Budget gaming PC with room to upgrade. Please give me your advice

Mar 11, 2018
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My nephew asked me to build him a gaming computer. Right now all he plays is Minecraft but I'm sure at some point in the future he will be playing some more intense games. My sister is willing to pay around $500 for the computer but if it's "futureproof" she would be willing to spend a bit more.
I haven't built a computer in over a decade so you could say I'm out of the loop with the latest and greatest technology so I'm sure you guys will know a lot better than me.
This is what I've come up with so far and would really appreciate any feedback or suggestions on how to make this better and/or cheaper. As a starting point I am just using products and prices from amazon.ca. Once I am ready to order parts then I will look around for the best possible price but for now I need a starting point to give my sister so she knows roughly what she is in for.

$85 Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-ALPHA Mid-Tower Gaming Case (My nephew liked this case but I know I can shop around and get something similar he would like in the $50-60 range)
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B017XPPH9I/ref=ox_sc_act_title_11?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1

$55 Corsair VS Series VS650 650 W PSU
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B078HJ2RCW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_7?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1

$100 GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming AMD RYZEN AM4 B350 Motherboard (leaning towards AMD because from what I read the AM4 socket is going to be around for a few more years for sure which leaves room for potential future upgrades and the AMD processors are generally cheaper but I'm not opposed to Intel)
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XDNB3G4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_6?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1

$130 AMD YD2200C5FBBOX Ryzen 3 2200G CPU
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B079D3DBNM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1

$122 Gigabyte GV-N1030OC-2GI Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 OC 2G Graphics Card
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07646VQ6T/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1

$50 Seagate 500GB Barracuda Hybrid Hard Drive (ST500LM030)
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01M0AAA6X/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1

$113 Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB Dram 2400MHz C14 Memory Kit for DDR4 Systems CMK8GX4M1A2400C14R
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00UVN2B8K/ref=ox_sc_act_title_6?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1

$25 TP-Link TL-WN881ND Wireless N300 PCI Express Adapter
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0079XWMEI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1

System works out to $680

Thanks for any help, it's appreciated
 

volkgren

Distinguished
Change the PSU. Corsair CX (2017) is much better quality.

Instead of the GT 1030, just get the Ryzen 2400G. It's almost the same performance as the GT 1030 (depends on the game) and would cost you less (I think). Plus it has the extra threads from SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) to help out with future GPU upgrades.

I'm sort of reluctant to purchase the Ryzen 2xxx series because the motherboards may need to be updated. You can contact AMD and have them ship you a compatible CPU to update the bios with though.

*Edit: I didnt' read all of your post, it was late last night. Anyways, $500 CAD is not very much at all for a gaming PC.

If you need the bios updated there are options. https://www.techpowerup.com/241559/amd-provides-support-for-bios-update-on-2nd-gen-ryzen-boot-kit-available?cp=2

Here's a cheaper $500 build that is reltatively "future proof" with AMD's AM4 chipset that will supposedly be supported until 2020. The Ryzen 2 2200G has integrated graphics, not much but with the SeaSonic power supply (much better than the Corsair VS) you can easily add up to a GTX 1060 6GB or RX 580 8GB without much bottleneck from the CPU. There's really no reason to buy a GT 1030 with the Vega integrated graphics on the Ryzen 2200G/2400G.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-AB350M-Gaming 3 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Memory Express)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($138.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Corsair - Carbide SPEC-04 (Black/Yellow) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.05 @ Amazon Canada)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link - TL-WN881ND PCI-Express x1 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Adapter ($22.92 @ Mike's Computer Shop)
Total: $545.92
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-03-11 10:41 EDT-0400
 

need4speeds

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Jan 6, 2009
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Athlon X4 with a fancy cooler and case.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Athlon X4 950 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($67.95 @ shopRBC)
CPU Cooler: ARCTIC - Freezer 33 eSports ONE (Black/Red) CPU Cooler ($44.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Asus - PRIME A320M-K Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Memory: ADATA - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($98.99 @ PC-Canada)
Storage: Seagate - BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Mike's Computer Shop)
Video Card: Gigabyte - Radeon RX 560 - 1024 2GB Gaming OC Video Card ($151.99 @ PC-Canada)
Case: Cougar - MX330 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.00 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus - PCE-AC55BT B1 PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter ($45.75 @ Vuugo)
Total: $628.64
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-03-11 06:29 EDT-0400
 

need4speeds

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Jan 6, 2009
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19,660
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ryzen 3 1200 but on the stock cooler with a cheaper case.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($133.94 @ shopRBC)
Motherboard: Asus - PRIME A320M-K Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Memory: ADATA - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($98.99 @ PC-Canada)
Storage: Seagate - BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Mike's Computer Shop)
Video Card: Gigabyte - Radeon RX 560 - 1024 2GB Gaming OC Video Card ($151.99 @ PC-Canada)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus - PCE-AC55BT B1 PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter ($45.75 @ Vuugo)
Total: $630.63
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-03-11 06:25 EDT-0400
 

need4speeds

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Jan 6, 2009
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And the cheapest build.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Athlon X4 950 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($67.95 @ shopRBC)
Motherboard: Asus - PRIME A320M-K Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Memory: ADATA - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($98.99 @ PC-Canada)
Storage: Seagate - BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Mike's Computer Shop)
Video Card: Gigabyte - Radeon RX 560 - 1024 2GB Gaming OC Video Card ($151.99 @ PC-Canada)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: EVGA - BT 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Wireless Network Adapter: Encore - ENEWI-1XN45 PCI-Express x1 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Adapter ($1.00 @ Amazon Canada)
Total: $504.89
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-03-11 06:48 EDT-0400
 

neiler0847

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Mar 25, 2015
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None of the aforementioned builds has an operating system, so add $150 for Windows 10. No monitor is mentioned either.

The $500 future-proof computer is the unicorn of gaming, especially in today's environment (expensive RAM and GPUs).

If I only had $500 to spend, I would be looking at the used market (or at least used components). I would also be looking at prebuilt systems or even video game consoles.

Just make sure you have an understanding of everything that is needed before you embark on a build. Mouse? Keyboard? Monitor? Headset? etc.

Finally, if the primary passion is Minecraft, do some research on specific requirements for that game. Graphically, it is fairly intensive.
 

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