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Budget gaming mother/son build. This was fun!
by polykow
Permalink:   (115 comments)
Description

My son saved his money and we researched and with the help or PCPartPicker built this awesome gaming computer for under a thousand dollars. There is room to grow as he saves more money. We will get another video card for SLI and the motherbard, CPU and video card are overclockable!

This computer is solid. Even the cheap case we got was pretty awesome with side cable management , three fans and loads of room. Getting the parts in was a breeze and lots of fun. A local computer repair shop was going out of bussiness and gave my son the anti-static mat and some other small parts like a keyboard and mouse. Later on we will get some better ones but those are great for now.

Don't be intimidated ! It is easy. Do your research and pick a budget. Anyone can do it and it really is fun! By the way my son is 11 and has been an avid gamer since he was 3~! Everything fired up when we plugged in and tested.

We pretty much bought everything on Newegg because with the help of PCPartPicker when everything had a promotion, rebate and combo we pulled the plug and bought them. We saved about $200 at least that way!

I will add more information and pictures ( I did not get any with cables looking nice yet) as we try different games.

EDIT and PS:Thanks for all the tips and comments. We are getting another memory stick to match that one. We just did not have the funds last week. I do have a better CPU cooler on my favorite parts list that we will get before we try to overclock.

Thanks for the comments and I realize I should have gone with a bigger PSU to be able to add a second video card but since that may take a while we will be good for a long time.

EDIT 2- Just added a second memory stick! Future updgrades will be: Better CPU heatsink fan A second GPU for SLI and a bigger PSU to go with that!

Edit Price- These are the correct prices I paid - Now take off $161.99 from the total ( discounts and rebates) The total was $924.93> But then I added a second memory stick which I still got it on sale for $59.99 so add that to the total above for: $ 984.92

So we kept the build under the top of our budget!

It is 10 months later and I am updating to add the keyboard and mouse my son bought! He got a Microsoft Sidewinder x4 Keyboard and a 1 x Perixx MX-1000 Iron Gaming Mouse - 7 Programmable Button, 5 User Profile, Omron Micro Switches, Avago 2000DPI A3050 . and a Perixx Gaming Mouse pad. all for around $77 dollars.

10 months later and there are no issues with this awesome computer!

Part List
Details
Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.4GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle-
CPU Temperature Under Load-
MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.08Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate6.01Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle-
GPU Temperature Under Load-
Comments
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
 
 
RyneSmith [7 Builds] 30 points 14 months ago

Haven't seen a mother/son build on the site before so automatic +1 from me!

Wicked hair as well haha

The only thing I would've done differently is gotten a 2x4 module on the RAM to take advantage of the dual channel memory but other than that looks good

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

Thanks RyneSmith anbd yes for the RAM- This stick came free so we will be getting another ASAP with my new paycheck! Can't pass free when you have a very tight budget!

 
 
RyneSmith [7 Builds] 2 points 14 months ago

Very nice sorry if you put that in the comments and I simply didn't read it!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

No that is OK I like the information! It is all great!

 
 
dschutt84 [3 Builds] 5 points 14 months ago

Get yourself a H212 Evo and this build will be golden. Plus buy another 8gb of ram (make sure its the same type). These are dual channel motherboards its best to run them that way or you aren't running them correctly. (2 dims should go in the same color)

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

dshutt84 Thanks! Yes for the RAM. Getting it as soon as I get next paycheck! Reason I did not was because that stick was a combo and free and our budget was really tight but that is my first on the list. Thanks for the tip on the H212 Evo! That is in our list so we can overclock it in the future!

 
 
PickItApart 4 points 14 months ago

Don't overclock without the Evo. If you use the intel one you'll kill your CPU and more.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

YES! I will be upgrading that before we try to overclock! Thanks.

 
 
fsma92 [2 Builds] 3 points 14 months ago

made sure the ram has the same timings and it's the same speed so it's compatible in dual channel..

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Yes. I am adding it sooner than later so I don't run into problems finding the right one.

 
 
fsma92 [2 Builds] 2 points 14 months ago

to be honest it's not even necessary. The difference between dual channel and single channel is barely noticeable you can check it up only.. some people on her might tell you other wise but I personally think you should keep the money.. unless you son has a minecraft server and plays a really demanding game and has a lot of apps open you wont need the extra ram.

 
 
dschutt84 [3 Builds] 1 point 14 months ago

It makes the system run more stable.

 
 
fsma92 [2 Builds] 1 point 14 months ago

I've had PC's in the past with single DIMM's never had problems, although I never really stressed them much.. So I don't know what kind of a difference we are talking about..

 
 
dalethezombie [2 Builds] 5 points 14 months ago

I wish my mom would do this with me xD

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 5 points 14 months ago

ask her!!! Show her this. She just might :) Good luck!

 
 
dalethezombie [2 Builds] 1 point 14 months ago

i picked out parts for us to build! but she's just not into that. But i will show her this!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Good luck!

 
 
Enlyten [1 Build] 4 points 14 months ago

Mother and son? That's great, keep your kids close. As others have said, pick a nice CPU cooler out and this is a fantastic build. Regardless, +1.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 7 points 14 months ago

A family that games together stays together :)

 
 
Mattkx4 6 points 13 months ago

Lol that is totally not what my family says ;-P

 
 
XDestroyer 2 points 9 months ago

Damn, you must have the best family ever...

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 9 months ago
 
 
fsma92 [2 Builds] 3 points 14 months ago

This is freaking awesome, you son is really a lucky guy ! :D

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 14 months ago

thanks! He is a great son!

 
 
fsma92 [2 Builds] 5 points 14 months ago

He must really love you right now! you must be a super star for him lol :) You did great! probably one of the best projects a parent/child can do if the funds are available. !

Props to you mom!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

:) thanks

 
 
NiftyStorm [3 Builds] 2 points 14 months ago

Awesome!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks! You got some awesome builds!

 
 
Bladedrummer [3 Builds] 2 points 14 months ago

Very nice! As other people mentioned, add a cooler and you're golden. I have the same mobo, I really like it.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

Great! Good to hear that. There are so many choices and since my son wanted windows 7 and our budget was so tight ( even his 7 year old sister gave him $50 towards it). I think that is a good price!

 
 
Bladedrummer [3 Builds] 1 point 14 months ago

Yeah, I don't think you can beat that mobo for quality/price, in that range.

 
 
BiGUNMAN [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

Good choice on the 760 its a real beast!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

Awesome. I was going to go with a different one until I found the 760 and read about it and I was sold! We are so excited. No sleeping here tonight!

 
 
hunter32tz [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

You just won mom of the year award. First time I've ever seen a mom and son build, that's pretty awesome.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

Mom is the geek in the house :) Son takes after me !

 
 
MadMac [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

Great system! I recently ordered the parts for my new computer, they are at the house, im still in afghanistan. When i get back soon, my kids and I are gonna build it together. Cant wait to post my finished build on here.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

Awesome! I bet they can't wait! Good luck over there and be safe. Let me know when it is done !

 
 
AH__Banana [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Very solid build, the 760 SLI when you do it will be amazing.

Just checked power consumption, you may want to upgrade your PSU at the same time.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

AH_Banana, PCPartPicker still shows my comsumption unde the 600 with another video card but I am keeping that in mind. Thanks for the tip.

 
 
AH__Banana [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Good rule of thumb is to get a PSU that can handle 25% more than the system consumption (especially if you are considering overclocking.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Sounds like a plan then :) Thanks.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

So you would say a 750 should do ? ( I looked at your build)

 
 
IamApropos [3 Builds] 1 point 14 months ago

yes a 750 gives enough headroom to be efficient.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

awesome thanks!

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Sabotage 1 point 14 months ago

Great work!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks!

 
 
slowbird 1 point 14 months ago

Great build for the price!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

thanks :) Yeah budget is the big thing when picking parts. We wanted something we could upgrade and get the most bang for the buck. Being able to overclock and get another video card for SLI was the way we went. I think this computer will be good for years until we need to build a new one and it will still be a great home computer for me to tinker with in the future.

 
 
tmladd [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

He must be lucky. I am 14 and I have to get all of the money to build a pc by myself, no parent help. I got the money now though, so I am currently going to buy my parts this week.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Good luck! This site helped so much! reading and comparing. Also Tom's Hardware has some great articles and a forum to read that helped a bunch. Would like to see yours when it is ready :)

 
 
tmladd [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Yep, I have been spending about a month or two of reading what is best to get. Toms hardware tends to freeze a lot for me though. Hahaha, ironic? Anyways, I will probably reply to this with a link when it is done so you can see!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

DO that!

 
 
UnexceptionalJew 1 point 14 months ago

Im absolutely loving this build! You and your son did an amazing job! One thing though. For only like $10-15 more you could have gotten the pro version of that SSD. Has much faster write speeds. Other than that incredible job!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Will add to my list of future purchases. thanks!

 
 
none1980 1 point 14 months ago

This is really awesome! Great build and well balanced. And that's really great that you got involved and built it with him, kudos to you both!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

thanks ! We both had so much fun. He slept like 3 hours last night !

 
 
DishRagBoy 1 point 14 months ago

Very nice! You and your son did a great job! +1 From me! Hope theirs more updates in the future!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

I will keep it updated!Thanks

 
 
godshawk 1 point 14 months ago

But, but, but, dis nu be bujet! D:

Srsly, looks nice!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

thanks :)

 
 
Goku671 [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

lucky, my mom is addicted to meth :(

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

Sorry Goku ( by the way we are huge Dragon Ball fans!)

 
 
Goku671 [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

lmfao just wanted to see if anyone would believe that. By the way, how did you receive the splintercell code? my 780 is on the way but iamazon never emailed me a code

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 14 months ago

It came in the box. The print out with the code :) Get in touch with Amazon and ask for it. They do have good costumer service. Glad you were joking! HA

 
 
Goku671 [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

did it come in the shipping box or the retail box

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

I think shipping box! It was just in there inside of a ziplock bag :)

 
 
Goku671 [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

i don't think i will be getting one :(

 
 
onemanhitsquad [2 Builds] 1 point 14 months ago

gotta luv the women gamers...my wife is as ate up with it as I am...and we are so old we don't buy green bananas!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Must be fun to game together...unless you are very competitive!

 
 
LibanPC 1 point 14 months ago

wish my mom did things like this when i was younger last mouth i tried to get her to build a pc but she said it was to complicated and she just wanted a new desktop for under 500$

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Get her involved! Tell her it is like putting a puzzle together! She may enjoy it. Or just build one for her! She will love it I am sure!!

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polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks and that is a great point! We have no plans for it in the near future. My son is 11 and who know if in a couple years he wants more. We thought about all the possibilities for upgrading and this was what we could afford and still be able to go bigger in the future. Right now he is pretty happy with what he has. It is just great to be able to if he wanted :)

 
 
VitaHunter81 [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Awesome build! Well done both of you!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks!

 
 
ILPC 1 point 13 months ago

water coolers FTW

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 13 months ago

I have thought about it :) Do you suggest one in particular?

 
 
ILPC 1 point 13 months ago

well it depends on how far you plan to overclock it but if you want a cheap good water cooler go for the corsair h80

if you want to spend upwards of 150 for a corsair 110 then you get 2 fans whuch equals a more cooler system and you can overclock it further

plus the k series from intel are ridiculously easy to overclock as long as you have a decent or really good cpu cooler because anyonyone who builds there own computer knows not to use the cpu fan that comes with the processor

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 13 months ago

Awesome ! Thanks. That is the next thing in the list! A good cooler and overclocking! Thanks I will check those out!

 
 
ILPC 1 point 13 months ago

oh and if you can try to route as many cables through the back for a cleaner looking inside

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 13 months ago

I got to post more pictures after we got the cables all cleaned up. IT looks much better!

 
 
Mattkx4 1 point 13 months ago

This is a great build!!! I hope mine looks as good as this when it is done! The one thing I might have done differently is dropped the SSD for the moment and gotten a better case which would have room for more expansion. Don't get me wrong it's a great build, but I've learned from past experience you never want to skimp out on the case. :P wish my mom did this for me though :P

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 13 months ago

I was surprised how much I liked the cheap case! IT has cable management on the side panel, space for lots of things. It is pretty decent. Came with three fans that run smooth and quiet. We are pretty satisfied with it.

 
 
Mattkx4 1 point 13 months ago

:) it looks like a crappy case, but hey I trust you :P

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 13 months ago

I am sure compared to some! But when you have a budget you chose to spend more on what matters!

 
 
sieg358 [1 Build] 1 point 12 months ago

Awesome build guys! I want to do these sorts of hobby projects with my son once he is old enough, (only 4 weeks old right now so he's a ways off but I plan on starting him young) :-)

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

Awesome!!!!! He is a lucky kid!

 
 
fatfail 1 point 11 months ago

This is a good midrange build.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

Thanks

 
 
shhoterpro 1 point 11 months ago

One question and please reply, how come i look through some peoples build and they get things at 0.00 $. how is that possible?

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

You can mark 0.00 if you already had something. Like if you already have the monitor or the graphics card. So you did not have to buy it :) Does that answer your question?

 
 
shhoterpro 1 point 11 months ago

Thanks :D

 
 
shhoterpro 1 point 11 months ago

help?

 
 
mdlusk 1 point 11 months ago

Hey I loved that you guys worked on this together. I may try doing so with my own son and/or daughter when they get a few years older if they are interested.

Just a few suggestions: first I didn't see one in the pictures, so let me suggest getting a wrist strap for when building or working on the interior of the case.

Second, if you go water-cooling with an all-in-one (known as AiO) loop, check to see if your case can handle getting the big radiators before getting one. Assuming that fan on the back of the case is a 120mm, then you will always be able to fall back on the single-fan sized radiator. For reference's sake, (from the Corsair line of AiOs) anything from H80i and below will use 120mm fans and you can simply pop out that rear fan and put the radiator/fan in place of it. The H90 uses a 140mm fan, so it might not fit. The H100, h100i use 2 side-by-side 120mm fans, and they will have to fit at the top of the case blowing up out of it (and leave your rear fan where it is). The H110 uses 2 side-by-side 140mm fans, so it may be out, size-wise. I'm not sure if your case will work with those or not. It would be a shame not to overclock that K Intel processor. Just watch for fan noise (if you care about that). The Swiftech H220 may be better than the H100i by some reviews I've read, but it is more expensive, so I guess it depends on how much cooling you want to pay for.

Great job on this build. I'm completing my own for the first time with an AiO cooler, so I just want to pass on a little extra knowledge of it. Have fun with this!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

Hey thank a lot for the Water cooling information!! that was really helpful.
The pre-installed fans are 120mm with an optional side up to 140mm. The top fan and the top of the case has a compartment that looks like it is a space for a radiator. I would have to measure to make sure but that is what it looks like so I think I have space dedicated to a radiator. up on top. We will overclock sometime for sure!! We pick the parts so we could. My son does not want to do it now. He is so careful with the computer he is a little worried something will go wrong I think but give him another few months ! We had a special mat we got so we did not need the wrist strap! We were also very careful working on it :) Do you think an H80i would be a good choice ?

 
 
mdlusk 1 point 10 months ago

Yeah I think you want to go with the H80i or comparable size when you do get one. I looked up your case and that is the most likely to fit. I like the "i" type since you will have the Corsair Link software (be sure to update it after you get it as that apparently eliminates a bug that made it run too loud). You would be able to manually set how you want the pump and fans to run, plus having the eye-candy (it can be functional, showing how warm it is, if you change the setting) of changing the color of the LED in the heatsink on the CPU. The Link is what put me on Corsair over other offerings, but I'm sure there are good ones.

Don't worry about overclocking until you guys feel ready. Just think of it as something else you can do with the computer, if you don't want to, or worry about it, then don't feel like you have to. And if you do, the key words are "be patient". Take your time and slowly increase the speed. I recommend looking up overclocking guides online and you can probably find one for just your CPU and perhaps your particular motherboard as well.

As for performance, for comparison's sake, my h100i is giving me single digit (in celsius) for my FX-8350 around idle, and doesn't go above 45 at load, but I haven't gotten a chance to try overclocking it yet. The h80i won't give you quite so low a temp in the same situation but will work fine, especially since the Intel chips are a bit better thermal-wise, I think.

Do be sure you have an extra SATA power connector for your power supply since that is what it will use.

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

Awesome! Thanks a bunch!

 
 
Tyl3r 1 point 10 months ago

This really touches my heart for some reason. Kudos :)

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

Thanks!! My son does not even let me play in his computer anymore! He loves it! I have helped a few more parents build computers with their kids since we did ours. They have all told me how amazing it was to do it with their children!!

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manirelli [Staff] [1 Build] 1 point 7 months ago

Piracy advocacy is not allowed on our site.

 
 
atazian 1 point 7 months ago

Sorry

 
 
WebDonkey 1 point 7 months ago

Very nice. Might have to make one similar the next time that I build.

As for that hair, looking awesome! When I was that age I had failed blonde streaks (I have brown hair). I was nicknamed leopard for such a long time. Glad to see there are other kids that are unique!

And man, what a lucky kid. I'm the only one in my entire family, that loves this sort of thing. Hope you guys are enjoying it!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 7 months ago

Now our plan is to build one for my 8 year old daughter and gamer! Her old one is in it's last breath!

 
 
Fr33Th1nk3r [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

I don't understand how all these mothers and 15 year olds say they built these things, then use word phrases like "solid." Who the hell talks like that who isn't an IT pro?

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 4 months ago

thanks for the compliment. :)

 
 
Fr33Th1nk3r [2 Builds] 1 point 3 months ago

lol ;p

nice hair btw

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks~!

 
 
lostInplace 1 point 4 months ago

How did you get the monitor for $0? Or did you already have it? Haha

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 3 months ago

We bought that for the old computer so we had it before we build. I kept an eye on sales and craigslist!

 
 
senstalex [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

Good selection in parts. +1 from me!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 3 months ago

Thank you!

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PickItApart -1 points 14 months ago

Another Dad of the Year contestant. Nice of you to make him save for this. And at 11, he already has an insane system. Excellent choices all around.

The only thing that I'm not a fan of is the single stick of RAM. I'd rather have seen dual channel RAM. 2x4GB. Otherwise, awesome. Lucky kid. EDIT - saw comment about free RAM. So, yeah just get another one when you can...no rush though.

Is that $1043 price accurate?

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 5 points 14 months ago

No. I have not fixed that. It all come up to $973.00 with all discounts and rebates. The monitor NOT included since I got it on Craigslist awhile ago for a bargain. Adding another RAM stick will go a little over a thousand but that is still pretty good :)

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 4 points 14 months ago

Oh and it is Mom! Dad is not really a computer/gaming dude but mom is :)

 
 
PickItApart 3 points 14 months ago

Even better. Lucky kid!

 
 
polykow [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

I got all fixed and the prices explained now!

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