Is this a good Christmas present or a Mom Fail?

empope

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I want to get my preteen son a computer for school and gaming. He plays minecraft and other games - and is constantly complaining about lag. I found this unit on newegg: CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme 1347 Desktop PC Intel Core i5 3570k(3.40GHz) 8GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity Nvidia Geforce GT 620 2GB Windows 8

Would this last him through high school?
 
Solution
For the money, I think that is a great deal and even includes a solid state and a respectable graphics card. That should be a nice system. The only weak spot is the 400W power supply. It will power it as is, but you'd have to upgrade the power supply if you move to a higher end graphics card later. I don't think you will do better for the money, though.



jackspeed

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He plays minecraft and other games
It depends on the other games if it will last him through high school. It has a great processor but the graphics card is lacking a little.
a link would have been nice. I think this is the one you are refering to.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229364&Tpk=Gamer%20Xtreme%201347

This is a decent PC. It has room to grow. If he is a hard core gamer then its not a good investment. It has a large power supply so if he/you are capable then he/you could upgrade the graphics card when/if needed (like next christmas).

Do you know the specs of the current system he is using?
 

Wolfshadw

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Five or more years is a long time for any system to last and remain relevant, however, I think this system's processor is good enough to keep him content for that amount of time.

As JackSpeed mentions, the power supply is theoretically powerful enough to handle any graphics card on the market today, but I wouldn't trust it to run anything more than a mid-range card.

Regardless of what the advertising says, the graphics card that is included with this system is by no means considered a "Gaming" graphics card. It is barely above the level of current integrated graphics. While probably capable of at least running more current games at low resolutions, you're likely to run into screen freezes or lags just like your pre-teen is currently running into (depending on the games he plays).

Like JackSpeed, I'd also like to know the specs of your son's current system as well as what other games he plays. As for recommendations:

1) Take a week or two to look into building your own system. It's really not that hard and if your son is in the least technically interested, I think he'd find it not only educational, but fun as well to build a system with you. Besides, we're here to help if you get stuck! Not sure if a $630 system will last at least five years, but we could build a great core system that is upgradeable over the years (really not that different from the system you're looking at).

2) If building your own system is just too big of a step right now, I don't see any problems with the system you're looking at, so long as when the time comes (next Christmas or a Birthday), you're able to swap power supplies and graphics card (again, not that hard and we're here to help if you get stuck).

-Wolf sends

P.S. If you don't know the specifications of your son's current system, either provide us with a make and model number (assuming it's store bought), or run a program on your system called, "DXDIAG" (included with Windows). Just copy and paste the first and fourth sections of the report (System Information and Display Devices). Power supply information is also necessary, so you should take the cover off of the system (powered down and unplugged, of course) and write down the information (total watts, manufacturer and model #) that *SHOULD* be listed on a sticker on the side of the power supply.
 

raytseng

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haha, you are proposing to have mom build the computer? I think that is ripe for fail.

I think we are better getting her a list of items, then going to a local shop to do the build (they will often build for free matching newegg's cost or at most a minimal surcharge).

Mom-post your budget, and people here will give you a list of parts to bring to a local shop to build. For just the computer, about $1000 or so will be a sweet spot I think.

If you are in doubt of a gift, if he doesn't have a nice large monitor, that is a good gift that won't require customization
 

ckholt83

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Wolfshadw gives some good advice. However, if you still don't feel comfortable picking up a screwdriver to piece one together yourself and just want a simple solution, I think one of the following options would be a more balanced and capable machine than the first one you picked, while staying close to the same ballpark price range:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227443

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227444

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227441


Unfortunately it's very hard to get the most efficient use of your money from a prebuilt on a budget, and they almost always skimp on things like the power supply. That's why there's such a large community devoted to building your own PC. :)

There are some boutiques that will put together a customized build using only quality parts, but they tend to be more pricey.
 


Does anyone else find this sexist? If a dad was posting this would you say the same thing?
 

raytseng

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yes i would.

I'd say it to any parent (older generation) who is asking a broad question of should I buy this pre-built, and not the typical check over my basket of parts.

To be honest, while it might be "fun" to build; if you don't think it's fun, it's just a chore. Really you're not saving much money as in several threads I've given this advice, all the shops match newegg's price. (Newegg still has a profit margin, you are not getting the lowest prices=>their build fee)
 

empope

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Thanks for all of your input. I will try to get the specs on my son's laptop this evening. Our internet is through comcast. My budget including a monitor is around $750. He has expressed interest in building a computer before, but without tech savy parents to guide him, I am afraid of spending month on a project that may end up in a box shoved under his bed.
 

empope

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While I am asking stupid questions, here are a few more: Does the keyboard and mouse matter that much? Is a "gaming" mouse worth the extra money? Does wireless work as well as wired when talking about mouse/keyboard? Thanks! - Mom
 
no, no need for expensive stuff. don't forget, wireless means batteries......... and it's never ending. just get a standard usb mouse and keyboard.

and have thoughts on letting your son build his own.......... if you don't know how to do it and your son "thinks" he does......... turn and run. I think you're better off getting a pre made, either from one of the links above or from some place like Walmart. I had a nephew that "knew' how to build and he messed up some really expensive stuff my sister really couldn't afford to buy. turned to junk as soon as the kid touched it.
Windows 7 64bit.......... again, I'll look later for something in your budget later as I'm sure others will that are following thread.
 

jackspeed

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Good to know. I think that getting a prebuilt system would be the way you want to go. Thanks for your budget. Also when do you plan to purchase?

Also a "gaming mouse" has its benefits but its not worth it to start. A gaming keyboard on the other hand is just a extremely frivolous purchase imo.
 

empope

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I am planning on purchasing as soon as we can make a decision (next week or two). I want to make sure that it arrives by Christmas and that I don't wait, pick one out and then discover that it is out of stock. However, I have wondered if there will be any "Black Friday" deals that I should wait on.....
 
With black friday/cyber monday not far away I'd wait for that. It is known especially for pcs and laptops to have some pretty good deals. The average savings is said to be ~$100 but that's for all deals in general.

@raytseng: While I agree it's safe to assume for someone asking broad question on a prebuilt, and in this situation not really a yearn to learn; taking into account being a mom or age is not grounds for a solid assumption.
 

jackspeed

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I can make some computers that I would have loved to get on cyberpower. But shipping puts it at about 680. I also have seen a few decent computers at some stores (ie best buy/walmart) but tax puts it at about 700. So it may be worth waiting for black friday OP.
 

DomDunes

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you can get a prebuilt from www.ironsidecomputers.com for the same price w/ free shipping and the live chat will be able to help you pick a computer that will last for the time u want and play the games ur son plays. worth a shot

-Dunes
 
I took a look at ironsides but every config I did was still ~$50-100 more than cyberpower.com or ibuypower.com even after shipping. Also anyone can do a config and just send the link of cyberpower. A prebuilt would still be cheaper with better specs like the ones ckholt posted.
 

empope

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Here are a few specs from his current computer: Hewlett packard compaq presario cq60, intel celeron 900 @2.2 ghz 2.19 ghz, ram 2 gb, windows 7 home 64 bit, hitachi ata drive 220 gb, dvd/cd romH
 

jackspeed

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It is amd based and has a fx 6300, but has a 7770
Total
$645+ shipping :'(

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1EKVAP

A cut of 30 and downgrading the graphics card to a 7750 is doable but that doesn't cover shipping.

 

twelve25

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Check out this build from cyperpowerPC

AMD-6300
8GB RAM
500GB Hard disk
700W PSU
Radeon 7850
22" monitor

$788

This will play pretty much any game you can throw at it beautifully. If you need to save a few bucks, drop to the 7770 and the 19" monitor. With the lower resolution monitor you will get the same performance using the lesser video card. That saves about $100

link: http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1EKVKE

EDIT: I just realized the above does not include Windows! That's a big oversight. I think you will have to make the changes mentioned above to free up enough money to add a Windows license.

 
Neither of those has beaten the already posted prebuilt. $720 with a 7850. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227444

Jack's is $720 with a 7770.

Twelve's is $820 with a 7850 (took off the monitor and added windows to be the same as the others).

Although the configured ones came with a 6300, the 6100 is going to make much difference compared to what the gpu will do.

They will have promos like they have now with "free" upgrades. They always have those promos.
 

twelve25

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Yeah, that's a good deal, I didn't even see that post. It still wouldn't be under $750 with a monitor.

HOw about this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229362
Which is virtually identical to the one that you linked to above except it comes with a terrible GT610 graphics card. Then you purchase a $180ish Radeon 7850 to replace the cheapo GT610. That's an easy install for even a computer novice. That would put the total at around $579, give you the config of that $700 computer and leave plenty of money for a monitor and speakers, etc