Description

Room-to-grow rig for a friend's 12.5-year-old son. Also my first build :) Hard $800 budget, made possible through the magic of tax returns! He's been gaming on a midrange laptop and his mom decided she wanted her computer back, and that he should have something future-proof(ish) to shoot imaginary bad guys on.

Here are the things I fully expect him to add, possibly replace:

Needs another one or three 4gb units of RAM. He can add those himself and quite possibly get inspired to open the case for other purposes down the line.

The mobo doesn't have a USB 3.0 19-pin connector, so the front USB 3.0 port on the case is currently useless. I feel pretty bad about that, but this will fix it and until then I think he can make good use of all the rear USB ports. The monitor was a good deal and the integrated speakers were a big selling point for his mom, since it can now do double duty as a secondary TV. It's not a very good monitor, though, and I suspect they'll upgrade it to a large(r) IPS panel someday.

At which point, they may or may not be looking at dual monitors, and I don't think a Crossfire scenario would be totally out of the question by then. So he'd add another/get 2 new GPUs.

I got him a wireless card (not my personal choice for a desktop connection, but whatever) that doesn't do Bluetooth, so if he ever notices its absence I'll probably recommend a dongle (Monoprice has em cheap). Try as I might, the budget would just not cover an entry-level gaming keyboard, so for now I'm giving him a lightly-used Lenovo leftover. He already has a gaming mouse he's happy with, so now he can pick out a keyboard to match. Whatever the kids like these days. Probably 4 million LEDs.

I've seen commenters here say that SSDs don't belong in budget builds, but once this is handed over to the kid I want it to be as easy as possible for him to handle his own upgrades, and cloning the disk to migrate his OS to an SSD down the line seemed chancy at best. If he fills up the 1TB HDD, more power to him, but I think the storage situation will hold him for a few years at least. Plus I'm personally addicted to SSDs and can't imagine going back to booting from a platter.

Other thoughts:

This case leaves something to be desired, but for the price and the user it's a good fit. When the optical drive went in I noticed a slight gap around it in the mesh on the front, but I was looking closely and it probably won't be scrutinized like that by its owner. And the front plate itself feels flimsy, since it's plastic. Also, I realize this is probably a noob issue, but the cable management (or not) in here is bonkers. I definitely picked a poor case/PSU combo for making things look tidy. Here come the velcro straps!

As it came together, I realized that I couldn't help but pick things out that I'd love to have myself, so this build will be immediately followed by my more deliberate (slower and probably pricier) birthday gift from me to myself. If all goes well I'll edit here to add a link to that build.

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Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

So nothing against your build it's decent for a first timer. Though I would done something like this. You would've had a much more straight forward upgrade path with the pentium into something like the i5. But this will probably last a good time for a 12 year old gamer. It'll play all casual games(minecraft, lol, dota whatever) at 1080p 60fps max settings probably. Depinding on what he's into it might be overkill. This no way a critique, Just wanna give you my point of view :)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor $64.99 @ SuperBiiz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-B85M-GAMING 3 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $55.99 @ Amazon
Memory G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $51.99 @ Newegg
Storage Kingston Fury 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $54.99 @ NCIX US
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $47.99 @ NCIX US
Video Card Sapphire Radeon R9 280 3GB DUAL-X Video Card $192.98 @ Newegg
Case Silverstone PS08W MicroATX Mid Tower Case $38.99 @ Directron
Power Supply EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $39.99 @ NCIX US
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) $87.89 @ OutletPC
Wireless Network Adapter Asus PCE-N10 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter $18.88 @ OutletPC
Monitor Asus VN248H-P 23.8" Monitor $149.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $804.67
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-05 00:48 EDT-0400
  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, I totally appreciate it! I was hoping for feedback like this when I posted the build. Could've kept it to myself otherwise. I think upgrade paths for him are a moot point, but worth considering for my own future builds. I actually just bough that CPU for myself thinking the exact same thing about an i7 or whatever Intel gets up to next. Do you have any personal experience with that case or just a great budget option?

  • 59 months ago
  • 3 points

Yeah It's a great budget option in terms of airflow and features. I've build it myself one time, it's not too bard in terms of cabling, for sure doable. It's a nice quality case for the price for sure!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

only things i may change in this build is the mobo

MSI AM3+ mobos have a high change of going up in flames because the VRMs went kaput

is there any space behind the mobo tray to hide the cables?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I had no idea about the mobo, my mistake was assuming msi=quality. Thanks for the heads up! There wasn't space behind the tray, and the mediocre PSU is probably more at fault than the case, TBH.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a nice build, but you could have easily went with an fx-6300 and gotten a better gpu/more ram. Although, those 250/250x's hold up pretty darn well, even in 1080p gaming.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I'm glad some of my less-well-informed choices are gonna turn out ok! You're right about the ram and I'm sure the gpu too, but it was a combo deal and I could only deliberate for so long before I had to just go for it.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Just a little more research can go a long way! :)

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

gaming performance > boot time..... imo, definitely would have dropped that ssd and went for a 270 or 750. also that ram is a little pricey, $10 more could have gotten you 8gb (maybe from money saved by dropping ssd?)

  • 59 months ago
  • 3 points

Yeah, I hear you. Like I mentioned in another comment, the ram was part of a combo deal that I was maybe a little too quick to hop on. I think a ram upgrade will be the first thing I suggest to him. I think it's just my bias but I can't imagine live without an SSD. Ever. Again.

  • 59 months ago
  • 0 points

i understand, i regret a lot of missed combo deals haha. As far as the ssd goes, i guess it just depends on the user. I usually turn my computer on right when i get home and then grab some food so it wouldn't make a difference for me.

  • 59 months ago
  • 0 points

I agree. Also I'm sorry to say but that cable management doe.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

for the first build not bad but... you could tidy up those cables and run them from the back of the case to have better air flow (very important) :) but for a first-time-builder not bad...