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  • Building a gaming PC...

    Not for me - I've played a bit in the past but I really no gam3r - but for my son.
    It's his 12th birthday soon, and he's been asking for a gaming PC as it will be apparently far superior to his PS4.

    TBH, I wasn't hugely keen on getting this, but we have strict rules about game time being far subservient to homework and music practice so I'm (more or less!) confident that he'll stick to them (most of the time!).
    And he also put in £700 of his saved-up pocket-money - which he gets for chores etc - and I've made up the rest, so he knows that hard work will pay dividends.

    I spoke to the 16 year-old son of one of my good friends, who built a spec list on pcpartpicker.com - and then my son and I worked our way through the parts and I upgraded some of the components (more RAM, larger HDD, larger SSD, cooler-looking case with LEDs) for him.

    As I write, I'm getting updates to my phone from Amazon and other suppliers confirming that various components are on their way.
    So, from next weekend, I'll have a tabletop full of bits and pieces and not really much of a clue what to do with them...

    I've been watching a few YouTube vids and reading up what I can but I thought I'd ask here and if anyone has any experience of this.

    I'm really looking forward to building this with my son but I suspect I'll probably be needing my friend's son to help...



  • #2
    Sounds like a plan, Harb.

    Im happy with my PS4 but I’m not into online gaming much.

    Cant believe your eldest is 16....

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    • #3
      Originally posted by John View Post
      Sounds like a plan, Harb.

      Im happy with my PS4 but I’m not into online gaming much.

      Cant believe your eldest is 16....
      He's not - he's 12 (in a few days!)

      The 16 year-old is the son of a good friend.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by harb View Post

        He's not - he's 12 (in a few days!)

        The 16 year-old is the son of a good friend.
        Sorry! That’s what you get for reading too quickly- or having a few under the table

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        • #5
          Good luck with that harb! Not to put you off but Ive built a few PCs in my time and like Frankensteins monster, I always end up spending far too much time fixing the OS because of glitches. Ended up getting the kids Playstations to save me some grief.
          Im hoping the OS/software are much more stable today than it used to be.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by grumpycamel View Post
            Good luck with that harb! Not to put you off but Ive built a few PCs in my time and like Frankensteins monster, I always end up spending far too much time fixing the OS because of glitches. Ended up getting the kids Playstations to save me some grief.
            Im hoping the OS/software are much more stable today than it used to be.
            LOL! Thanks!

            He already has a PS4 which he feels isn't quite up to snuff!
            I've ordered a standard Windows 10 Home edition so hopefully the OS shouldn't be an issue. Famous last words...

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            • #7
              Mission accomplished!

              It was pretty straightforward really - my son had found a helpful YouTube video and we pretty much followed the instructions on it.
              All went smoothly until the guy said "...and that's all the hardware installed" - and yet we still had a box, containing an upgraded CPU cooling unit! We'd installed the standard fan that came with the CPU, forgetting that we had the bigger unit. So had to take most of it apart again to install this fairly sexy looking piece of kit (!). Admittedly it was easier to put the parts in the second time around. It had taken us a few hours so we stopped for the evening.

              I started again the next morning, and remembered that "cable management" is a thing - so I uninstalled pretty much everything, re-routed the cabling behind the motherboard backplate, and then re-installed everything again. Admittedly it was easier to put the parts in the third time around!

              Anyway, after all that faffing around we plugged in a Windows 10 USB and it all worked! Job done!

              One minor fly in the ointment is that we ordered an upgraded case with LEDs for the front fans (rather than the more basic one my friend's son had specc'd) - unfortunately the motherboard does not have the controls for LEDS, so the fans don't light up. Just need to order a control unit and that will sort out that issue.

              That aside, he's really happy with his "rig" and it was really good fun working with him to build it

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              • #8
                Harb;

                Have you installed the Operating System (OS) or just booted from the Win10 USB to "test" the setup?

                This is the first time I have noticed this thread. I have designed a gaming machine for a family member a few years ago. Since gaming machines are about raw speed, you should make choices toward that end. For the OS, I was going to suggest Win7 if it is still available in the market. It is leaner, simpler, faster than win8 or win10. On the gaming machine that I designed, there is no antivirus or internet security software other that the basic stuff Win7 provides. AV software just slows everything down. To protect the machine from shenanigans, after installing the OS, I image the entire HD. There are several different software packages that will do this task... Acronis, Norton Ghost, and Clonezilla (that I know of). I use Clonezilla because it is free (open source software), it is Linux, and I am familiar with it as I have used it many times in the past... the others work just fine though. If you use win8 or win10 as the OS, this backup scheme will get more complicated as they both resist allowing the user to boot the machining from anything other than the HD. It's doable but not exactly simple... In terms of updating the OS. I NEVER allow the OS to update itself - too many chances for Microsoft to inject stupid into you nice, fast, efficient, gaming rig. The only updating I do is specific software components for a specific reason. Fortunately, if I botch anything, there is always that HD image that I can restore if I need to... ;-)

                This kind of approach works but it requires a level of familiarity that you may not have and may not want to acquire - just sayin'...

                If you use Win 10 as the OS, an easy way to image the HD is to take it out of its host machine and attach it via a USB connection to another machine that will allow you to boot from a USB. Then the process is simple.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Reorx View Post
                  Harb;

                  Have you installed the Operating System (OS) or just booted from the Win10 USB to "test" the setup?
                  Hey R,

                  I've installed the Win10 OS. Hopefully we won't get to a point where I need to be booting from somewhere else, but I appreciate your advice and may ponder it <in a strokey-beard way> late some night...

                  Actually, I did wonder about Linux and thought of you! Went for the path of less resistance, though...

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                  • #10
                    H;

                    Yes I love Linux and am still using as my "every day" OS both at home and at work. Having said that, Windows is probably the right environment for gaming in most cases. My suggestion was to use Win7 and NOT Win8 or Win10. Successive versions of Windows have gotten progressively more intrusive/invasive. The problem is that, in the case of Win10, I believe you had to enable fast boot and secure boot on the hardware you were installing to. That means that you can not boot the system from any other device other than C: (where windows is installed in whole or in part). In a case like that, I would recommend removing the installed HD from the box where it is currently and taking it to another machine which would allow you to IMAGE that HD as is exists TODAY... presumably before too much crap has rained down of the OS. I like doing this kind of thing with a freshly installed OS. Next, install all the stuff that you would want on the machine without anything to do with gaming - just OS add-ons like antivirus software, security software, etc. then image the HD again at that stage. Save your images and label them so that you know at what stage each image was taken... so when you have to restore, you just go to the right image and restore it. The process will likely take 20 to 30 minutes and the HD is restored to exactly as it was when you took the image.

                    The only Linux environment that I can think of that might be interesting to gamers is Steam OS (http://store.steampowered.com/steamos/). Steam OS is a Debian based Linux OS that is specifically designed for gaming. You might consider playing with it on an "experimentation" machine (inexpensive laptop or the like) to get a feel for how it works and the look and feel...

                    If you have any questions, just ask my friend...

                    - R -

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Reorx View Post
                      The only Linux environment that I can think of that might be interesting to gamers is Steam OS (http://store.steampowered.com/steamos/). Steam OS is a Debian based Linux OS that is specifically designed for gaming. You might consider playing with it on an "experimentation" machine (inexpensive laptop or the like) to get a feel for how it works and the look and feel...

                      If you have any questions, just ask my friend...

                      - R -
                      Thanks for the info. I may just take up re-loading instead as it seems an easier proposition!!

                      As for Steam, my son's already done that...!

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                      • #12
                        My desktop crapped out coincident with the latest "upgrade" to Windoze 10. I could not access file damager, control panel, my computer... Tried all the internet suggestions but took it to the shop which wanted $150-$200 to look at it. They told me up front that based on its age and weak features I should just replace it. I bought it as a rebuild in Sept 2013 so it had seen some use. I got a decent deal on an HP with 1TB HD, 8GB misery, and a decent processor. (It is not for gaming.)

                        Then my HP LJ2200 printer would not work so I replaced that and my Epson scanner, both 15 years old, with an all in one razor printer, scanner, and copier. Anyway, all is antiseptic now and I have a faster machine and a slightly less cluttered desk.

                        And I do a lot of reloading but I think you're talking about something else.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rodentman View Post
                          And I do a lot of reloading but I think you're talking about something else.
                          LOL! Nope! I'm talking about exactly what you're thinking, actually

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                          • #14
                            Reloading is infectious. You start out like this:



                            And end up like this:

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                            • #15


                              Originally posted by Rodentman View Post
                              Reloading is infectious. You start out like this:
                              And end up like this:
                              LOL, happens!

                              Originally posted by harb View Post
                              One minor fly in the ointment is that we ordered an upgraded case with LEDs for the front fans (rather than the more basic one my friend's son had specc'd) - unfortunately the motherboard does not have the controls for LEDS, so the fans don't light up. Just need to order a control unit and that will sort out that issue.
                              Hooked up a unit last night to control the LEDs for the front fans. Unfortunately, my son had fallen asleep and hasn't seen it yet but I was playing around with the different effects and it was pretty cool - I'm sure he'll like it!

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