over they will tottaly drool over the bright yellow case no matter how flimsy it is. Which leads to talking about it and then he can tell them how awesome his dad is for building him a custom PC =)

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

So,here is what i suggest. 1.I changed the Motherboard for the grown up "brother" of yours (the pc mate one tends to have some issues,you can crosscheck that from the ratings). 2.Changed the HDD for a 1T one at the same price. 3.Picked a proper case(that Raidmax one looks worst than 20 year old plastic,i have seen it up close)

The price is somewhat the same cause i changed the GPU...3G if a bit overkill with that CPU for 1080p gaming PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor $114.99 @ NCIX US
Motherboard MSI Z97 Guard-Pro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $107.99 @ Amazon
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $82.99 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate Barracuda ES 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $46.99 @ Amazon
Video Card Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card $169.99 @ Newegg
Case NZXT Source 210 Window ATX Mid Tower Case $51.98 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $29.99 @ Newegg
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $604.92
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-05 20:41 EST-0500
  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Gotta agree with Juan on the case... that raidmax case looks quite disapointing in person: it feels like super cheap plastic and the colors are not as bright as in the pictures.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah there we go; fixed the table format =P

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

When having games on your build, space tends to get filled very quickly. I would go for a 1TB drive which is like $10-15 more for 4x the space

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

All looks good to me although I'd get a bigger hard drive, for ~$10 more you could get a 1TB.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor $126.00 @ Newegg
Motherboard Asus M5A78L-M LX PLUS Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard $51.99 @ Amazon
Memory Team Zeus Yellow 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $67.99 @ Newegg
Storage Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $45.99 @ Amazon
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 280 3GB TWIN FROZR Video Card $199.99 @ Amazon
Case Raidmax ATX-298WY ATX Mid Tower Case $44.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $54.99 @ Amazon
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $591.94
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-05 20:32 EST-0500

I changed this assuming he's not going to be doing much upgrading.

I changed the processor because this processor is MUCH more stronger than that i3. Dual Core processors are slugish in multitasking, so he would suffer loads of FPS loss having a browser open while gaming, but this processor you wouldn't have that problem at all.

Had to change the motherboard to fit the processor, chose ASUS because they are famed for reliability.

Changed the memory because brand doesn't really matter, and this has the same specs.

Upgraded the HDD, got 1tb in there for cheaper than the 250gb, it's just not as big a brand.

Used the same graphics card, cause I have the 280 in my current computer, and it paired with the 8320 will destroy DayZ Mod (I destroy DayZ on high settings [30+ FPS], with a weaker processor and the same graphics card)

Used Same Case, because as a teen, we see looks as being important, and this case looks really cool.

Upgraded the power supply to the same series/brand but it's semi-modular so it will help a LOT with cable management.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice alternative! I admit I love Intel but I won't deny the numbers. Looks like I could buy a higher teir rig for the same money.

Is there any chance of putting in a significantly better CPU in the future? I haven't done much research into AMD CPU+MB architecture to see what CPUs are compatible with what MBs to even begin to answer that question.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

He could upgrade the processor to the AMD FX 8350 which is 4.0 GHz and is significantly higher. Or an 8370, which isn't much better than the 8350.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Just so you know all amd processors are unlocked so you don't need to spend the extra $40 for .5 ghz higher just overclock that bad boy!

[comment deleted]

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