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

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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.
 

s3anister

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[citation][nom]velocityg4[/nom]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.[/citation]
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.
 

JOSHSKORN

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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.
 

belardo

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[citation][nom]JOSHSKORN[/nom]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.[/citation] So show me a top of the line Android tablet that costs less than the "overpriced" iPad...
 

Maximus_Delta

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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)
 

belardo

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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.
 
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?
 

amdfangirl

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[citation][nom]JohnnyLucky[/nom]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?[/citation]
More or less dependant on the speed of the RAM.
 

Proximon

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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.
 

bliq00

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why didn't the author post the stock cooling solution temps. Personally I've always found that the stock intel cooling was both quiet and sufficient, even in mini itx cases. I'm curious how big the difference is. if the diff is just 10-15%, I don't think it's worth spending extra on a 3rd party cooler for a kids computer.
 

amdfangirl

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I'd just go with the Antec Earthwatts series.
 

killeeeeer

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Its funny how its PC for kids and they benchmarked Gta IV, the 3850 seems the way to go better than buying and i3 or g someing and buying like GT520 as the 3850 beats the 520 in benchmarks
 

killeeeeer

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[citation][nom]FormatC[/nom]The GT 520 is slower than A8-3850. Take a look at the Charts 2011[/citation]"as the 3850 beats the 520 in benchmarks " read carefully
 

FormatC

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At first: sorry
English is for me nothing more than one foreign language and if I read over this posts quickly once...

I found GTA (Vice City, San Andreas and/or GTA IV / EFLC) on each childs computer (boys, 10 years and older) and this old game is a good example for benchmarks, not more. Other older games are running on each toaster, if you oc'ed him from 110 to 230 Volt :D
 
nice read. :)
interesting choice, benching gta iv for a kid's pc...lol i know it was to test platform strength.. i hope it wasn't in the pc when it was handed to him. 7750 was a very good choice.
some people might argue why the amd apus were not overclocked so that they could outperform pentiums for gaming and the apus' higher performance in 3d rendering and pov ray tracing.. :D
i am a bit skeptical about cm gx psu... overall good performance for money from both intel and amd builds.
 

FormatC

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No, this is what I had on matching components in my lab here, because we have recently tested these parts. This is a so-called recycling :D
 

daglesj

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Once finished building your 'kids' PC I'd recommend cloning the finished build to another HDD and putting it away on a shelf......for a week or two later when they have messed it all up.
 

A Bad Day

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This reminded me of my parents.

Folks that believed custom built computers are ALWAYS worse than pre-fab ones, because surely the manufacturers know how to build the best computers for the money.

There's a reason why I'm stuck with a "gaming" laptop until college, because they wouldn't let me spend my own money and I broke a discarded laptop. How? I couldn't reconnect the damn keyboard's short parallel cable back to the motherboard.

Folks that broke their own promise. More specifically, they told me to disassemble our old decade-old desktop and reassemble it. So I did. Then they told me they didn't trust me anyways, so rig building is a no-go.

Folks that didn't trust me with a car. More specifically, backing it out of a garage by 4 meters in a straight line to get a bike hanging from the ceiling to the ground for me to use. And when my dad mentioned a horrific accident and the lack of insurance as his defense, well, that didn't help at all.
 

silverblue

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It's not often you see an APU compared to such a range of cards. Whilst I'd have liked to see the 4850 there, I can infer the results from those for the GTX 250. Even with my lowly PII X3 710 and 4830, I know it'd soundly beat Llano.

I'm a little saddened to see that they never really fixed aCFX on Llano, either.
 

mapesdhs

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Igor,


"... Is it time to build him his own? ..."

Pardon me, _his_ own?? Please escape the 19th century, should be his/her own. When you're
talking about children, it's just as likely to be either. 2 years ago I built a system for a neighbour's
family, they have a son aged about 10, daughter about 8, both are equally frequent users of the
system, everything from iTunes to various games, printing pictures to an attached HP inkjet, school
work, etc.

Your comments about the used market are very welcome though, and that's what I did where
appropriate to save costs, ended up with something pretty decent: ASUS M2N-VM DVI, 6000+ 3GHz,
4GB DDR2/800, ASUS 8800GT 512MB (silent Glaciator cooler), Centurion Plus 534 case, LSI U320 SCSI
PCI (cost 5), 146GB 15K silent SCSI (cost 25, way quicker access time than SATA, so a much more
responsive system), etc. The only new items were the PSU (700W CiT Black, works great!), wifi card
(cost 7) and a 500GB SATA for general data (actually the case was new, but was half-price). Amazing
what one can do with a bit of careful hunting. 3DMark6: http://3dmark.com/3dm06/13891731

If I was building something today, I'd bag an i3 500, P55 board, 4GB DDR3/1600, used TRUE, GTX 460,
Antec 300, etc. Cost very low, performance through the roof. I'm building something like this right now
for someone who works in my local post office (i3 540 @ 4.4GHz, Gigabyte P55-UD4 and GTX 460, etc.)
though I persuaded him to get a new SSD as a boot drive (120GB OCZ Agility3). No need to spend the
earth to make a really quick machine.


daglesj, good comment on backups. I included a 2nd 14GB 10K SCSI for regular disk cloning (OS was
XP Pro, so very easy to do with XXClone).


NOTE: one thing I've noticed about how children use PCs. iTunes downloads can be enormous,
which clogs up the C drive. Best to ensure user accounts are located elsewhere, or at least
that their iTunes main folder is somewhere else.

Ian.

 
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