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Gaming cpu on budget: Intel pentium g860 or Athlon ii x4 640?

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April 1, 2013 7:40:34 PM

Hey all, been fluctuating between builds recently and got really stumped with the cpu.

So I have two choices under the 80 dollar range (extreme budget, lol), either the intel g860 at 59.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or the amd athlon at 79.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I plan to play games such as wow, tera, rift, planetside 2, bf3, just pretty much any indie, fps, or mmo on the market as of now.

The rest of the system is here:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/NPqL

I can figure out the mobo as well, but the cpu is the problem. Is it worth the extra money, and will the 4 cores help with games? Is power consumption a problem?
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April 1, 2013 7:56:43 PM

If you could somehow squeeze another $20 into the budget and get a Phenom II x4 you would be a lot better off. I personally think I would go for the g860 because even though Toms recommends the Athlon II over it, I think it's more well rounded overall.
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April 1, 2013 7:59:45 PM

Personally I'd go with the AMD system, just for the fact that you will have a bit longer and better life with 4 cores vs. 2 cores, IMHO.

AMD build (with your parts):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $416.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 22:54 EDT-0400)

Intel Build (with your parts):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8B75-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $421.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 22:58 EDT-0400)

You can decide what works best for you, but I'd prefer the AMD build for the fact that you get 4 cores over the 2 core Intel build. Check out Tom's Best Gaming CPU's for the $ article.
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April 1, 2013 8:02:21 PM

lunyone said:
Personally I'd go with the AMD system, just for the fact that you will have a bit longer and better life with 4 cores vs. 2 cores, IMHO.

AMD build (with your parts):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $416.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 22:54 EDT-0400)

Intel Build (with your parts):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8B75-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $421.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 22:58 EDT-0400)

You can decide what works best for you, but I'd prefer the AMD build for the fact that you get 4 cores over the 2 core Intel build. Check out Tom's Best Gaming CPU's for the $ article.


Thanks man!
I know that amd has power consumption as a problem, so should that 430w be able to handle it?
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April 1, 2013 8:03:30 PM

JD88 said:
If you could somehow squeeze another $20 into the budget and get a Phenom II x4 you would be a lot better off. I personally think I would go for the g860 because even though Toms recommends the Athlon II over it, I think it's more well rounded overall.


Curious, how is it better rounded? More efficiency per core, etc...what's your take on it?
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April 1, 2013 8:07:10 PM

One thing to consider: The AMD cpu will NOT handle Planetside 2. I'm not sure how important that is for you. I'm not sure about the g860.

My friends Phenom II x4 drops into unplayable frame-rates in big battles (under 30) and it is overclocked to 3.8. The i7 3630qm in my laptop drops into the 30's and is on the edge of what I would consider playable and that is a substantially better CPU than the ones you listed.

Power consumption is lower, but that's not my concern as the CX430 should have no problem powering that rig. It's just the AMD CPU is built on an old architecture, and although there are more cores, they are a lot weaker. Many games still cannot take advantage of more than 1-2 cores anyway.
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April 1, 2013 8:07:52 PM

i would get the x4 as well just because its a quad core over a dual core, it'd be harder to decide between a i3 as its 4 HT cores.

U could get a phenom x4 965, by getting a asus m5a78l instead the m5a97, but id rather have the better board and the phenom lol

Most new games will somewhat use a quad core, and most work great on a dual core but u want just the bare minimal even if intel wins with core performance?
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April 1, 2013 8:08:07 PM

DanteIsOnFire said:
lunyone said:
Personally I'd go with the AMD system, just for the fact that you will have a bit longer and better life with 4 cores vs. 2 cores, IMHO.

AMD build (with your parts):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $416.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 22:54 EDT-0400)

Intel Build (with your parts):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8B75-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $421.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 22:58 EDT-0400)

You can decide what works best for you, but I'd prefer the AMD build for the fact that you get 4 cores over the 2 core Intel build. Check out Tom's Best Gaming CPU's for the $ article.


Thanks man!
I know that amd has power consumption as a problem, so should that 430w be able to handle it?

That PSU will handle up to the AMD 7850 GPU, so don't worry about it. If you had more budget I would upgrade the GPU to the newer 7790 or the 7850, but they are going to be about $40-60 more, depending on which one you find and if it's on sale or not. Otherwise you should be fine with the Athlon II x4 640. The Ph II x4 965 BE is a good buy too for around $100, but I'm not sure if that fits into your budget or not.

Did you have a final budget for all of the parts?
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April 1, 2013 8:10:07 PM

JD88 said:
One thing to consider: The AMD cpu will NOT handle Planetside 2. I'm not sure how important that is for you. I'm not sure about the g860.

My friends Phenom II x4 drops into unplayable frame-rates in big battles (under 30) and it is overclocked to 3.8. The i7 3630qm in my laptop drops into the 30's and is on the edge of what I would consider playable and that is a substantially better CPU than the ones you listed.

Ah well, I can skip planetside. Not much of a bother, really. I just want to play fps's and mmo's and the occasional game like POE. I can tolerate 30 fps, just not much under. My current monitor is 1600x900, if that helps.
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April 1, 2013 8:26:31 PM

Well here's Tom's quote on Best Gaming CPU's for the $:
"With modern games able to take advantage of more than two processing cores, AMD's old quad-core chips, such as the Athlon II X4 and Llano-based A6 and A8 APUs, look better now compared to Intel's dual-core models than they did before.
As a result, we're cutting the Pentium G860 from our recommendation list. The Athlon II X4 640 takes its place. Running at 3 GHz, this CPU performs roughly on par with the A8-3870K for less money. Use the savings on a discrete graphics card. Read our review of the Athlon II X4 CPUs."
Link to article, Page 2.
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Best solution

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April 1, 2013 8:28:07 PM

the 7770 is a great gpu will play 1080p high preset bf3 over 40 fps, and would be great for other games under 1080p like ur resolution. Forgot to mention but the cx430 would of ran my system with an overclocked x6 and a single 6770. Im still sticking by my recommendation of the quad core amd just because its a quad core. Id say either the athlon or phenom is a better choice over the pentium, and of course the phenom over the athlon x4
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April 1, 2013 8:31:11 PM

lunyone said:
DanteIsOnFire said:
lunyone said:
Personally I'd go with the AMD system, just for the fact that you will have a bit longer and better life with 4 cores vs. 2 cores, IMHO.

AMD build (with your parts):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $416.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 22:54 EDT-0400)

Intel Build (with your parts):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8B75-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $421.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 22:58 EDT-0400)

You can decide what works best for you, but I'd prefer the AMD build for the fact that you get 4 cores over the 2 core Intel build. Check out Tom's Best Gaming CPU's for the $ article.


Thanks man!
I know that amd has power consumption as a problem, so should that 430w be able to handle it?

That PSU will handle up to the AMD 7850 GPU, so don't worry about it. If you had more budget I would upgrade the GPU to the newer 7790 or the 7850, but they are going to be about $40-60 more, depending on which one you find and if it's on sale or not. Otherwise you should be fine with the Athlon II x4 640. The Ph II x4 965 BE is a good buy too for around $100, but I'm not sure if that fits into your budget or not.

Did you have a final budget for all of the parts?

Yes, around 450 max.
Funny thing is though, I really want to see how low I can go in terms of budget and see if my system will work, but 450 should be enough.
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April 1, 2013 8:32:27 PM

lunyone said:
Well here's Tom's quote on Best Gaming CPU's for the $:
"With modern games able to take advantage of more than two processing cores, AMD's old quad-core chips, such as the Athlon II X4 and Llano-based A6 and A8 APUs, look better now compared to Intel's dual-core models than they did before.
As a result, we're cutting the Pentium G860 from our recommendation list. The Athlon II X4 640 takes its place. Running at 3 GHz, this CPU performs roughly on par with the A8-3870K for less money. Use the savings on a discrete graphics card. Read our review of the Athlon II X4 CPUs."
Link to article, Page 2.


NICE! Thanks man!
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April 1, 2013 8:33:30 PM

You don't live near a Microcenter do you? They have great deals on CPUs and Motherboards that could save you a considerable amount of money. Problem is, they are in store pickup only.
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April 1, 2013 8:37:27 PM

JD88 said:
You don't live near a Microcenter do you? They have great deals on CPUs and Motherboards that could save you a considerable amount of money. Problem is, they are in store pickup only.

Unfortunately, the closest microcenter to here is in NY I think...

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April 1, 2013 8:39:10 PM

So, after all the help, I think I have my final build!

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Planetside2fanboy/saved/1p...

Oh and one more question...is it true that amd cpu's work better with amd gpu's as opposed to either intel+amd, or amd+nvidia? Just curious.

Oh, and how far do you think I can go in terms of gpu until the cpu bottlenecks?
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April 1, 2013 8:47:12 PM

Here is the MAX I would do with your $ (just a bit over budget):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $456.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 23:45 EDT-0400)

* The 7850 will kill the 7770 in gaming, so keep that in mind.

or to fit the budget:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $431.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 23:46 EDT-0400)

If you don't mind a different case, here's a build w/the 7850:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z5 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $441.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 23:48 EDT-0400)

As you can see you can build whatever you like :) 
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April 1, 2013 9:03:38 PM

lunyone said:
Here is the MAX I would do with your $ (just a bit over budget):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $456.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 23:45 EDT-0400)

* The 7850 will kill the 7770 in gaming, so keep that in mind.

or to fit the budget:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $431.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 23:46 EDT-0400)

If you don't mind a different case, here's a build w/the 7850:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.26 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z5 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $441.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-01 23:48 EDT-0400)

As you can see you can build whatever you like :) 

Will there be any bottlenecks?
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April 1, 2013 9:34:18 PM

Either CPU will be limited, but the key thing to have is the best GPU you can afford. This will allow a better gaming experience, IMHO.

Here is some benchmarks performed on 12/2012 w/a 7870 GPU on several CPU's. You can see what the results are. Of coarse there has been some refinements over the last 3 or so months, but you'll get the idea.
CPU Charts 2012: 86 Processors From AMD And Intel, Tested
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April 2, 2013 3:49:38 PM

Great! Thanks for the help guys. All I gotta do now is get the moneys :( 
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