Gaming PC Spec

fortknoxcj

Active Member
Hi All

My son is shortly turning 13 and is adamant he wants a gaming PC, He has saved up a fair bit and the remainder will be his birthday gifts from across the family. He has an Xbox Series X, but is set on getting this PC as well. I'm not convinced its worth it but hey ho.

He has come up with the spec below. I just want to check with you good people in the know, is there anything in there that would be worth upgrading slightly or alternatively if there is anything that is not worth it and he could cut back on.

He currently has this monitor which he uses with the Xbox BenQ EL2870UE 28in 4K Monitor. Although he thinks he will need a 144HZ monitor in the future?

As you can tell by my lack of knowledge, i'm not looking to build it myself! Spec he has listed is as follows:-

Ryzen 5 3500x 4.ghz
Nvidia GeForce 1660 super
Cooler Master MasterBox Gaming Case
16Gb 3200Mhz DD4 RAM
1 Tb HDD
Windows 10

Forgive me if i've missed something

I think that was around £850 ish.

Really keen to know thoughts and happy to answer in questions.

TIA
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Ryzen 5 3500x 4.ghz
Go for the 3600 instead if it is the same price.
Nvidia GeForce 1660 super
This will not run a 4K monitor. (Well it will, but not at 60 FPS without turning a lot of settings down)
As you can tell by my lack of knowledge, i'm not looking to build it myself
Why not? It isn't too difficult. By building yourself you save a lot of money most of the time. Though the spec above isn't too bad for the money.

You may want an SSD but this can be added later, they are about £45 for 480GB
 

aslird

Member
He would probably need a 3070 or 3080 to run 4k at 60 fps, but these cards are rare and expensive currently. Ignore the plea for a 144hz monitor - to make use of that at 4k you are looking at 2 3090's, which at current prices is in excess of 2.5k A 144hz 1080p monitor with a 1660 would be ok for games like fortnite, but will struggle to reach those framerates on a majority of games.
 

fortknoxcj

Active Member
This is where I am confused on the value of spending £1k on a pc when he already has Xbox Series X. What will he actually gain?

The 4 games he plays consistently on the XSX are Fortnite, GTA, Fifa and Rocket Leagues
 

Coulson

Suspended
Hi All

My son is shortly turning 13 and is adamant he wants a gaming PC, He has saved up a fair bit and the remainder will be his birthday gifts from across the family. He has an Xbox Series X, but is set on getting this PC as well. I'm not convinced its worth it but hey ho.

He has come up with the spec below. I just want to check with you good people in the know, is there anything in there that would be worth upgrading slightly or alternatively if there is anything that is not worth it and he could cut back on.

He currently has this monitor which he uses with the Xbox BenQ EL2870UE 28in 4K Monitor. Although he thinks he will need a 144HZ monitor in the future?

As you can tell by my lack of knowledge, i'm not looking to build it myself! Spec he has listed is as follows:-

Ryzen 5 3500x 4.ghz
Nvidia GeForce 1660 super
Cooler Master MasterBox Gaming Case
16Gb 3200Mhz DD4 RAM
1 Tb HDD
Windows 10

Forgive me if i've missed something

I think that was around £850 ish.

Really keen to know thoughts and happy to answer in questions.

TIA
This seems a little pointless. Especially as the spec shown here isn't that much better than a console. 4K gaming is possible with anything from a 3060Ti upwards, but reliable 60fps 4K gaming requires at least a 3080. None of this matters because the cards are extremely difficult to get hold of anyway.

If by some miracle you get a 3080 then you need at least a 700w power supply and a better CPU than even the 3600 mentioned here. You also need a decent (& expensive) air cooler and case for ventilation, or you could get an AIO cooler. So how much are you looking to spend?
 

fortknoxcj

Active Member
This seems a little pointless. Especially as the spec shown here isn't that much better than a console. 4K gaming is possible with anything from a 3060Ti upwards, but reliable 60fps 4K gaming requires at least a 3080. None of this matters because the cards are extremely difficult to get hold of anyway.

If by some miracle you get a 3080 then you need at least a 700w power supply and a better CPU than even the 3600 mentioned here. You also need a decent (& expensive) air cooler and case for ventilation, or you could get an AIO cooler. So how much are you looking to spend?

He has about £500 and expects to add around £500 to that, so total around £1k maybe £1.2k

I've mentioned the 4k thing thing to him and he said he was happy at 1080 on performance mode for fortnite??

So that means its running faster with less definition? I don't get that and i certainly don't get spending £1k to achieve it.

Apologies for any ignorance, but spending £1k or so on a PC, what positive noticeable differences will he obtain over the Xbox Series X? If any?
 

Coulson

Suspended
He has about £500 and expects to add around £500 to that, so total around £1k maybe £1.2k

I've mentioned the 4k thing thing to him and he said he was happy at 1080 on performance mode for fortnite??

So that means its running faster with less definition? I don't get that and i certainly don't get spending £1k to achieve it.

Apologies for any ignorance, but spending £1k or so on a PC, what positive noticeable differences will he obtain over the Xbox Series X? If any?
Agreed. Essentially we are saying the same thing. Unless he needs the PC for things other than gaming then it doesn't make sense.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
He has about £500 and expects to add around £500 to that, so total around £1k maybe £1.2k

I've mentioned the 4k thing thing to him and he said he was happy at 1080 on performance mode for fortnite??

So that means its running faster with less definition? I don't get that and i certainly don't get spending £1k to achieve it.

Apologies for any ignorance, but spending £1k or so on a PC, what positive noticeable differences will he obtain over the Xbox Series X? If any?
You can push 1080p to a 4K monitor, the monitor just upscale like anything else in 1080p (not all Xbox games are 4K, some are 1440p).

As for the noticeable difference?
PC games generally have better graphics. But you need the GPU to be able to power those graphics, which are not cheap
 

fortknoxcj

Active Member
I've relayed some of the above to him and its gone down like the proverbial.

He's suggested having a go at building one, which i can see the merits in it for a bit of experience, for him. Given the spec he's picked wont give any noticeable difference over the XSX, perhaps it might be worth scaling back some elements to save cost?
 

Coulson

Suspended
I've relayed some of the above to him and its gone down like the proverbial.

He's suggested having a go at building one, which i can see the merits in it for a bit of experience, for him. Given the spec he's picked wont give any noticeable difference over the XSX, perhaps it might be worth scaling back some elements to save cost?
It sounds like he wants a proper gaming PC upgrade over his console. You could offer it as a PC building exercise which you can game on until the market becomes less crazy. Then you can plan to upgrade certain components. This does mean however that you will need to do a little more research so that you don't build yourself into a dead end. But there are many on here who can help you with that.
 

Scootpb

Active Member
A 1660 will be fine for 4k for the likes of Rocket League and Fortnite.
GTA should be okay on medium settings also.

Building a PC is definitely not as hard as initially thought. I'd certainly encourage you to give it a go.
 

sykotik

Distinguished Member
Something to be pointed out here !! , is getting hold of parts ,
building a Pc is next to impossible, CPU's and GPU's are like hens teeth,

im all for your son building his own PC , hell ! we'll all tell him to do just that on here , including my self ,
but i think if your son has his hopes up- on getting a PC anytime soon the only option is a pre-built one

having said that....
up the CPU to the 3600
750w PSU ,( in case you manage to get hold a 3080/90 later down the line ..
and a little 120/240GB SSD for the OS/boot drive..
 

fortknoxcj

Active Member
It looks building it might be the plan. Will be a good learning exercise for us both! But noted on the parts.

Will do some research on where to start etc!
 

maverick177uk

Distinguished Member
I built my pc a month ago and if I can do it anyone can. Go on this website to chop and change your build it will say if things are compatible Pick parts. Build your PC. Compare and share.
This website shows you buy games different builds Logical Increments PC Buying Guide
And lastly look at this guy on you tube I followed his building and he’s brilliant https://youtube.com/c/ChristopherFlanniganComputers
He’s just done a build with his son as well. Good luck, it took me a day to build it and the YouTube guy is fantastic to follow.
 

fortknoxcj

Active Member
I built my pc a month ago and if I can do it anyone can. Go on this website to chop and change your build it will say if things are compatible Pick parts. Build your PC. Compare and share.
This website shows you buy games different builds Logical Increments PC Buying Guide
And lastly look at this guy on you tube I followed his building and he’s brilliant https://youtube.com/c/ChristopherFlanniganComputers
He’s just done a build with his son as well. Good luck, it took me a day to build it and the YouTube guy is fantastic to follow.
Thank you so much, will take a look.
 

aslird

Member
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/ocuk...-5-3600-geforce-gtx-1660-super-fs-1dv-og.html this system premade is at the top end of your budget (£995). Downsides to the system are an old spec motherboard, a PSU that is on the low end of acceptable wattage if you wanted to upgrade the gpu at a later date, and only 8gb ram. Try putting the parts into pcpartpicker or Amazon, see how much you can save by building it yourself, and you can of course ask about any alternatives to parts.
 

eaglemmoomin

Active Member
I've relayed some of the above to him and its gone down like the proverbial.

He's suggested having a go at building one, which i can see the merits in it for a bit of experience, for him. Given the spec he's picked wont give any noticeable difference over the XSX, perhaps it might be worth scaling back some elements to save cost?
For sure getting him to build a machine and learning about computer parts and operating systems might spark an interest in a future career in IT, software engineering, Information Security/Cyber Security. Which are all decent paying jobs.

Are you sure he's not wanting to become a streamer. Given the games he's playing. The more you scale back the machine the more useless it becomes for games. A 4 core CPU would save a bit of cash but at this point it's going to be a false economy in the long run. If you can get hold of an APU (CPU + GPU) based Ryzen for a non stupid price EG a Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G if you can manage to source one (which might be tricky ie EBay from S Korea) with a B550/B450 MAX type motherboard. You could get the machine built and up and running while keeping an eye out for a proper GPU later down the road. That's AMD's flagship APU so it'll perform the same as a 3700X 8 core/16 thread chip which will be more than good enough for 4K gaming with a 'proper' GPU. The GPU part of the APU is a bit pants. It's a 1080p low to medium device but it would be a 'stop gap' measure to get the box up and running.

Alternatively pretty sure you'll be able to get all the parts you need relatively easily apart from the GPU. A second hand one off of here might be the best option. Unless you can get a good deal on a card by keeping an eye on older GTX/RX cards. The problem is that 4K monitor. You're probably going to need at least a 1070TI/Vega 64 level card if you can find one. Even then at 4K that sort of card will be ok for the games he's playing but will struggle with a lot of newer games.

I think 1660TI sits in around a 1070. I remember seeing 1650 Supers being available on Scan

1650 Super is really a 1080p card. 1660ti will do ultra settings at 1080p a bit over 60fps.

My personal opinion is for 4K borderline ok performance you're looking at 1070TI/Vega 64/RTX 2060 and up. But for actual decent 4k 60 fps with all the candy turned on you'll need RTX 2080 or RTX3060TI and up.

If your son is ok to play his games at 1080p at medium to high settings on a 4K monitor then it'll be workable with a 1650 Super or 1660TI. Then at some point when the GPU/Crypto situation improves a better card could be put in the machine.
 
Last edited:

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Also you need to get an SSD for at least Windows to run on, preferably for the games as well. Spinning rust is just so slow these days and drags the PCs performance down. PS 5 and Xbox make a big song and dance this time about that for a reason
 

fortknoxcj

Active Member
So after watching all the videos and advice given here, we are going to have a go at building one together. Like the poster said above, he has picked Computer Science as one of his options at school so should be some useful experience.

Also correct that he wants to stream eventually, so I think scaling back would be foolish as mentioned. We'll be looking at various parts on marketplace, ebay, classifieds and just online in general. As I find bits that appear to be value, I'll probably post in here for opinions.

Thanks for all help and contributions so far. He is mega excited about having a go at building it!
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Good luck :)

As others have said use Pick parts. Build your PC. Compare and share. as that will allow you to build whatever you fancy and show you whether there are any incompatibility issues with your components. e.g. right type of RAM and MB, case is big enough for Motherboard and GPU etc.

It will also give you the best prices for each component at various retailers to give you an idea. Just be careful with purchasing used that it has not been thrashed or has any issues.
 

fortknoxcj

Active Member
My aim is to buy new where i can for piece of mind, appreciate it will be more expensive.

Suspect we will go over the initial budget as i'm invested myself. :) I'm already lookin at more expensive CPU's but trying to figure out the gains and differences i.e Ryzen 7 3000 series vs Ryzen 5 5000 series.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
If you can go for the newer 5000 series then I would do, although availability depending on the model can still be challenging. They have had another jump in performance again since the 3 series, much more so then just the clock speeds suggest.

As always though the budget can easily creep up...
 

eaglemmoomin

Active Member
If you can go for the newer 5000 series then I would do, although availability depending on the model can still be challenging. They have had another jump in performance again since the 3 series, much more so then just the clock speeds suggest.

As always though the budget can easily creep up...
So you have keep the target resolution in mind though. As you go up the resolution scale the GPU becomes more important and the CPU generally less so. At 1080p the Zen 3 is faster by 20% or more. At 1440p it's 7%ish to 10%ish depending upon the game. At 4K it's less than 1%.

The issue with Zen 3 parts is them being unobtainium. If you can get one for a decent price then cool. But if you are struggling you can get an 8 or 12 core Zen 2 on a deal with a 550 motherboard.

Personally I'd do that so you can get the CPU in hand. Leaves you an upgrade to Zen 3 later when the prices drop or other SKUs come out. There is no 5700X/5700 because AMD have absolutely no need to make one right now. Forcing a 5800X buy which is over priced currently.

Bear in mind Zen 4 will be an all new CPU socket + DDR 5 memory so there is no upgrade path from Zen 3 like there was for Zen 1 to Zen 3.

When building in upgrade paths for the machine. Ideally you'd at least skip every other generation. AMD make that easier because they support the CPU socket for longer. Sadly they are beginning a new cycle with the next chip so you'd have to replace the CPU, Motherboard and memory going from Zen 2 to Zen 4+ or Zen 3 to Zen 4+.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
So you have keep the target resolution in mind though. As you go up the resolution scale the GPU becomes more important and the CPU generally less so. At 1080p the Zen 3 is faster by 20% or more. At 1440p it's 7%ish to 10%ish depending upon the game. At 4K it's less than 1%.

Yes don't disagree but what I have seen a marked improvement on is frame time consistency, with it being much steadier on the 5950x than the 3950x. Even when locked frame rates which was interesting as it causes some side effects in one of the games I play :)
 

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