Question My 10yr old son wants a gaming computer for Christmas, and I'm lost!

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Hello,

My son has been asking for a gaming computer for a couple years now, but I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars on a computer for a 10 year old.

So the last couple of nights after he has gone to bed, I have sat up and researched how to build an entry level gaming PC. I've found everything is cheaper to build, rather than buy it. But, every video I watch and every website I go to they promise one price but when I go and price it, I'm right back at around a thousand dollars.

With 2020 being such a... "great" year, I would like to get him what he is asking for but I can't break the bank. I am just looking for something that we can build together, and will let him play his Minecraft and Fortnite. It doesn't have to have the best graphics, or the most memory. I just want to be able to upgrade it as time goes on. I understand that gaming PC's by nature are expensive, but I would like to stay around $500 or lower if possible.

I am not too worried about the peripherals, as he already has a monitor, and being a 10 yr old boy he will most likely destroy any keyboard and mouse I buy.
Sceptre 30-inch Curved Gaming Monitor 21:9 2560x1080 Ultra Wide Ultra Slim HDMI DisplayPort up to 200Hz Build-in Speakers, Metal Black (C305B-200UN)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TXM7K4T/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Can someone point me in the right direction?

Any and all advise will be much appreciated!

Justin
 

nofanneeded

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Today consoles are worth $1000 gaming PC performance wise . and they are Just sold for $500

Get him PS5 or Xbox Series X , Avoid any Xbox with "S"

And since he is 10 years old , Consoles are much better for him and safer from bad games that contains sex scenes , and many unwanted online games.

Also , 10 years old is too young to know how to handle PC problems .. it will be a nightmare.
 
Sep 23, 2020
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Today consoles are worth $1000 gaming PC performance wise . and they are Just sold for $500

Get him PS5 or Xbox Series X , Avoid any Xbox with "S"

And since he is 10 years old , Consoles are much better for him and safer from bad games that contains sex scenes , and many unwanted online games.
I second the ps5, mainly for exclusive games.
For a PC, I would just go to your local best buy or walmart and you can get a prebuilt for ~$600 that will do whatever a kid needs it for. The earlier a kid gets their hands on a PC, the more they will teach themselves and learn about technology in the long run.
 
Nov 19, 2020
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Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next couple of weeks

Budget Range: $500 After Rebates/Before Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing the internet, Homework

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: N/A

Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Location:
Austin, Texas, USA

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 2560x1080
 

nofanneeded

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you will have a hard time finding a GPU now there is a shortage everywhere and Anyting older gen is not worth it at all. even RTX 3050 is coming soon..

Just get him PS5 ..

This is my advice

also , you dont want your kid every week screaming my PC wont start or the game crashed ..

Consoles are stable and Just work
 
Reactions: MiggyBroadfoot
Nov 19, 2020
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Today consoles are worth $1000 gaming PC performance wise . and they are Just sold for $500

Get him PS5 or Xbox Series X , Avoid any Xbox with "S"

And since he is 10 years old , Consoles are much better for him and safer from bad games that contains sex scenes , and many unwanted online games.

Also , 10 years old is too young to know how to handle PC problems .. it will be a nightmare.
I agree. He has an Xbox One S already. Which we have all the child locks on, so he cannot play it or friend anyone unless we put in a password. We keep a very close eye on him when he is using electronics, but I know how kids can be. I remember what I use to do when I was young!
 
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Nov 19, 2020
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I second the ps5, mainly for exclusive games.
For a PC, I would just go to your local best buy or walmart and you can get a prebuilt for ~$600 that will do whatever a kid needs it for. The earlier a kid gets their hands on a PC, the more they will teach themselves and learn about technology in the long run.
I'm all for a prebuilt PC, but at the end of the day, how upgradeable are they? As he gets older, am I going to end up ripping everything out because nothing is compatible, with the low cost/low end parts? If I understand correctly, if I build a entry level gaming PC, I can slowly upgrade piece by piece. Due to the beginning parts compatibility.
 
Sep 23, 2020
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I'm all for a prebuilt PC, but at the end of the day, how upgradeable are they? As he gets older, am I going to end up ripping everything out because nothing is compatible, with the low cost/low end parts? If I understand correctly, if I build a entry level gaming PC, I can slowly upgrade piece by piece. Due to the beginning parts compatibility.
The pre-built "gaming" ones are fully upgradeable. The biggest parts that change are the Mobo and the CPU, but for modern pre-builts those should hold up to a point.
My mom bought me a stock dell XPS 8300 in 8th grade, and I slapped a new GPU in it when I noticed my games lagging behind.
They are fully customizable and upgradeable, and for a 10 year old I don't see a problem with one of these starting systems. Unless they get an itch to jump to 4k gaming they won't have any major issues running any modern game at 1080p, or a widescreen resolution at a decent framerate.

When games get to the next evolution where it requires a new processor and mother board, that's when you'll have to spend the most money. But replacing a graphics card in a modern pre-built is not an issue, and not all of them use cheap parts.

When it comes down to it, I would just opt for a console. PS5 cause I'm biased since xbox wants to release all their exclusives on PC regardless and I like playstation exclusives, but your child may have friends on xbox so..
Yeah I might wait for a bit on the PC. I was trying to build a budget PC but it kept coming out to ~900$ so, I say wait until your child can start making money mowing lawns or some such and then help them pursue the PC market at a later date.
 
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nofanneeded

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I'm all for a prebuilt PC, but at the end of the day, how upgradeable are they? As he gets older, am I going to end up ripping everything out because nothing is compatible, with the low cost/low end parts? If I understand correctly, if I build a entry level gaming PC, I can slowly upgrade piece by piece. Due to the beginning parts compatibility.
PS5 has 16GB GDDR6 , 8 cores Ryzen 3 CPU , RDNA2 GPU with 10 Tflops ... and NVME Drive ..

You wont need to upgrade it untill the next Gen comes (PS6) .. and then you would pay again $500

Thats nothing compared to upgrading PCs .. Consoles today are better than Gaming PC if you think about starting low and upgrading? no , Consoles are better...

the GPU alone that is better will cost you $500 ALONE just the GPU.

and when you will decide to add that , the new console will be around with Double that GPU speed and whole new console for again $500.

Gaming PC should start at $1500 .. not $500 , not $1000 , because Consoles performance covers that price range.

Edit : more over : we have shortages in AMD Ryzen 5xxx series and in ALL GPU

you cant get a good gaming PC now .. not until 2021 ...

and anything older is waste of money
 
Quick search on Newegg

R5 3400G - $150
MSI B450 Tomahawk Max $115
G Skill Ripjaws V 3200 2x8 $62
Corsair CX450W PSU - $65/45 after rebate
WD Blue SSD in 2.5 or M.2 500GB $54
Cases start at $28

$454 after the rebate. All of it is free shipping, but there will likely be tax.

Would use Win 10 unlicensed for a bit, or add for that.

Down the road you can add a GPU and some storage and this rig will be set for a couple of years. Has a great upgrade path as well.
 
Nov 19, 2020
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Quick search on Newegg

R5 3400G - $150
MSI B450 Tomahawk Max $115
G Skill Ripjaws V 3200 2x8 $62
Corsair CX450W PSU - $65/45 after rebate
WD Blue SSD in 2.5 or M.2 500GB $54
Cases start at $28

$454 after the rebate. All of it is free shipping, but there will likely be tax.

Would use Win 10 unlicensed for a bit, or add for that.

Down the road you can add a GPU and some storage and this rig will be set for a couple of years. Has a great upgrade path as well.
Thats awesome! This is where I have questions. My apologies upfront for my ignorance, this setup will work without a GPU? You would think that someone who works in the semiconductor industry would have a better understanding of how this stuff works...:)
 
Just as a side suggestion.

I recommend your using Windows 10 Pro for this device. I am making the assumption that you have another Windows 10 machine that you use.

The reason being that you can set up the "Pro" machine to allow you to have remote access. You will need to regularly remote in and check up on the machine as well as his browsing and such. DO create at least a two tier user setup where there is admin and normal user level for his use. Don't allow him to have install priv. and such.

The 3400G has an iGPU that will handle the games you mention. It has enough CPU power to pair well with a low to mid end GPU and be even better. Perhaps a birthday or Christmas plan for later type thing.
 
Reactions: Justin512
Nov 19, 2020
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Just as a side suggestion.

I recommend your using Windows 10 Pro for this device. I am making the assumption that you have another Windows 10 machine that you use.

The reason being that you can set up the "Pro" machine to allow you to have remote access. You will need to regularly remote in and check up on the machine as well as his browsing and such. DO create at least a two tier user setup where there is admin and normal user level for his use. Don't allow him to have install priv. and such.

The 3400G has an iGPU that will handle the games you mention. It has enough CPU power to pair well with a low to mid end GPU and be even better. Perhaps a birthday or Christmas plan for later type thing.
Thats perfect! He definitely does not need install privilege!
 

nofanneeded

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Thats awesome! This is where I have questions. My apologies upfront for my ignorance, this setup will work without a GPU? You would think that someone who works in the semiconductor industry would have a better understanding of how this stuff works...:)
Man that CPU is 4 cores 8 threads , dont go near it . also it works at very low clocks , and lacks 16 lanes PCIe , only 8 lanes , no NVME as well.

Dont get older Gen stuff , if you must wait untill 2021 and get the newer AMD chips..

DONT Touch any CPU less than 6 Cores /12 threads today
 

nofanneeded

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PlayStation 5 Specifications

CPUAMD Zen 2-based CPU, 8 Cores / 16 Threads, up to 3.5 GHz
GPUAMD RDNA 2-based GPU, 36 CUs up to 2.23 GHz, 10.3 Teraflops
RAM16GB GDDR6
RAM Bandwidth448GBps
Storage825GB NVMe SSD
Expandable StorageM.2 PCIe SSD Slot, External HDD or SSD over USB 3.1
Optical Drive4K Blu-ray
Display OutHDMI 2.1
WirelessWi-Fi 6 (ax), Bluetooth 5.1
Sound"Tempest" 3D AudioTech
PSU350W (340W on Digital Edition)
Dimensions15.4 x 4.1 x 10.2 inches (390 x 104 x 260 mm)
WarrantyOne year
Price$499.99 with disc drive (tested), $399.99 all digital
 
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Sep 23, 2020
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This is where you guys lost me haha!
I almost had adolescent heart attacks from getting viruses and such, but through those issues I learned how to reformat my harddrives and how to navigate task manager and troubleshoot my PC., and how to not put myself in those situations.
I never had any supervision either, so.. I mean, content wise I'm in a different boat. I was exposed to A LOT. Maybe it made me a bit jaded but I feel like I'm more grounded in reality because of it.

No supervision and freedom of my own PC as an 8th grader taught me more than any computer class!
To each their own though, I mean no offense 🆒
 
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Man that CPU is 4 cores 8 threads , dont go near it . also it works at very low clocks , and lacks 16 lanes PCIe , only 8 lanes , no NVME as well.

Dont get older Gen stuff , if you must wait untill 2021 and get the newer AMD chips..

DONT Touch any CPU less than 6 Cores /12 threads today

I can appreciate your comments and also see that you are trying hard to push the console issue.

In a case like this it's probably a good idea to take a look at the original thread, the question, content, and budget.

Aside from that, doing homework on a PS5 is a bit harder.
 
This is where you guys lost me haha!
I almost had adolescent heart attacks from getting viruses and such, but through those issues I learned how to reformat my harddrives and how to navigate task manager and troubleshoot my PC., and how to not put myself in those situations.
I never had any supervision either, so.. I mean, content wise I'm in a different boat. I was exposed to A LOT. Maybe it made me a bit jaded but I feel like I'm more grounded in reality because of it.

No supervision and freedom of my own PC as an 8th grader taught me more than any computer class!
To each their own though, I mean no offense 🆒

When I was a kid computers and internet didn't exist the way it does today. Both of my kids grew up as computing became an integral part of the schooling and educational process. By the time they were both in their teens (5 years apart) they were both little hackers and I had to attempt to keep up from a supervisory as well as maint. viewpoint.
The biggest lesson I took from it all is that almost irregardless of what you attempt to block or keep them from, kids will find a way to it. Proxies were a huge PITA and I would guess still are, lol. It's going to take a lot of work and I would absolutely have close supervision and a talk about the dangers of being online.
 

USAFRet

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I don't have any in that level of school any longer but will say that considering the local demand for used systems right around the start of the school year here, I would have to say I think not.
A LOT of schools had a delay in getting them to the kids at the beginning of the year.
My grandkids fell into this gap.
That is why they have a new PC...:)
 
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