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My First Build - Mid Level Game Machine
by pastapwr
Permalink:   (22 comments)
Description

My 11 year old son was killing my laptop with his gaming, so I decided to build him a mid level gaming tower for his room.

Since this was my first build I began by searching the Internet for any and all information I could digest about building a machine. This led me here to PcPartPicker. What an awesome source of information and excellent way to research, compare, and track parts. Not to mention the friendly helpful advice of the community.

I also leveraged social networking. This turned out to be key in scoring some good deals. Such as an EVGA GTX-670 card for $150.00 and two WD 300GB Velociraptor 10K drives and a Linksys AE2500 wireless USB for $20.00. This provided us with a substantial bit of what we needed at a very low cost. I was also able to tap the shoulder of an acquaintance in Southern California to pick me an AMD processor and Asus motherboard as a bundle deal from Micro Center. The gross savings were somewhere around $50.00, but I had to cover shipping and I comped him some money for his time. Net savings was only about $1.00 over the CPU and MOBO I was able source locally, but I was able to get the non LE Asus MOBO. So it turned out to a fairly good deal.

All other items were purchased on-line. Most, if not all, through Newegg. Easy to deal with, fast shipment, and coming from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area where I live was overnight delivery even with the 4-7 day egg saver delivery option. How awesome was that?

Some deals I had scared up changed a bit and resulted in me buying items I was originally able to source for free. But that is the cost to getting things you want. Like front audio, front USB 3.0, and cable management.

Everything went very smooth during the build and I had my 11 year old do most of the labor as we talked about what I had learned in my almost 3 weeks of research. He did a great job and I am proud of him. There were a couple of items that took a bit of time, like finding out how to get the Windows 8.1 ISO and convert it to a bootable flash drive. We opted to not install an optical drive at this time.

Next steps are to let him play with the machine for a few months, then look into overclocking (would include new CPU cooling, maybe even liquid cooled), new keyboard, mouse, monitor, and possibly a Blu-ray optical drive so he can watch DVDs.

I will fill in stats after I run some testing software. I still need to research this part of the PC building world.

14 March: Added a new monitor. Ended up with an Asus S240HLabii 23.0". I could not locate this model on PC Part Picker so I listed the Asus S230HLabii. They seem to be the same monitor, except the 240 has DVI, VGA, and HDMI ports. It might be work mentioning that my son paid for the monitor. Birthday/Christmas money and a small loan from his parents. That I will indeed collect on.

Part List
Details
AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.5GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle-
CPU Temperature Under Load-
EVGA GeForce GTX 670 4GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate967MHz
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:
 
 
actechy [4 Builds] 4 points 5 months ago

Great build at a FANTASTIC price, holy smokes! +1

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 5 months ago

Thanks we are quite happy.

 
 
zippywalnut 3 points 5 months ago

+1 for being an awesome parent!

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 5 months ago

Thanks. I now owe my daughter a new laptop. LOL

 
 
fsma92 [2 Builds] 1 point 5 months ago

awesome build

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Thanks.

 
 
bigeman101 [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

How did you get a GTX 670 for $150??

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 5 months ago

I am a member of an on-line motorcycle forum. I posted on that board in the off topic area for some advice on building a computer. One of the members said he has some stuff collecting dust.

Turned out it was the GTX-670, two 300GB WD velociraptor 10K drives and a Linksys AS2500 Wi-Fi USB. He offered me the drives and Wi-Fi for the cost of shipping and an the graphics card for an additional $150.00. I would have been crazy to pass up all of this for $170.00 total to my door.

 
 
bigeman101 [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Props man, that is insanely good!

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Thanks.

 
 
marhault18 [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Nice budget. Very clean build as well. +1

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Thanks. My boy and I worked closely to search out ways to route cables for a clean case. There were a few challenges, but we are pretty darn happy with our results.

 
 
Norm101 [2 Builds] 1 point 5 months ago

I really love seeing a system built with love. It is obvious that you and your son put in some good time together and took pride in the build. It shows. Nicely done!

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 5 months ago

Thank you. That was part of the reason for the build. He needed a better machine and we needed some quality time.

 
 
leftyrojas430 [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Do you have the velociraptors in a raid?

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

No. Currently just two drives in the system. My mobo hs raid support so we will likely look into this.

This was our first build, we still have much to learn about hardware. Although I am familiar with what raid is and what you can do with it. That is all I am, familiar. Research and learning required.

Thanks for bringing it up and fueling my curiosity. I will add this to my research stack along with home networking.

 
 
leftyrojas430 [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Don't worry about it, I am 14 and still have a few things to learn and I already have my pc parts :) when I was looking into it this website really helped although it is long

http://www.pcworld.com/article/194360/raid_made_easy.html

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Thanks for the link. I'll give it a read.

 
 
Every1LoveEvery1 [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

The 670 will annihilate games on that monitor ! haha

Awesome build, great prices and clean cables!

 
 
pastapwr [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

Thanks. It was fun trying to find a way to make the cables as clean as possible.

Monitor and other upgrades will come later. Part of the project is teaching my kid to invest in things over time, you don't always have enough money to get what you want right now.

 
 
Antbanks 1 point 19 days ago

Beautiful cable management.

 
 
zscorpion13 -1 points 3 months ago

Apart from a horrible coloured case, and windows 8, this is a fantastic build at a great price!