Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

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AKBTX14
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:46 pm

Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by AKBTX14 »

Looking for “Bogleheads Way” advice for a gaming desktop. My last desktop build was 10 years ago (for internet/MS office only).

My kid wants to buy a gaming desktop from Craigslist/LetGo in lieu of a PS5 (when it becomes available). The present setup is PS4 and a decent gaming monitor.

Is buying a used gaming desktop a good idea?

Any minimum specs recommendations will be highly appreciated (Intel i7 CPU, min RAM, SSD and HD, graphics card, PSU). Kid is telling me that a “decent” set-up might need a new graphics card in couple of years.

Budget is $800-$1000 (I have not played anything on a PS or gaming desktop).

Thanks
02nz
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by 02nz »

I'm not a gamer but just about any gaming desktop you get (new or used) will have the expandability you need, esp. on the graphics card (PCIe slot).

Processor is much less important for gaming than the the graphics card; I'd look for a quad-core (or more) Core i5 or Ryzen CPU. The Core i5/i7 thing is just branding, in most cases Core i7 only offers a small boost over the equivalent (same generation, same power level) i5 processor.

SSD is a must, but you can get that yourself for $100 for 1TB these days. Same with RAM, upgrades are easy and cheap, you probably want at least 8GB but 16GB is better.
bryanm
Posts: 339
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by bryanm »

What’s the reason for the PC rather than the PS5? The problem with gaming on PC is that there’s always an issue: you need a new graphics card, the drivers won’t work, theirs a bug somewhere, etc. PC gamers tend to be tweakers, and I think you really need those skills if you’re going to have a good experience.

If you (here, your kiddo) have those skills, it’s probably more cost effective to build a new pc from scratch.
ronno2018
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by ronno2018 »

I think you can get a great deal on a used PC, look at this channel for some suggestions/strategies -- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw-kw9 ... y1fJm6e2IA (Nerd on a Budget).
abracadabra11
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 2:09 pm

Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by abracadabra11 »

You don't need to go used for your budget. Build a new gaming PC.
AMD Ryzen 5 3600,B450/B550 Chipset, Radeon 5700XT build can fall into that range and will provide plenty of power for now and the future.
solarcitizen
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:50 pm

Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by solarcitizen »

I would also skip going the used route. With your stated budget, you might be best served by getting one built from NZXT. I got one of these for my daughter (for gaming and school) and she has no complaints.
Nekrotok
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:44 pm

Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by Nekrotok »

Sounds like you built a PC before so you could help your kid learn to build one too! Here's an example of what others are recommending around your budget range. You can also make a new post there with your own specific needs. https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapcforme/ ... pc_thanks/

For most pc gaming, the CPU just needs to be good enough and then it's really up to the GPU to determine the visual quality you get.

For CPUs, good enough is at least 4 cores with 8 threads (or 6 cores with 6 threads) for any Intel Core or AMD Ryzen processor (preferably 3300x or 3600 or better for Ryzen). For Intel, that's any desktop i7s, i5s 8th gen or newer, and 10th gen i3s. More cores/threads should be more future-proof but it's hard predict the future needs for sure and whether it's better to spend more now or upgrade later.

GPU selection spans a wider range, and you'll have to decide how much GPU power you want to buy, which depends on what games you want to play, and what image quality settings you want to target. If you're not sure, just look for popular deals/recommendations in the $150 to $300+ range and you'll generally get what you pay for in being able to adjust graphics settings up in your games.

Motherboard: get a recommended entry level one for like $100. Beyond that, money is better spent on the GPU generally.

RAM: get 2x8GB around 3200mhz for like $50-$70.

SSD: get 1tb for around $100.

PSU: Get a recommended one for like $50. Quality is more important than wattage.
HornedToad
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by HornedToad »

If you have a budget of $800-1k then don't buy used. You'll do better just buying new.

I like ibuypower.com. It's custom build desktops like you would do on your own but they put it together for you. There's other similar companies. That way he can have fun picking out the components and then have it built for him to use.
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Watty
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by Watty »

I am not sure how much of a problem it is but I have read some concerns about buying used graphics cards. The issue is that some of them have been used 24/7 by bitcoin miners who may have also modified them in addition to running them hard. Be sure to research that if you get a used machine and then want to upgrade the graphics card.

In addition to the modern gaming machine you might see if you can get your kids interested in making a MAME machine. This is an arcade machine where you can download the old arcade games and play the games. You can make a full size or table top arcade cabinet or buy a kit. For the computer you can use pretty much any old PC that you have so it does not need to be very expensive. I helped my son make one of these when he was in high school, I did most of the woodwork and my son did most of the electronics. That got him interested more in computers and he ended up majoring in Computer Science in college and he is doing well in his career now.
Nekrotok
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by Nekrotok »

Not sure if coincidence or Google is hardcore spying on me but these videos popped up on my YouTube suggestions. They seem pretty relevant to your used pc idea if you decide to go that way.

https://youtu.be/OgejcJgIQYA
https://youtu.be/OPAx249k4bk
zlandar
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by zlandar »

If you have a Microcenter near you can either build it yourself or buy a prebuilt PC. Their Powerspec line is priced close to what it would cost you to build it yourself. They use off the shelf parts which is good as it makes it easy to upgrade. Only gripes are the cases and PSUs can be kinda cheap.

I would consider PC building a good learning experience for a kid. It's how I learned about PCs and I still use those skills at work.

I would stay away from Dell/HP as they often have proprietary motherboards which is not a good thing (cheap). Ditto for their power supplies which are no-name junk. Many of their cases are not easy to work with.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Both my kids have gaming setups. Older one has a dedicated 3 screen setup with seat, pedals, shifter for isim racing. He build the system 7 or 8 years ago and upgraded as needed. In order of importance: Graphics card, power supply to support it, solid state drive. The rest is "who cares". Younger son built at Micro Center and maybe upgraded the graphics card once. When you do upgrade the graphics card, get the last generation one for big savings over the latest. Sell your old one when you upgrade.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
jbourne99
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by jbourne99 »

I've been looking at facebook marketplace and craigslist lately with thoughts of building a budget gaming rig. Most people selling higher end gear like i7 or relatively modern graphics card have unrealistic expectations regarding price for their gear. If I can't get it less than 50% of what I could buy it from my couch for on ebay is it really worth the drive and inspection to make sure it works to save a few bucks? On top of that you have to have to spend time researching each thing that comes up for sale to know if it is worth looking into further. If you want to save yourself tons of time just buy new stuff but I'd hold off until AMD and NVIDIA release their next gen hardware later this year which would push prices down on what will be the old gen stuff which is still quite good. For CPUs AMD 4th gen RYZEN looks like a good bang/buck. FYI: overall prices are a little inflated and this seems to have coincided with COVID / work from home / factory shut downs.
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Tamarind
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by Tamarind »

This is my preferred tool for finding the right parts for budget: https://www.logicalincrements.com/
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Kenkat
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by Kenkat »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:00 am Both my kids have gaming setups. Older one has a dedicated 3 screen setup with seat, pedals, shifter for isim racing. He build the system 7 or 8 years ago and upgraded as needed. In order of importance: Graphics card, power supply to support it, solid state drive. The rest is "who cares". Younger son built at Micro Center and maybe upgraded the graphics card once. When you do upgrade the graphics card, get the last generation one for big savings over the latest. Sell your old one when you upgrade.
Sounds familiar - both my kids built gaming PCs in their teens and are still going into young adulthood. The graphics card is the most critical piece - those have been upgraded 2 or 3 times over the years. At one point the holy grail was a thing called R9 290, then it was NVIDIA 1060 or 70 or 80 depending on finances.

If you can find something used, that might be ok for starters but a basic build from new is also a good option and how both of my kids started. You will eventually upgrade anyway. Used parts are probably easier than a complete used system as well and can save some money.
Jags4186
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by Jags4186 »

For $1000 you can build a new PC especially since you already have a quality monitor. Don’t game in 4K and you don’t need the very best equipment. 1440p is good enough.
OldSport
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by OldSport »

AKBTX14 wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:36 pm Looking for “Bogleheads Way” advice for a gaming desktop. My last desktop build was 10 years ago (for internet/MS office only).

My kid wants to buy a gaming desktop from Craigslist/LetGo in lieu of a PS5 (when it becomes available). The present setup is PS4 and a decent gaming monitor.

Is buying a used gaming desktop a good idea?

Any minimum specs recommendations will be highly appreciated (Intel i7 CPU, min RAM, SSD and HD, graphics card, PSU). Kid is telling me that a “decent” set-up might need a new graphics card in couple of years.

Budget is $800-$1000 (I have not played anything on a PS or gaming desktop).

Thanks
For $1000, no need to buy used, can easily buy new and build the computer. Top of the line parts that were 2-3 years old probably cost that now anyways, so better to buy new "older parts" than used older parts. More longevity. Can easily get an i7 16 GB Ram, RTX 2600 possibly even a 2700 for that price.

Things get pricey with i9, 32 GB, RTX 2800.
Superleaf444
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by Superleaf444 »

*delete*
Last edited by Superleaf444 on Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
AKBTX14
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by AKBTX14 »

Thanks so much for all the suggestions.

I think with all wonderful links and recommendations, I and my kid has plenty to read and learn. He is already looking at various options at the links provided.

Looks like it will be new build for him. :D
invest4
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Re: Used Gaming Desktop buying advice

Post by invest4 »

Check out the Aurora R7...straddled the line between fully custom and typical production packaged in a setup for easy future upgrades. Read the reviews and decide for yourself.
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