New build? scratch or buy a base computer?

By Samie5819 ยท 7 replies
Dec 5, 2015
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  1. I'm building a gaming computer for my son and I'm trying to get all my specs on parts right first. He plays games on steam mostly but does download other games that require 4-8 gb memory and good graphics card, I had a regular laptop but it did not have enough hard drive, memory or gpu, so I thought well I could get him a low end gaming desktop computer for now, after seeing the prices I decided I can configure & build one myself that way he could more control on the parts he needs.

    So my question is it best to buy a cheap base computer that I can upgrade or build completely from scratch? This will be my 1st build, but I have replaced parts on my computers in the past so working on computers is not completely foreign to me. I've found some refurbished computers Lenovo M91, Dell optiplex 790 and hp 8200 elite. All the ones I've been looking at are 500 gb HD, Intel i5 2400 or up with 3.0 ghz, large case to have room to add on to in future.

    Thanks for any advice you can give :)

    Oh btw I am on a budget. :(
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,691

    What does your son think? Would he be interested in learning how to build? Sounds like an opportunity for a father & son experience to me. The experience in building could be worth more than the build it self.
    Spykezxp likes this.
  3. Samie5819

    Samie5819 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    He's 15 but he's no where near interested in building computer as I am. Kids.... But I'm hoping once I get started he wants to help and learn. Right now I'm doing nothing but research on processors, gpu, HD...... To build him the right computer for his gaming needs and well that is part I enjoy most, so once all the parts get here I think that's when his interest will change on building.
  4. cameron12345

    cameron12345 TS Rookie

    Definitely from scratch in my opinion. Parts in prebuilts are of a much lower quality than you could purchase and put together yourself. And most importantly its fun
    apaulwiebe likes this.
  5. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,003   +656

    Fine (and very recent) article with very good guidance...

    I have had good luck with - especially due to their 'power search' capability which far exceeds utility of search in Amazon or Ebay. When I do a build, I start with CPU which determines motherboard which determines RAM. Then I select storage and GPU which determines power supply. Finally, case to house all of this stuff and mount fans to keep it cool.

    The critical thing is to make certain by checking on the manufacturer's website that the components are known to work together - especially CPU and RAM on a specific motherboard.

    NewEgg has 'combo' and 'diy' offers which can be very nicely discounted, but be sure to do your homework as NewEgg does NOT guarantee that the parts they sell really work well together - that is for the manufacturer to say.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. lexarflash

    lexarflash TS Rookie

    Its a lot more fun to build your own, plus vendors just give the basics and charge a huge markup for better components via custom options
  7. dernt

    dernt TS Rookie Posts: 30

    Nothing better than hitting the switch and seeing your creation come alive....It's ALIVE!!!!!! (sorry young Frankenstein moment)
  8. bearfighter72

    bearfighter72 TS Rookie

    One thing it's fun building your computer another you learn about what goes in a computer and if you go to you will get a great computer for a lot cheaper and better than you can buy a most stores

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