Gaming computer for relative: spend all his money or go high-end-last-gen?


Hey folks.

My nephew has saved up about $2100 to build a computer. He's not a particularly huge gamer, he largely just wants to be able to play competitive shooters with his friends "at high frames". I was speccing out various mid-high AM5 builds within his budget but it occurred to me I could put together an AM4 build much more cheaply. And yeah, I can combine a 5800X3D with a 6950 XT for about $1400, which would leave him with a couple hundred bucks while still keeping very high refresh rates at 1080p.

Thoughts? Any drawbacks I'm not seeing, besides the lack of an upgrade path? You might be able to spec builds cheaper than the ones I have, we're just stuck with the inventory at Micro Center, as he wants to do this in a couple days.

Just between you and me, I think the more prudent thing would be to buy a ROG Ally with a dock and put the rest in some index funds. But who am I to ruin his fun.


  • GavinT

    @jameshcunningham Do you happen to know what exact competitive shooters he'll be playing? For a lot of comp games, people prefer frame rate over visuals anyway, so I wouldn't be surprised if he chooses to play his games on low settings at 1080 for max FPS. That being said, I think it may be smart to go with the $1,400 build. He could then use the rest of his money on a good 144/240hz monitor, a good mouse and keyboard, and really anything else he may want to spend his extra money on.

  • Aodhan_Gorman

    The lack of an upgrade path is, like you said, the obvious drawback when compared to AM5 but if the difference in price makes that worth it I would have to agree with your assessment!

    One potential thing to take into consideration would be AMD vs NVIDIA when it comes to the competitive space. NVIDIA's support of technology like ULMB2 and Reflex Low Latency makes it an absolute requirement for professional eSports players and often something sought after for those trying to up their game. Now thankfully those features are available across their lineup, so you do not have to increase your price point of GPU. Considering most competitive titles are focused on processor performance this should also not impact frame rate as much.

  • Saihaj

    i would recommend spending extra on a 7800x3d for it being future proof, because the 6950xt is very good gpu and if he ever grows out of gaming he can use it very well or upgrade it if he needs, if he were to use it for productivity or school it will do very good for many years

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