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Emma McManus
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Hello everyone. My nearly 10 year old son is a huge gaming fan and is looking to get into it but I have no idea where to start regarding hardware. 
he is looking a pc/gaming computer for Christmas but I’m guessing this isn’t the type of the thing you can just walk into curry’s/pc world and purchase. 
so I’m looking some help, where would I go to start looking at gaming computer setups and what do I need for someone who is just getting started with it? 

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2 hours ago, Emma McManus said:

 

Hello everyone. My nearly 10 year old son is a huge gaming fan and is looking to get into it but I have no idea where to start regarding hardware. 
he is looking a pc/gaming computer for Christmas but I’m guessing this isn’t the type of the thing you can just walk into curry’s/pc world and purchase. 
so I’m looking some help, where would I go to start looking at gaming computer setups and what do I need for someone who is just getting started with it? 

 

Hi Emma, thanks for getting in touch, I'm sure we can help provide advice.

 

First thing I'd say is that this is not the best time to buy a gaming PC. Certain chips and parts have become very low in supply, so prices are ridiculously high at the moment. So bear that in mind.

 

Secondly, do you know what type of games your son plays?

 

Thirdly, do you have a monitor? If not, that would be needed too, and the resolution, be it 1080p, 1440p or 4k would impact what type of PC to go for.

 

Finally, there are sites like Overclockers that sell ready-made gaming PCs and I encourage you to check them out.

 

If you reply to the questions above we'll be able to see what's best.

jeffersonclasswar.jpg

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Hi and many thanks for your reply. He plays roblox, minecraft, terraria, among us etc. He also has a PS4 and PS VR headset where he plays five nights at freddys, Spider-Man, various motorbike racing Games. He also has a switch where he plays Zelda, mario, etc. But he defo spending more time on terraria at the moment. I’m not into computer games at all lol and neither is my husband, so this is a total minefield to us! 🤯
 

we don’t have a monitor either so we are starting completely from scratch. 
 

thanks so much for your help, and I will defo take a look at the website you’ve suggested. 👍🏼👍🏼

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That's helpful and sounds like he will play most contemporary games and need a half decent computer that will last him some years.

But as I say, it's not a great time to be buying a PC as it's more expensive than usual.

Would a laptop be a consideration or are you thinking desktop?

What is your budget? 

Sorry to be asking more questions but we'll get there...

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To be honest we will go with whatever is best. Initially I had thought a laptop was more contemporary, as who the hell has desktops nowadays! Lol. But speaking with family members who are more technologically minded than myself are saying that for gamers desktop is the way to go. That it’s easier to upgrade certain parts with a custom made desktop rather than a laptop? And if something goes wrong with a laptop the whole thing needs replaced whereas with a desktop you can remove that one component and replace it. I could be talking complete nonsense though so please correct me if I am. 
 

I get what you’re saying about it being a bad time but this is a “Santa” present and you know when a kid has decided that’s what they want, it’s hard to turn them. And he’s been wanting this since last Xmas! Lol. So I don’t think I have a choice!! 
 

Regarding budget, we were ideally hoping to get him decently kitted out with the potential to maybe add on, for around £600-£700 but if it went abit over that we could stretch  a little.

 

please don’t apologise for questions I’m so thankful for your help. 

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32 minutes ago, Emma McManus said:

To be honest we will go with whatever is best. Initially I had thought a laptop was more contemporary, as who the hell has desktops nowadays! Lol. But speaking with family members who are more technologically minded than myself are saying that for gamers desktop is the way to go. That it’s easier to upgrade certain parts with a custom made desktop rather than a laptop? And if something goes wrong with a laptop the whole thing needs replaced whereas with a desktop you can remove that one component and replace it. I could be talking complete nonsense though so please correct me if I am. 

 

Hi Emma,

 

Welcome!

 

I felt the urge to respond to this, as your comment reminded me of my time in HS. My response is going to go against the rule of thumb, which is desktops for gamers.

 

So, there's a reason why I was gaming on a laptop for many years. However, that is not to say that most of the time I didn't have a desktop. I did. I had both a desktop and a laptop usually. It wasn't until I was in college that I was laptop-based for a good while. But, I was also a nomad, sort of.

 

Here's the main benefit that I had with a laptop --> I was mobile. If I was kicked out of a room, not a problem. If I ended up staying late at school for one reason or another, it didn't matter. If I wanted to game and the family was going on a trip for the weekend, that's fine, I had my laptop.

 

Here's the downside --> any gaming laptop worth the money is going to be "heavier" than a basic laptop. However, today's heaviest laptops are what the lightest laptops were during my time as a "nomad" (my friends considered me a nomad since I was always on the move). I carried around a 18" laptop that weighed around 14lbs. I think that was the heaviest one I ever carried. Had to look for a certain bag just to fit it. I think the lightest laptop at the time was around 5lbs. Maingear's (maingear.com) most robust gaming laptop is 4.4lbs today.

 

Are laptops upgradeable? Lol. Absolutely not. The cases are, in general, designed for the specs. You can't just be adding RAM or swapping out a graphics card. However, if your son is young enough, and if you basically get the best possible thing out there, he could technically use the laptop for like 4 years. Why am I saying this?

 

Before I got my husband @TurboR56Mini  into gaming, my concern was always about getting kicked out of my game room/home office. So, if he needed the space, I could just take my laptop to the living room. I ended up also buying him a gaming laptop when I bought my last one in 2015. Our laptops lasted us until December 2020. Technically, they could even still run some games today like Destiny 2, Civilization, Sims, Fallout, Witcher 1 - 3, Mass Effect, etc. But, those laptops were also near-top of the line at the time too. Each laptop cost us about $2800 each. Paid for by year-end bonus. They did their jobs well. I still use mine to watch things if I want to lounge in bed.

 

Now, if you do go desktop, which is always going to be the best way to go, I would suggest trying to find a quality PC maker to start you off... or a local PC person to teach your son how to build one. These days, I can't be bothered to build my own. Plus, getting parts is a pain. PC builders tend to have parts that consumers cannot get. Since I don't build my own anymore, I'm very loyal to Maingear here in the US. They are a great company. They have fantastic customer service and top notch quality. They work with you if you want to upgrade components. The only reason why my latest PC is from Xidax is because Xidax gave me a killer deal and they had the chips I wanted... Also, another good company.. but they are not in driving distance to me if I want to do a component swap.

 

Anyway.. just some thoughts I felt like throwing in for this conversation.

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Hi Emma @Emma McManus , I'm Lee and welcome to FG! Phil @phil bottle and La @RenFengge above has been pretty good so far and I wouldn't be disagreeing with him much in terms of questions. I assume you are looking for a ready made PC and not to be made by yourself? I was assured by the rest of the FG people here that these days there isn't as much difference to cost as it used to be back in the day so for less hassle i'll go with the ready made.

 

  1. The PC Tower (with all the bits to make it work in it)
  2. Monitor
  3. Keyboard
  4. Mouse
  5. Operating System (like Windows 7, etc)
  6. Chair
  7. Desk

I apologies in advance if this is teaching you to suck eggs but you never know what people have thought about and allowed room in their budget for these things. If you're buying a ready made PC, they'll usually come with parts 1-5 (although 5 can be missing in some bundles so beware).

 

Those games won't require a huge amount of 'top spec' for them to work, however as he is nearly 10, I would imagine he'll be wanting to be play first person shooters before you know it and that when you need a little more oomph.

 

Would it help if we found a few links on some low budget, on budget, and over budget bundles on the internet to help your selection? We could probably help with all the rest too if needed as theres been previous topics on what chairs and desks people want these days too.

 

@Greboth @Diddums @Tar-Eruntalion  @Spacedeck  @BO7H B4RRELS  @The3rdWalker  - just tagging a few core PC players if they can add anything to help with what you need!

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A huge thank you @GazzaGarrattand @RenFenggefor all the information and advice you have given. 
Thanks for sharing the pros and cons you found with the laptops @RenFengge, I can certainly appreciate both sides of the coin. But we are pretty certain the gaming computer will be a fixed location, most likely in my sons bedroom on a desk. I can see the benefits of a laptop being portable but I do try to ensure he keeps up with his other activities etc as well as gaming, so the fact it’s of fixed abode and he can’t take it with him everywhere won’t necessarily be a bad thing.

 

you guys have been so so helpful thanks so much. And that would be great if you could share or point me in the direction of various bundles that cover a range of budgets. I do understand that the likes of call of duty etc is no doubt in the pipeline soon so I would prefer to go abit more high spec to allow for that. One thing Santa brought last year was a gaming chair so we have that!! Woohoo! But any ideas on desks would be great too. 
 

And believe me when I say I’m a total newbie when it comes to all this so what seems like simple ABCs to you guys is like a a different language to me. So please elaborate as much as you want, don’t assume I understand because it’s highly likely I don’t!! Lol. I promise I am super clever on other topics in life, gaming just isn’t one of them! 🤣🤣

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one small suggestion is that whether you buy a prebuilt or a custom one you should ask about compatibility with windows 11 for the cpu cause you don't want to spend that much money and be in risk of viruses etc in five years when windows 10 stops being updated and you don't want to be left with a powerful system that's at the mercy of the hackers etc out there, not that it's commonplace but it doesn't hurt to be cautious

 

another point if you have a tight budget is to spend more on the insides of the tower and a good monitor and not on stuff with rgb lighting that your son may want, yes they look pretty and they are all the craze now but with the insane prices for the core stuff it's better to "cheap out" on mice and keyboards which can be easily replaced anytime than buy an awesome looking rig that struggles performance-wise after a year for example

 

also buy an 1080p monitor, 4k are pricier and the resources needed(cpu/gpu etc) to run games at 4k can't be covered by your budget, i have a 24 inch screen/1080p resolution and it's perfectly fine

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@Tar-Eruntalion many thanks for all your tips. I’ll certainly take those into consideration when we go looking and ask those questions. There is a local company that has turned a lorry into a gaming party bus that you can site out for parties etc. I happened to contact them to see if they could point me in the direction of someone who sells the computers or could help us construct one ourselves. He purchased a gaming computer for his son 1.5 years ago and has suggested a company in Belfast to speak with. So I’ve sent them a message and they will be in contact when they get their bundles together for Xmas. So as much info as I can gather up from now until then will be great as I’ll know the right questions to ask etc. 👍🏼👍🏼

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