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

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From my perspective, I feel like a prebuilt Ryzen 3 or 5 APU based system with a B450 motherboard and 2x8GB, would be a better option than building a system if it's the OP first time building a system. A 10 year old will inevitably mess something up so having tech support and warrantied repairs would be a better option in the long run and the system can still be upgraded in the future with a better CPU and GPU.
 
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For people saying that the kids are going to break it, he's not going to let them do this alone. In his shoes I would have the kids put the atx screws in the case. Supervise them installing the cpu and heatsink. Then I would place and line up the motherboard myself. Have them screw it in place. Have them place the video card and ram and do the rest myself with them watching.






Tutuapp 9apps Showbox
 
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USAFRet

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For people saying that the kids are going to break it, he's not going to let them do this alone. In his shoes I would have the kids put the atx screws in the case. Supervise them installing the cpu and heatsink. Then I would place and line up the motherboard myself. Have them screw it in place. Have them place the video card and ram and do the rest myself with them watching.
I assisted my 11 year old grandson building his PC.
I did ONE thing...putting the CPU in the socket. He did literally everything else. 5 years later, it is still going strong.
 
The following, as OP mention does not follow the $500 max, but it should be plenty enough to driver the ultra wide monitor at high/ultra detail level on most if not all games, and yes it will be expensive.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i3-10100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($114.59 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte B460M DS3H Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard ($79.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team T-FORCE VULCAN Z 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory ($51.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial P1 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($93.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB SC ULTRA GAMING Video Card ($303.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master MasterBox MB510L ATX Mid Tower Case ($40.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CXM 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $750.50
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-11-23 10:36 EST-0500



Sadly with the global pandemic some prices are all over the place. If you can add some extra money you may be able to squize:

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/R2mxFT/corsair-power-supply-cp9020103na

or this one:

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/CVkD4D/corsair-power-supply-cx750m

Which should give you extra room to update the GPU on the future.

You could also upgrade the CPU later on, get a non-k Core i5.
 

iiSlashr

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Having a G class Ryzen CPU means it has integrated graphics. That's just fine for a ten year old doing homework, and you can always plop in a graphics card later if he wants to game. If he does want to play games/you're OK with him playing games, you will need to step it up a bit. A $500 PC won't even run a game like Fortnite at reasonable framerates, and that 200Hz monitor is going to waste if you can't run the game at 200FPS.

TL;DR: Getting the system someone recommended above with a 3400G is fine for school use, but it may not be worthwhile to spend the extra money. You might want to go for a 2600 or similar CPU with a cheap graphics card (RX 570, 1650, etc.) if he wants to play games.
 
The following, as OP mention does not follow the $500 max, but it should be plenty enough to driver the ultra wide monitor at high/ultra detail level on most if not all games, and yes it will be expensive.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i3-10100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($114.59 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte B460M DS3H Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard ($79.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team T-FORCE VULCAN Z 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory ($51.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial P1 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($93.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB SC ULTRA GAMING Video Card ($303.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master MasterBox MB510L ATX Mid Tower Case ($40.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CXM 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $750.50
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-11-23 10:36 EST-0500



Sadly with the global pandemic some prices are all over the place. If you can add some extra money you may be able to squize:

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/R2mxFT/corsair-power-supply-cp9020103na

or this one:

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/CVkD4D/corsair-power-supply-cx750m

Which should give you extra room to update the GPU on the future.

You could also upgrade the CPU later on, get a non-k Core i5.
Whoa, $303 for the 1660Ti? Yikes! Get a 5600XT, and get better performance for less money!
 
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Whoa, $303 for the 1660Ti? Yikes! Get a 5600XT, and get better performance for less money!
I was about to put a 5600XT, but then I saw the decent ones were almost at the same price, indeed yikes!. Both cards are good, 5600XT perform better in some games, while the 1660TI perform better on others. I would wait till next year for the price settle down, but he need one for xmas.

For example, the https://pcpartpicker.com/product/tRrYcf/sapphire-radeon-rx-5600-xt-6-gb-pulse-be-video-card-11296-05-20g $290 :-(
 
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I was about to put a 5600XT, but then I saw the decent ones were almost at the same price, indeed yikes!. Both cards are good, 5600XT perform better in some games, while the 1660TI perform better on others. I would wait till next year for the price settle down, but he need one for xmas.

For example, the https://pcpartpicker.com/product/tRrYcf/sapphire-radeon-rx-5600-xt-6-gb-pulse-be-video-card-11296-05-20g $290 :-(
Hmm, ouch, yeah, that's surprising. The Pulse is a good one, though, but I'd definitely wait to see the sales. These are the highest prices I've seen for these cards.

That said, the 2060 is, overall, edged out slightly by the 5600XT, the 1660Ti isn't really competitive with those two. Even for a few bucks more, the 5600XT would be the clear choice over the 1660Ti.

The prices as they are today, though, would definitely put me on the "yeah, maybe a GPU will come in the future, stick with the Ryzen integrated graphics for now."

Of course, that could easily all change by Friday.
 
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Hmm, ouch, yeah, that's surprising. The Pulse is a good one, though, but I'd definitely wait to see the sales. These are the highest prices I've seen for these cards.

That said, the 2060 is, overall, edged out slightly by the 5600XT, the 1660Ti isn't really competitive with those two. Even for a few bucks more, the 5600XT would be the clear choice over the 1660Ti.

The prices as they are today, though, would definitely put me on the "yeah, maybe a GPU will come in the future, stick with the Ryzen integrated graphics for now."

Of course, that could easily all change by Friday.

Global PC part stock is a mess. perhaps things may get better before xmas, perhaps not....
 
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artk2219

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Global PC part stock is a mess. perhaps things may get better before xmas, perhaps not....
Power supplies man, I miss being able to pick up a decent 550W 80+ Bronze PSU for $45, or less if it was on sale. Cases were nuts for a while but seem to have mostly dropped back to normal. But CPU prices are up, and Dell's lead times are currently insane if you're just trying to order, well, anything. Our latitude lead times are 30 to 45 days, monitors are 30 days, it took over 90 days to get an order of Poweredges in earlier in the year, those are back around 30 days as well. It's been nuts, the most reliable way, (even if it isnt the most desirable way) that we've found to get equipment quickly. Is to talk to the Dell rep, have them check whats in the Dell outlet thats closest to our config, order it, upgrade it if need be (ram, disk), and make sure that its ordered with the same warranty as the new equipment, the side effect is you save a few bucks, but its way more of a pain than its worth in normal times.
 
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iiSlashr

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Power supplies man, I miss being able to pick up a decent 550W 80+ Bronze PSU for $45, or less if it was on sale. Cases were nuts for a while but seem to have mostly dropped back to normal. But CPU prices are up, and Dell's lead times are currently insane if you're just trying to order, well, anything. Our latitude lead times and 30 to 45 days, monitors are 30 days, it took over 90 days to get an order of Poweredges in earlier in the year, its back around 30 days as well. It's been nuts, the most reliable way, (even if it isnt the most desirable way) that we've found to get equipment quickly. Is to talk to the Dell rep, have them check whats in the Dell outlet thats closest to our config, order it, upgrade it if need be (ram, disk), and make sure that its ordered with the same warranty as the new equipment, the side effect is you save a few bucks, but its way more of a pain than its worth in regular times.
Agreed on CPU prices, the 2600 is a great deal though, most can OC to 4GHz on the stock cooler for $160.
 
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holy jesus. When did everyone just completely disregard previous gen components simply because the next gen came out?
I was able form a gaming pc for 200 dollars with a used optiplex and a gtx 970. Literally ran most games perfectly fine.
 

iiSlashr

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holy jesus. When did everyone just completely disregard previous gen components simply because the next gen came out?
I was able form a gaming pc for 200 dollars with a used optiplex and a gtx 970. Literally ran most games perfectly fine.
Because the previous gen sucks, to be honest. A used optiplex could have a wide range of components, from trashy 3rd gen intel to core 2 duo to a 9700. The 970 is very outdated and weak in comparison to its modern counterparts.
 

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If you must build your own this guys YouTube channel talks about cheap sub $500 gaming builds. This is his specialty.

https://www.youtube.com/c/OzTalksHW/videos

OEM rig at this price point is probably going to be cheaper and better than building yourself.

Example Best Buy :

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/cyberpowerpc-gamer-master-gaming-desktop-amd-ryzen-3-3100-8gb-memory-amd-radeon-rx-570-1tb-hdd-240gb-ssd/6430866.p?skuId=6430866
I would not say anything from Cyberpower is better than building it yourself. Cyberpower and ibuypower are best avoided. Build quality and component selection is, more often than not, very poor.
 

USAFRet

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If you must build your own this guys YouTube channel talks about cheap sub $500 gaming builds. This is his specialty.

https://www.youtube.com/c/OzTalksHW/videos

OEM rig at this price point is probably going to be cheaper and better than building yourself.

Example Best Buy :

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/cyberpowerpc-gamer-master-gaming-desktop-amd-ryzen-3-3100-8gb-memory-amd-radeon-rx-570-1tb-hdd-240gb-ssd/6430866.p?skuId=6430866
Not even a little bit.

Cheaper, maybe. For a reason. Cyberpower in well known for going cheap on parts that most people don't notice. What motherboard? What PSU? etc, etc.

Building it yourself brings many benefits:
  1. Absolute control over the parts selection.
  2. Absolute control over the assembly.
  3. Better individual parts warranty.
  4. Father-son bonding afternoon, of putting it together.
 
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shady28

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Not even a little bit.

Cheaper, maybe. For a reason. Cyberpower in well known for going cheap on parts that most people don't notice. What motherboard? What PSU? etc, etc.

Building it yourself brings many benefits:
  1. Absolute control over the parts selection.
  2. Absolute control over the assembly.
  3. Better individual parts warranty.
  4. Father-son bonding afternoon, of putting it together.

1 - You have a warranty, and Best Buy is convenient for most
2 - That PC has a keyboard, mouse, legit OS - things nobody includes in their DIY price lists
3 - It has a standard case that can hold upgrades
4 - It has a 4.4 star rating with 83 reviews, implying there aren't a lot of failures

You can't build that system for under $499. You can get close, PCPartPicker shows $466.91 without keyboard/mouse, no OS, and no Wifi.

Unless he really likes to mess around with his PC, he probably should get the box with a warranty and ability to return it.
 

USAFRet

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1 - You have a warranty, and Best Buy is convenient for most
2 - That PC has a keyboard, mouse, legit OS - things nobody includes in their DIY price lists
3 - It has a standard case that can hold upgrades
4 - It has a 4.4 star rating with 83 reviews, implying there aren't a lot of failures

You can't build that system for under $499. You can get close, PCPartPicker shows $466.91 without keyboard/mouse, no OS, and no Wifi.

Unless he really likes to dick around with his PC, he probably should get the box with a warranty and ability to return it.
  1. CyberPower warranty is 1 year. You pay shipping, of the whole box. Individual parts that you buy may have a warranty of 2-3-5-10 years.
  2. Yes. And for a system like this, an OS license should be budget in.
  3. We're not speaking of the ATX case, but rather the demonstrated lack of quality we've seen in CyberPower systems. Simple things, like the DVD drive not connected. Fans not connected. System simply not booting up at all, right out of the box. And for "upgrades"...be very very careful about what power supply is in there. Usually, it is just barely enough to run the system in its original config. Add something....not gonna work.
  4. User ratings like that are mostly useless
Can a CyberPower system be "cheaper" Sure. If initial cheapness is your main consideration, go for it.
As said though...there a re many benefits doing it the other way.

Earlier, I mentioned my grandson, at age 11. That system was also around $500. That one afternoon of putting it together was a great bonding moment. And gave HIM a much much greater appreciation of how it all goes together. Instead of being a black box with some blinken lights, and no knowledge of what goes on inside.
Seeing the look on his face when he pressed the power button for the first time, on a system HE assembled - Literally priceless.


A prebuilt system, especially CyberPower/iBuyPower, is not the automatic GoTo. No matter what price.
 
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shady28

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  1. CyberPower warranty is 1 year. You pay shipping, of the whole box. Individual parts that you buy may have a warranty of 2-3-5-10 years.
  2. Yes. And for a system like this, an OS license should be budget in.
  3. We're not speaking of the ATX case, but rather the demonstrated lack of quality we've seen in CyberPower systems. Simple things, like the DVD drive not connected. Fans not connected. System simply not booting up at all, right out of the box. And for "upgrades"...be very very careful about what power supply is in there. Usually, it is just barely enough to run the system in its original config. Add something....not gonna work.
  4. User ratings like that are mostly useless
Can a CyberPower system be "cheaper" Sure. If initial cheapness is your main consideration, go for it.
As said though...there a re many benefits doing it the other way.

Earlier, I mentioned my grandson, at age 11. That system was also around $500. That one afternoon of putting it together was a great bonding moment. And gave HIM a much much greater appreciation of how it all goes together. Instead of being a black box with some blinken lights, and no knowledge of what goes on inside.
Seeing the look on his face when he pressed the power button for the first time, on a system HE assembled - Literally priceless.


A prebuilt system, especially CyberPower/iBuyPower, is not the automatic GoTo. No matter what price.
1 : You don't pay shipping when you pick it up at Best Buy. You also don't pay shipping or have to deal with multiple vendors when something in your DIY rig fails, nor do you have to guess and try to figure out which component didn't work right. These very forums are full of people who picked RAM that isn't QVL on their motherboard, got motherboards / PSUs that don't have the right connectors, have SSDs that don't work because the m.2 that they installed disabled a SATA port, and on and on.
2: That would exceed his $500 budget 'MAX' as OP put it
3 : If that were really common, they wouldn't have a 4.4 star rating.
4: I consider unbias random consumers who actually bought a product to be a better source than brand loyalists and 'pcmasterrace' types. Look at this thread, half of it is not about 'how do I build an ok gaming rig for under $500' but rather AMD vs Intel vs NVidia.
 

shady28

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You can beat the CyberPower drum all you want.
Convincing me is a non starter. At any price.
I did put in the video link in my original response about a guy who specializes in how to build a low cost gaming PC. That's the other option, and he goes through many means including using refurb / retired Dell Optiplex's, mixing buy your own parts with getting parts off Ebay, using hacks to allow getting a $30 mining card based on a 1060 and outputting the graphics through the motherboard HDMI port, and so on.

But if you peruse his videos there are many pitfalls in DIY on a low budget. At least with a pre-built system you can haul it back to BBuy and tell them to fix it or replace it and likely get going same day.
 
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