firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

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firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 2:09 pm

Hi all, just looking for some insight, knowledge and help regarding buying a First Gaming PC for my 13yr old son. After looking at the mainstream high street stores, looking at building our own (which TBH would be a miracle) or buying something like the CCL Elite Hawk IV, I'm wondering what you would suggest for us?
Will the Elite Hawk suffice for games like Skyrim etc.
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 2:36 pm

You should build your own. Take a look at the system guide to begin with.

http://techreport.com/review/26463/tr-m ... stem-guide

Since you're in the UK I can't really suggest any sites for buying parts. Maybe http://www.amazon.co.uk/ I'm sure there are people here that will bring suggestions.
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 2:37 pm

Two questions:
1. What is your budget?
2. What resolution will you be gaming at?

These two drive the rest of the equation.....

The CCL Elite Hawk IV seems to be a budget build....but it uses some parts that TR doesn't really recommend at the present. The system guide is a great place to get good recommendations for a quality build.

Now as to build vs buy.....well most here are going to recommend build, especially me. TR has a great tutorial on building a PC. You can also find videos on You Tube. To me, it is fairly easy. It depends on your comfort level. I would see the build process as a bonding opportunity with your son. I also see building as a way to get quality components (manufacturers, especially on the budget end, tend to skimp on quality).

So my build advice:
CPU: i5-4460 $190
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H $90
Memory: G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 $70
GPU: Sapphire Radeon R7 260X 2GB $110
Storage: Kingston HyperX 240GB $150
Case: Cooler Master N200 $50
Total : $660 US.....probably about the same as the CCL but better quality, in my opinion.

Matt
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 4:30 pm

Inchinman wrote:Hi all.
Welcome to the Tech Report!

Inchinman wrote: What would you suggest for us?
I am in favor of building your own PC. By having control over the selection of each component, you can get those that provide the best combination of performance, durability and value.

If building a new PC seems too daunting, the next-best option is to use a custom assembler to have a gaming PC built-to-order using the pieces that you specify. Overclockers UK or 3XS would be possible sources. I am ignorant of other BTO choices in the UK.

Finally, the simplest (and possibly best value) option is to find a refurbished or scratched-and-dented XPS 8700 at the Dell Outlet, then add your own gaming graphics card to it (a Radeon R9-270 or better purchased on-line at OverclockersUK, Amazon, Scan, etc. for £120 to £180). The rest of the Dell system is a decent PC. Once you've added a good graphics card for gaming, you should be ready to play.

For suggestions on selecting components for your PC, take a look at the latest system guide. For help assembling a PC, try the video guides here.
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 4:43 pm

Better yet, have your son involved in the process of building the system. It's a good learning experience and can lead to good career directions. Also, a good gaming PC can run other sorts of software (image editing, 3D, etc.), which is also a potential learning experience of its own.

The most common problems people seem to encounter when buying new PC's is the lack of a proper graphics solution. Most desktop PC's don't have a graphics solution that's usable for gaming, and thus, also lack a sufficiently good power supply for one. You'll have to watch out for this if you're not building the system.
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 4:50 pm

As other's have said, this site has great guides on how to build a PC - They are worth a read. Making your own PC is the best way to do it, and usually cheaper. Over here, best places for everything PC parts wise is http://www.overclockers.co.uk or http://www.scan.co.uk - They are constantly at war with each other over prices, so there's usually never anything in it!

Assuming your gaming at say 1080P, you won't need to fork out a lot for something that will do the job:

Processor: Intel Core i3-4150 3.50GHz (£89.99)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97P-D3 Intel Z97 (£69.95)
Memory: TeamGroup Vulcan ORANGE 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-19200C11 2400MHz (£55.99)
Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti SC 2048MB or Sapphire Radeon R7 265 Dual-X 2048MB (£109.99 - £110.99)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache (£43.99)
Case / PSU: OcUK MJ-705B Micro ATX with USB3.0 and 500w PSU (£32.99)

Comes to £417 including taxes and delivery. You can spend a bit more moving up to an i5 CPU (£50 approx.) or getting a better case and separate Power supply (PSU) which I would recommend if budget allows.

Also, don't forget to add the cost of Windows on top of that if you don't have it. That's an extra £69.99 for Windows 8.1 64-Bit OEM.

Also, if you ask Overclockers.co.uk really nicely, they will build one for you. Fully custom, and a fairly reasonable price:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/productli ... catid=2473
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 6:38 pm

Welcome to TR,
If you are uncomfortable building your own PC with the system guide and you would like a warranty of some kind on the system i would suggest using the TR system guide and go to Ibuypower or Cyberpower and build a custom computer with their custom PC configuration generators.

You can pick your case,motherboard brand and model, memory CPU cooling etc with all name brand stuff from the TR guide and they will build and test it for you for around 100- 150 over building the rig yourself and you get a 2 year warranty.

You definitely get the most for your money for when it comes to a custom built PC instead of junk mass produced dell XPS crap with wierd configurations. Also whatever you get built will be much more easily upgraded since it is off the shelf parts anyone can buy and not proprietary parts made just for dell or HP or whoever.
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Mon May 26, 2014 3:25 pm

mattshwink wrote:Two questions:
1. What is your budget?
2. What resolution will you be gaming at?

These two drive the rest of the equation.....

The CCL Elite Hawk IV seems to be a budget build....but it uses some parts that TR doesn't really recommend at the present. The system guide is a great place to get good recommendations for a quality build.

Now as to build vs buy.....well most here are going to recommend build, especially me. TR has a great tutorial on building a PC. You can also find videos on You Tube. To me, it is fairly easy. It depends on your comfort level. I would see the build process as a bonding opportunity with your son. I also see building as a way to get quality components (manufacturers, especially on the budget end, tend to skimp on quality).

So my build advice:
CPU: i5-4460 $190
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H $90
Memory: G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 $70
GPU: Sapphire Radeon R7 260X 2GB $110
Storage: Kingston HyperX 240GB $150
Case: Cooler Master N200 $50
Total : $660 US.....probably about the same as the CCL but better quality, in my opinion.

Matt

don't forget the O/S
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 8:17 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Inchinman wrote:Hi all.
Welcome to the Tech Report!

Inchinman wrote: What would you suggest for us?
I am in favor of building your own PC. By having control over the selection of each component, you can get those that provide the best combination of performance, durability and value.

If building a new PC seems too daunting, the next-best option is to use a custom assembler to have a gaming PC built-to-order using the pieces that you specify. Overclockers UK or 3XS would be possible sources. I am ignorant of other BTO choices in the UK.

Finally, the simplest (and possibly best value) option is to find a refurbished or scratched-and-dented XPS 8700 at the Dell Outlet, then add your own gaming graphics card to it (a Radeon R9-270 or better purchased on-line at OverclockersUK, Amazon, Scan, etc. for £120 to £180). The rest of the Dell system is a decent PC. Once you've added a good graphics card for gaming, you should be ready to play.

For suggestions on selecting components for your PC, take a look at the latest system guide. For help assembling a PC, try the video guides here.


Not bad for someone outside the UK ;)

Scan 3XS are pretty good.

High end options are worth looking at from Chillblast too. The cheaper option is usually best served over here by an off-the-shelf PC with a midrange GPU upgrade (Maxwell is ideal for this with no notable power requirements) There are plenty of dealers for off-the-shelf desktops, but Ebuyer/Scan/Novatech/Dabs will all provide plenty of options.
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 8:15 am

I saw a Zoostorm PC pop up in an email newsletter this morning.

You could do a lot worse than this base sytem for only £276. It's cheap but comes with all the essentials except an operating system and a graphics card.

This graphics card is £108. It's a low-power variant so whilst it's plenty good enough for gaming on a budget, it doesn't require a beefy power supply. My experience with the Zoostorm power supplies is that they're decent and well cooled but low-rated (250W). Adding the graphics card is pretty easy - you just pop it into the topmost slot on the board. The only hard part with those Zoostorm cases is that the slots at the back have to be punched out and they can take quite a bit of wiggling to remove. It's not rocket-science, it'll just take a minute or two.

Windows 8.1 64-bit will cost you £72. If you already have a windows license you can use or transfer from an old PC this can be skipped.

You can buy desktops with Windows 8 pre-installed but these tend to come with so much junk and bloat installed that it's usually quicker to reinstall windows than it is to try and remove the bloat.

You will get better quality parts if you build it all yourself but the Zoostorm with a decent graphics card is £380 and under warranty. Your next best pre-built option is probably something like this, but I'm giving you the cheapest option you can get away with in the UK. The AriaPC will have more potential for future expansion/upgrades, so if money isn't too tight it's worth considering.

Do you have a screen to use, and if so - do you know what type or what resolution it runs at?
I hear rig lists are all the rage, and I <3 the rage! Workstation = Black tower thing; HTPC = Shhhh!; Laptop - AMAZING FOLDING PC!
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Re: firstgamingpcfor TeenageSon...

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 11:51 am

Chrispy_ wrote:I saw a Zoostorm PC pop up in an email newsletter this morning.


Yeah, those Zoomstorm PC are very cheap and cheerful but they get the job done. All the ones I've had dealings with have had Gigabyte mobos so they aren't scrimping too much on the bits that matter. PCs like this probably aren't a bad way to get into building your own computers. They use entirely standard parts that you could easily buy yourself so upgrading stuff is easy, no worries about needing a PSU with slightly odd mounting or weirdly long cables like you can with a Dell or other big OEM.

The biggest problem for a first time builder is what to do if he turns it on for the first time and nothing happens or it's horribly unstable. Did he miss something or is one of the components DOA. Once you've built a few machines you'll probably have piles of spares kicking around to start swapping in but if it's your first time you're a bit stuck. At least if someone has done that initial power up for you the worst of the potential problems are out of the way.

That "Gladiator" (stupid name) machine does come with quite a nice PSU though. If you can get it for £400 I'd say go with that over the Zoomstorm.
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