Question Looking to buy a gaming PC

Jun 23, 2021
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I've been in the IT field for many years, but not really a gamer. A friend wants my help buying a gaming PC for her son. Budget is around $1000 - $1500 give or take, just for the PC (not including monitor, keyboard, etc).

I haven't had to build a PC in many years, so not really wanting to spend a bunch of time doing so. Plus don't want to burn up the kids budget paying me. So mostly looking to buy something already built. Sounds like he mostly plays shooters. Fortnite, COD are what he plays on the consoles. Warranty is also a priority.

I realize timing might not be the best because of the chip shortage.
 

Jason H.

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I've been in the IT field for many years, but not really a gamer. A friend wants my help buying a gaming PC for her son. Budget is around $1000 - $1500 give or take, just for the PC (not including monitor, keyboard, etc).

I haven't had to build a PC in many years, so not really wanting to spend a bunch of time doing so. Plus don't want to burn up the kids budget paying me. So mostly looking to buy something already built. Sounds like he mostly plays shooters. Fortnite, COD are what he plays on the consoles. Warranty is also a priority.

I realize timing might not be the best because of the chip shortage.
Your spending 200$ or more buying prebuilt. So a 1500$ pc you could build yourself, will cost 1700$. If max budget is 1500$ you will be getting roughly a 1300$ pc give or take depending on who is building it.

Also, prebuilts like CyberPower or iBuyPower.. etc.. junk. Over half of the threads I see with issues are from prebuilt junk. They use cheap PSU's, modified mobos/bios's.. things can get messy REALLY quick.

Also, GPU's are at all time high right now and availability for the newer gen cards is slim to non (within your budget) without spending weeks, maybe even months hunting down the perfect deal. However, this may be 1 good thing about buying prebuilt, as you may be able to get a newer gpu for a good price in the prebuilt. But its still going to be quite a bit over 1500$.

If your looking to do what I consider the right thing, and build the pc for him with a max budget of 1500$, I would do something like this. But again, the price of GPU's atm is so terrible, that you would either have to pay the premium, which will put you well over 1500$, or go with a slightly older GPU like the 2060s which is still even 600$+ at the moment and will also still put you over 1500$, but not as much as a prebuilt will. Keep in mind though, the 2060s is still a really good card in my opinion and is the minimum I recommend for any budget build. I use a 2060s with the 3800x, I get 144fps+ on medium-high graphics in 80% of the games I play.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X 3.9 GHz 8-Core Processor ($351.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($95.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 860 Evo 250 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($63.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 860 QVO 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ B&H)
Video Card: Asus GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB DUAL EVO OC Video Card ($698.80 @ Amazon)
Case: Cougar MX330 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ B&H)
Power Supply: Corsair CXM 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($73.70 @ Amazon)
Total: $1553.45
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-06-23 01:43 EDT-0400


You could lower the Total price by like 100$ swapping the 1tb QVO storage drive for a 2tb HDD but I would not recommend using a HDD for gaming these days. Or going with a cheaper 550w psu, which I also would not recommend. Or maybe even slightly cheaper ram without RGB, I added the RGB to the ram because hes a kid, and will want some lighting. But you could save 20 bucks or so swapping that for non rgb ram.

For a prebuilt PC with a new GPU (same cpu) I would look at something like this https://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Gamer-Master-8000 , but as I said, will be more like 1700-1750$ for anything that would economically make sense to buy and if you bought a older prebuilt (similar to the pc parts I listed for you) then your just going to be spending over 1600$ anyways so at that point mine as well just order the parts yourself. This is the bad part about trying to build a budget PC these days, its almost impossible without some effort and digging.
 
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Reactions: dirtyharry77
This build will beat any previous builds posted in this thread like a rented mule while doing it for cheaper yet with better quality components. btw that video card down below is meant for 1080P resolution.

https://www.newegg.com/black-phanteks-eclipse-p360a-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811854103
Phanteks Eclipse P360A ATX Mid Tower Case $79.99

Exhaust fan for that case.

https://www.amazon.com/Antec-120mm-Performance-Connector-Single/dp/B08PVL8FJJ/
Antec 120mm Case Fan $5.99

https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-core-series-core-gm-550-550w/p/N82E16817151243
Seasonic CORE GM-550, 550W 80+ Gold, Semi-Modular Power Supply $60.00

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813144396
MSI MAG B560M BAZOOKA $139.99

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/intel-...ked-desktop-processor/6452218.p?skuId=6452218
Intel Core i5-11400 $189.99

https://www.amazon.com/Gelid-Solutions-Phantom-Cooler-Case/dp/B076KYYSRW
Gelid Solutions Phantom CPU Cooler $36.99

https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Ballistix-Desktop-Gaming-BL2K8G32C16U4B/dp/B083TRRT16/
Crucial Ballistix DDR4 3200MHz 16GB (8GBx2) CL16 $87.99

https://www.amazon.com/PNY-CS2130-Internal-Solid-State/dp/B0869B4Q66/
PNY CS2130 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Gen3 x4 Internal SSD $114.99

https://www.ebay.com/itm/304045093215
EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 XC GAMING $799.97

Total: $1516

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-XB253Q-Gpbmiiprzx-Compatible-DisplayHDR400/dp/B087GTR74D/
Acer Predator XB253Q 24.5" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible Gaming Monitor $249.99

https://www.amazon.com/Pro-USB-Activation-Original-Lifetime/dp/B09733KX1S/
Windоws 10 Pro USB 32 / 64 bit $73.00

Review of that cpu. Look for Core i5 11400F + Opt on the benchmarks.

https://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/intel-core-i5-11400f-processor-review,1.html

A better look at that board.


A better look at that case.

https://www.phanteks.com/Eclipse-P360A.html
 
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Reactions: dirtyharry77

Jason H.

Distinguished
This build will beat any previous builds posted in this thread like a rented mule while doing it for cheaper yet with better quality components. btw that video card down below is meant for 1080P resolution.

https://www.newegg.com/black-phanteks-eclipse-p360a-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811854103
Phanteks Eclipse P360A ATX Mid Tower Case $79.99

Exhaust fan for that case.

https://www.amazon.com/Antec-120mm-Performance-Connector-Single/dp/B08PVL8FJJ/
Antec 120mm Case Fan $5.99

https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-core-series-core-gm-550-550w/p/N82E16817151243
Seasonic CORE GM-550, 550W 80+ Gold, Semi-Modular Power Supply $60.00

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813144396
MSI MAG B560M BAZOOKA $139.99

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/intel-...ked-desktop-processor/6452218.p?skuId=6452218
Intel Core i5-11400 $189.99

https://www.amazon.com/Gelid-Solutions-Phantom-Cooler-Case/dp/B076KYYSRW
Gelid Solutions Phantom CPU Cooler $36.99

https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Ballistix-Desktop-Gaming-BL2K8G32C16U4B/dp/B083TRRT16/
Crucial Ballistix DDR4 3200MHz 16GB (8GBx2) CL16 $87.99

https://www.amazon.com/PNY-CS2130-Internal-Solid-State/dp/B0869B4Q66/
PNY CS2130 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Gen3 x4 Internal SSD $114.99

https://www.ebay.com/itm/353544085952
EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 XC GAMING 12GB $680.00

Total: $1396

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-XB253Q-Gpbmiiprzx-Compatible-DisplayHDR400/dp/B087GTR74D/
Acer Predator XB253Q 24.5" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible Gaming Monitor $249.99

https://www.amazon.com/Pro-USB-Activation-Original-Lifetime/dp/B09733KX1S/
Windоws 10 Pro USB 32 / 64 bit $73.00

Review of that cpu. Look for Core i5 11400F + Opt on the benchmarks.

https://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/intel-core-i5-11400f-processor-review,1.html

A better look at that board.


A better look at that case.

https://www.phanteks.com/Eclipse-P360A.html
The seller of the GPU seems weird. 9 feedback rating, although 100%, its all from purchases he has made, no sale. And the price is about 200$ lower than all other 3060's on eBay. Could it be real? Sure. But Ive used eBay enough to know all the red signs.

But even if you had to pay 750-800$ that would still be cheaper than mine, and better. I didnt realize the price came down that much for the 3060. Just be careful on eBay.
 
Jun 23, 2021
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Thanks all for the info so far. I'll probably suggest he buys a pre-build, but leave it up to him if he wants a custom build. There aren't any good places that let you custom order one?

I'll talk to him probably Monday and give let him decide.

This looks good, but the deal expired.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
The seller of the GPU seems weird. 9 feedback rating, although 100%, its all from purchases he has made, no sale. And the price is about 200$ lower than all other 3060's on eBay. Could it be real? Sure. But Ive used eBay enough to know all the red signs.

But even if you had to pay 750-800$ that would still be cheaper than mine, and better. I didnt realize the price came down that much for the 3060. Just be careful on eBay.
Just to be clear - if you buy a GPU off eBay right now - do so at your own risk! Buy with extreme caution because there's a lot of scammers out there, and some sites have policies that will make it so they won't be held accountable in the event that you do get scammed. Use extreme caution if this is where you ultimately wind up purchasing a GPU from.
 
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Eximo

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Ambassador
$1470 (4-5weeks to deliver, they have to wait on the GPUs to come in)

https://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Battlebox-2021-Essential-Core
I swapped out:
Storage for a 1TB NVMe SSD
CPU cooler to an air cooler (for longevity)
Picked out a case with some front vents
Swapped the power supply for something branded and reliable

Everything else pretty much as they sell it, not terrible part choice on the motherboard. They are selling the CPU at a bit of a premium, but the 'cheaper' options are more expensive from them. Part of their sales tricks.

Operating System: Windows 10 Home (64-bit Edition)
Gaming Chassis: CyberpowerPC Eclipse P418R DRGB ATX Mid-Tower High Air Flow Gaming Case
+ 3x 120mm ARGB Fans (White Color)
CPU: Intel® Core™ Processor i5-11600KF 6/12 3.90GHz [Turbo 4.9GHz] 12MB Cache LGA1200 [w/o Integrated Graphic]
Freebie of Processor: Intel Pick Your Game Ubisoft Gaming Bundle - Digital Code
CPU / Processor Cooling Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition CPU Cooler w/ PWM fan - Efficient Cooling Performance
Motherboard: ASUS PRIME Z590-V ATX, ARGB, 1GbE LAN, 2 PCIe x16, 3 PCIe x1, 4 SATA3, 3x M.2 SATA/PCIe
RAM / System Memory: 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4/3200MHz Dual Channel Memory (ADATA XPG Z1)
Video Card: GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6 (Turing) [VR Ready]
Power Supply: 650 Watts - Corsair RM Series RM650 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Fully Modular Ultra Quiet Power Supply
Primary Hard Drive: 1TB WD Blue SN550 Series PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - Seq R/W: Up to 2400/1950 MB/s, Rnd R/W up to 410/405k (Single Drive)
 

Jason H.

Distinguished
$1470 (4-5weeks to deliver, they have to wait on the GPUs to come in)

https://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Battlebox-2021-Essential-Core
I swapped out:
Storage for a 1TB NVMe SSD
CPU cooler to an air cooler (for longevity)
Picked out a case with some front vents
Swapped the power supply for something branded and reliable

Everything else pretty much as they sell it, not terrible part choice on the motherboard. They are selling the CPU at a bit of a premium, but the 'cheaper' options are more expensive from them. Part of their sales tricks.

Operating System: Windows 10 Home (64-bit Edition)
Gaming Chassis: CyberpowerPC Eclipse P418R DRGB ATX Mid-Tower High Air Flow Gaming Case
+ 3x 120mm ARGB Fans (White Color)
CPU: Intel® Core™ Processor i5-11600KF 6/12 3.90GHz [Turbo 4.9GHz] 12MB Cache LGA1200 [w/o Integrated Graphic]
Freebie of Processor: Intel Pick Your Game Ubisoft Gaming Bundle - Digital Code
CPU / Processor Cooling Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition CPU Cooler w/ PWM fan - Efficient Cooling Performance
Motherboard: ASUS PRIME Z590-V ATX, ARGB, 1GbE LAN, 2 PCIe x16, 3 PCIe x1, 4 SATA3, 3x M.2 SATA/PCIe
RAM / System Memory: 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4/3200MHz Dual Channel Memory (ADATA XPG Z1)
Video Card: GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6 (Turing) [VR Ready]
Power Supply: 650 Watts - Corsair RM Series RM650 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Fully Modular Ultra Quiet Power Supply
Primary Hard Drive: 1TB WD Blue SN550 Series PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - Seq R/W: Up to 2400/1950 MB/s, Rnd R/W up to 410/405k (Single Drive)
Id rather go with my rig and pay an extra 100 than buy anything from CyberPower.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
You can run 144fps 1080p all day long on an i7-3770K without issue. It all depends on the games.

You don't need a 3800x, for gaming there's very little gains over the 3600x, although currently the 11400 series Intel is the budget cpu to beat, going head to head with a 10600k. Can also run a 10700 if you do decide you need cores. The 5600x pulls the same, if not better than the 3800x, which honestly was a useless cpu, nothing more than a 105w version of the 65w 3700x. Almost identical numbers.
 

Jason H.

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You can run 144fps 1080p all day long on an i7-3770K without issue. It all depends on the games.

You don't need a 3800x, for gaming there's very little gains over the 3600x, although currently the 11400 series Intel is the budget cpu to beat, going head to head with a 10600k. Can also run a 10700 if you do decide you need cores. The 5600x pulls the same, if not better than the 3800x, which honestly was a useless cpu, nothing more than a 105w version of the 65w 3700x. Almost identical numbers.
I agree it was a useless cpu. Runs hotter with minimal performance increase, but its a great cpu for its price.

Im not super familiar with intel, I just know they usually run more expensive so I always recommend AMD for budget builds.

I would not agree that there are little gains over the 3600x. But we can agree to disagree there.

I recommend the 3800x because I use it. Along with the 2060s. And your right, for most games its fine for 144fps 1080p but it still lacks some single core performance which makes it struggle in other games. And his max budget was 1500$ so the 3800x fit right in.

RDR2 for example, I cannot break over 100fps on max settings. Rust, cannot break over 100fps on all low settings. COD Warzone, hard to break over 144fps on high/max.

Theres certain titles where even the 3800x struggles. The 2060s is a beast of a card however.

So I was trying to keep it budget friendly while providing a cpu I know for a fact will be good for most games at 144fps 1080p. And for the games that will struggle, at least give him 100fps average.

IMO anything less than the performance level of the 3800x, be it AMD or Intel, will not give the best experience for a overall gaming pc.
 

Jason H.

Distinguished
I like the looks of this one. Slightly over budget, but has the Nvidia 3070 8GB.

https://www.newegg.com/asus-ga15dk-ds776/p/N82E16883221675
I mean if you want to up the budget, I could put a better build together for you. Unless you are set on getting it prebuilt. I based mine off a 1500$ budget and the fact new gpus are far between for a good deal, unless bought in a prebuilt which I had already stated would cost a bit more, but would economically make sense when compared to buying the gpu yourself to build your own rig.

If you have a 1800$ budget now then yes that would be a great deal as the gpu itself is over a grand from most reputable sellers.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
If I had to build a new PC today and didn't already have a GPU on hand, I'd go with the i5-11400/11500 or Ryzen 5600G and make-do with the IGP until GPU prices come back down to Earth. Thanks to China's crack-down on crypto and the new Africrypt Bitcoin heist, crypto prices are in free-fall again and GPU resale prices are coming down fairly hard.

Toughing it out 2-3 more months could save you a few hundred dollars on the GPU, more if you go higher-end.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
5600x stomps on a 3800x. 5600x is $289. 3800x is $344. The 3800x is a bad buy no matter which way you look at it in comparison.

The 11400 and 5600x go head to head ± on wins depending on the title, but rarely more than a few meaningless fps difference. The 11400 is $269, the 5600x is $289, so a choice in motherboard is going to be the determining factor. The B550 boards are all good performance and better priced on average, the budget B560 boards are junk and offer pretty much 0 upgrade path to a stronger cpu whereas even the budget B550 can handle upto a 5900x with no worries.

Generally you'll get more for your money with Amd, but the trade off is its less plug-and-play than Intel.
 
Reactions: Hellfire13
Jun 23, 2021
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I mean if you want to up the budget, I could put a better build together for you. Unless you are set on getting it prebuilt. I based mine off a 1500$ budget and the fact new gpus are far between for a good deal, unless bought in a prebuilt which I had already stated would cost a bit more, but would economically make sense when compared to buying the gpu yourself to build your own rig.

If you have a 1800$ budget now then yes that would be a great deal as the gpu itself is over a grand from most reputable sellers.
I'm probably going to suggest a pre-built. With all the parts shortages, I just don't like the idea of buying parts from 3+ vendors. I've built them myself before, but it's been over 10 years. I like the idea of buying it from one vendor and having a warranty.

If he REALLY wants a custom built PC, I might offer to help him build it himself. I figure if he wants a custom build, he should learn how to do for later upgrades, etc. That's how I got started in the IT field. I got my first job by answering tech questions about gaming on the Internet back in the dial up days.

I'll run the budget by his mom. Before looking, I told her roughly $1500 and mentioned the chip shortage, etc. So we'll see. Maybe I can stretch the budget a bit.
 
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Jun 23, 2021
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His mom approved the Asus at $1800. I've always liked Asus stuff. Seems to be more upgrade friendly than some of the others.

Though is there something better for the money in a pre-built system? I was looking at the Alienware PC's too, but apparently they won't ship to California because of some lame energy efficiency regulation.

Looked at the HP Omen, but thought the specs didn't match the Asus.
 
Reactions: Jason H.

Jason H.

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His mom approved the Asus at $1800. I've always liked Asus stuff. Seems to be more upgrade friendly than some of the others.

Though is there something better for the money in a pre-built system? I was looking at the Alienware PC's too, but apparently they won't ship to California because of some lame energy efficiency regulation.

Looked at the HP Omen, but thought the specs didn't match the Asus.
Awesome man glad you got it all figured out with a better budget!

Sometimes people come on here with like a 600-800$ budget, and its just so hard now a days to do anything under 1500$ that economically makes sense to buy. If your looking for a pc that can do what you want it to, and not the bare minimum yano.

I think that build will work great for the kid who will be using it. Also I would trust a ASUS prebuilt more than a cyberpower or ibuypower any day of the week. Good job man!
 
Reactions: dirtyharry77

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