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1st build for a minecraft/video editing homeschooled girl age 9, with inexperienced adult supervision.

Steva

63 months ago

Budget: $350, we have 5 old towers to gut for salvage, external dvd burner, some external storage. Location:Florida Use: Minecraft/Homeschool/YouTube CPU: AMD FX 8??? maybe? MoBo: suggestions please! Case: Enermax ATX Mid Tower ECA3253-PW 4 x 5.25in Bays, Front USB 3.0 Port, w/ One Rear 120mm Fan, Removable HDD Cage. Peripherals: New Samsung 27" Monitor, new keyboard, wireless mouse bought at Office Depot store closing. Operating System: Thinking Windows 8.1, but investigating Ubuntu. Kiddo loves Apple OS, hates Windows 8 on our lowest end HP laptop.

Random personal info: Homeschooling mom with no experience trying to upgrade daughter's XP & Vista computers. I am also looking for online courses so she will be responsible for next upgrade effort. I want her to go STEAM route in education. I am not a gamer, at all, and have no computing background.

Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor $104.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard MSI 970A-G43 ATX AM3+ Motherboard $39.99 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $59.99 @ Newegg
Video Card Asus Radeon R7 240 2GB Video Card $52.64 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply Corsair CSM 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $40.98 @ Newegg
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) $86.42 @ OutletPC
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $385.01
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-12-01 11:47 EST-0500

little over your budget but that should play mine craft no problem. the PSU is over kill but it looks like you want her to upgrade the computer next time, so a better gpu would be a good upgrade and you wont have to switch out the PSU unless you get a high end AMD card.

the parts that are missing, from what i understand, you already have if not i will retry making a parts list. as for your question with courses i wouldnt know but helpful videos to upgrade a computer would be

linustechtips, tek syndicate, and jayztwocentz, all of them are youtubers and i think are pretty good at explaining also lynda.com is good videos on certain subjects for the STEAM field. hope this helps if not sorry, i was having a hard time understanding.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. The motherboard was the scariest part, since I have no idea what half of the specs mean. I am trying to buy components while they are on sale and available. I like Jayztwocents, Linustech & neweggtv on you tube. I'll check out the others. Thanks again for your time.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

no problem, lynda.com though costs a monthly sub but most of linus videos has a 7day trail offer to see if you would like to keep it

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I will probably wait to pay for lynda.com, till we have more time to spend watching the videos. The teksyndicate video I watched has a table of contents which really helps. TY

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  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Any thoughts on an alternate motherboard? New Egg ran out of stock and other retailers are much higher in price. New Egg is recommending ASUS A78M-E FM2+ AMD A78 (Bolton D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

fm2+is for APU's but another option would be

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
Motherboard Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard $42.54 @ SuperBiiz
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $42.54
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-12-01 23:02 EST-0500
  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Ubuntu and linux mint are recommended. Check out distro watch for some info on MANY different flavors of linux: http://distrowatch.com/. Install is pretty easy nowadays. Generally speaking you just put it on a bootable flash drive. Lots of step by step instructions out there for that.

The server install for mincraft (if you are going for a local instance) was difficult for me, but I pulled it off in Ubuntu Server on a Virtual Machine. Minecraft IS memory hungry for some reason, so I would definitely only run a single 8GB stick until you see if you need more RAM. Then you can install another single stick to double to 16GB.

The actual computer build process is pretty simple. There are things you can do to make it easier, like using stock cooling (like in multi-iostream's build) and a Fully modular power supply (again multi-iostream has recommended a WAY more solid than you need semi-modular unit. Semi-modular means there are still some wires permanently connected, but you will definitely use them. Others you may or may not need can be connected according to use.) There are SEVERAL build videos on this very site you can use as a reference. Watch them all multiple times, they are only a couple of minutes long.

They should be very very helpful. Except...sheez, they are all intel builds. Coulda swore there was an AMD one in there somewhere. Oh well. There is little difference. Here: Linus Walkthrough

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Found another good one on Motherboards you should look at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csqnK_CwKrQ

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

TY We are away from old parts and waiting for new parts to arrive from cyber Monday sales. I will watch the videos to prep for when I have the build partially assembled, then try to make a "wish list" for missing pieces and look for price drops. I stalled on getting CPU & motherboard till I have a better idea of what I have. The new case has some top/front USB3 slots that seem to be an issue for some motherboards. It is the Enermax ATX mid tower. Thanks for your time. Now is the perfect time for me to be watching build videos. I appreciate the recommendations.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Steve, the problems may be the motherboards some use are missing the 19pin USB 3.0 header. Even though a motherboard has USB 3.0 ports on the rear, it doesn't necessarily mean they included that header. If you are looking at motherboards on this site you will see there is a filter on the right side for "USB 3.0 Header". Just select yes and it will ensure the motherboard is compatible. Otherwise you will likely have to purchase separate a usb 3.0 to usb 2.0 header converter that turns the front 3.0 ports into 2.0 ports but allows it to be plugged into any motherboard released in the last century. Simpler to just get a motherboard with the header though.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Sounds good. I don't want a lot of coupler/adapter & cable clutter or unused ports if I can avoid it.

I am thinking about the PNY XLR8 SATA 240GB SSD, they just went on sale at Amazon for $94. Is that overkill? I was looking at $/GB, & SSD seems to be a favored element.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

nah, the Crucial is on sale too. Cheaper and better. Snatch it up: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-internal-hard-drive-ct240m500ssd1

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

TY. Done. 1st video was very helpful.

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