Off Topic - Minecraft Java

I didn’t know what category to put this in, and will gladly move it if someone points me in the right direction!

At any rate, my oldest is about to turn 11 and really wants a computer that he can play Minecraft Java on. I know nothing about computers, but since y’all are the smartest people I know, I figure quite a few of you might. And I’m hoping you can lead me down the right path. It doesn’t need to be the bestest, fastest computer out there, just one that works well for the game. It’d be great if it could also double for school work. And, you know, not ridiculously expensive. I’ve tried to search reviews and whatnot, but the technical talk makes my eyes roll back in my head!

Please help me! Thank you!


You can get away with a fairly basic computer…but the speed and quality improves dramatically the better the computer. The graphics card can make a huge difference. But for basic playing, you can get away with something fairly inexpensive. I would say a laptop in the $700 range is probably good for multi purpose computing.


I don’t know computers or gaming. But I did somehow successfully buy the kid a mult-use laptop 4 years ago for Minecraft and basic CAD for robotics. They think it’ll be good for another year. It was $700, Lenovo. From Amazon.

The kid switched to fabrication from CAD, still does Minecraft and now a game called Genshin Impact among others which looks fairly complex from a graphics card point of view.

At least 8 and 16 bits of one kind of memory. You want at least 512 to 1T of another.

You’ll see these numbers in filters
I prefer AMD processors

Just about any NVIDIA Ge Force graphics coprocessor

I didn’t worry about speed. It kinda goes with the other choices. And you can select too many filters.

If you go with 16, 512-1T, and NVIDIA you can then pretty much go by reviews and price.

It’s not a work computer. And even those probably can’t be expected to last more than 4 or 5 years.

I just got myself a Lenovo with a 13" screen that is nicely light weight. From Best Buy, 12 months same as cash.

I’m just leery about Amazon lately.

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That heart means I heartily agree.

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That’s 8 GB to 16 GB RAM.

That’s 512 GB to 1 TB of hard drive.

Whatever you do, do not buy one of those machines that runs Microsoft Windows on a tiny little SSD that only has 80 GB to 256 GB of space, even if there is a second SATA drive of 1 TB.

Desktop computers tend to be more upgradable than laptops.


I purposely left off the letters. :smile:

Just recently - last week - I finally pulled the trigger on a laptop for me. My first! Seems like I helped everyone else. But I’ve still got to relearn the terms every time.

I realized while endlessly looking at laptops that in the filters, you can just look for 8 next to 16. RAM - the word - doesn’t have to be a thing. And read only memory mostly only muddies the process.

Same with 512 to 1T. You can know it’s hard drive. It blew me away when I first saw terrabytes!

When I think of my very first desk top and what it had (Sicily 1912). Pretty sure the hard drive was 128.

It did have an 8088 math coprocessor which was super cool. :sunglasses::sunglasses::blush:


So, I design computers for a living. All of these random numbers actually mean something to me. If you have questions, just ask!

My kids play on a suuper old desktop (older than my 15 year old), and it runs fine. The first thing I’d suggest is deciding how much you want to spend.

Here’s what “the google” says about suggested requirements. Sorry the formatting is so bad.

Recommended Intel Core i5-4690, AMD A10-7800 APU, or equivalent 8 GB Any modern non-entry-level graphics card with OpenGL 4.5. 4 GB on SSD Windows: Windows 10 or 11
• Discrete: GeForce 700 Series (740+) or Radeon R7 200. macOS: macOS Mojave (10.14.5) or later
Linux: Any modern distros from 2014 onward

I’d pick a Windows machine (they’re cheaper than Mac, and easier to manage than Linux). AMD vs Intel processors, to me don’t matter. NVidia vs Radeon Graphics cards also don’t matter.

Do you want a laptop or a desktop? Anything that’ll run Minecraft will also be suitable for school work.

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You mention computer so I assume that’s what you want to buy. But I’m going to throw my two cents in anyways and suggest an XBOX Series X for $500 that is basically (just about) as powerful as a computer and more than enough for Minecraft and many other games that your kids will grow up on. Only difference is that it would be Minecraft java. Unless you or your kids are already computer gamers it’s a no brainer and you don’t have to get a headache specing out computer peripherals. Just a TV.

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I meant to say Minecraft Bedrock

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Ok - one more thing I want to highlight.

Do not by a Chromebook if you want to play Java edition. They’re cheap, good for school work, easy to use. In fact, our kids get ones from school. However, they won’t run Java edition without some serious modifications.

As for brands, I’m partial to Lenovo. They’re not going to be the cheapest, though.


That would be a great price!

Why in particular? I’m all about convenience!

I don’t see us doing a lot of upgrades at this point, and don’t really have a good space for a desktop right now.

I’d like to keep it under $1,000 if possible.

He wants Java. We already have an XBox X.

Do you have a specific model you’d recommend?

I’m seeing the Acer Nitro 5 (12th Gen IntelCorei7 processor) being recommended online quite a bit. There’s so many configurations though!
Screen Size
15.6" v. 17.3" - 15.6" to save money!

Total Installed System Memory
8GB v. 16GB v. 32GB - ???

Graphics Controller Model
GEForce GTX 1650 v. GE Force RTX 3050 v. GE Force RTX 3050Ti v. GE Force RTX 3060 v. GE Force RTX 3070 v. GE Force RTX 3070Ti - ???

Total Solid State Drive Capacity
1TB v. 2TB v. 256GB v. 512 GB - ???

Wireless LAN Model
Wi-Fi 6 AX 1650i v. Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 - ???

Any thoughts? Or is this not a good computer altogether?

It’s also available with an AMD Ryzen 6000 Series Processor. That one has fewer configuration options:
Screen Size
15.6" v. 17.3" - 15.6" to save money!

Total Installed System Memory
8GB v. 16GB v. 32GB - ???

Graphics Controller Model
GEForce GTX 1650 v. GE Force RTX 3060 v. GE Force RTX 3070 v. GE Force RTX 3070Ti - ???

Total Solid State Drive Capacity
1TB v. 256GB v. 512 GB - ???

Wireless LAN Model
Wi-Fi 6 AX 200

Looks like a good machine. The i7 is a good processor.

I would go with at least 16 GB of memory. 8 GB is pretty slim these days.

As far as drive space, it will depend on what you are doing. 1 TB is probably reasonable. 512 GB could be fine, but I wouldn’t go with 256 GB. But if they are doing to be, for example, making a lot of videos, that can fill up the space pretty quickly.

I’m not as familiar with the graphics cards, but if the plan is to use it for games going forward, the better the graphics card, the better overall. So, perhaps kind of go middle of the road in the options?

Not really sure the Wireless LAN options will matter in practice.

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That heart means thank you for helping me narrow down the options!

Reviews suggest there is some bait and switch going on - not just computers. People selling not new as new. I like convience too. Not getting what was indicated for sale is not convenient. Again, this isn’t only about computers. I’m very careful, now. (Exact examples will probably show up in my memory later tonight. :smile:)

I hung out at the Best Buy website for a few days. Bought a small Lenovo laptop for base $650, with a few extras, so right at $800. It shipped nearly the next day and in 2 more days I had it. 12 months same as cash.

I live 40 miles from a town of 40,000. The Best Buy there closed in 2020. So it’s Walmart or Target, in person unless there’s a ma and pa store. The bigger town 80 miles away indicated one in stock which I could pick up 3 days later. :thinking:

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Yep, I agree with @ryan1 - the better you can afford on hardware, the longer it’ll last. Also, (and maybe this is just because I’m getting older), I would consider those larger screens. Especially if this is for gaming, that will make the experience better.

To be honest, if it were me, I’d go down to the i5 processor to get the better screen.
Looking at all the Amazon options right now… please hold. :smiley:

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This is a valid point…if you have a really good graphics card, the CPU speed itself is less important. (for gaming)


That Acer is one I was leaning toward until I saw the Lenovo at Best Buy.

But that was a President’s Day sale and I’ve got a 13 inch which is fine for me. I’m more about the weight. My sister’s tablet is so big it makes my wrist hurt when simply being handed the thing. This little laptop feels great. It’s easy to type on the keyboard. And I unknowingly selected a touch screen which makes me happy. :blush:

The kid’s Lenovo is a 15". We did buy a nicer studier and slightly larger backpack to accommodate the laptop.

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The :heart: is agreeing with the graphics card. The CAD department liked the NVIDIA GeForce graphics (don’t recall which number).

Our biggest difficulty with the kid’s Lenovo is the slow internet buffering.

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Ok - after some filtering, here’s what I’d look at, from Amazon, buying today. (Different sales, different stores, different needs might make me look at other options) I think they’re all pretty heavy, but I’m assuming this isn’t something he’s going to be carrying around a ton.

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Which one is your favorite of those 3?