500-700 gaming rig build (clueless and asking for help)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This Week (payday)
BUDGET RANGE: $500-700

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, CS3, Streaming Video

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com (though I'll shop elsewhere if the price is right)

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have none. Whatever best fits this price point.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am most concerned about performance as of right now. I will probably not be upgrading this computer. I am fresh out of college and completely broke, but I'm a photographer/designer so I need something with a bit more power than what I have now. Hopefully in a year or so, I'll have money to invest in something quite powerful. Gaming is a major hobby as well, and I would like to have a system that can handle the most recent generation of games. I need an operating system as well.

I built my last computer 5 years ago and have not looked into hardware for even a few minutes since then. Any help you can offer is much appreciated.
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  1. This build comes in at the upper end of your budget, but would work great for both gaming and photo editing:

    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042&Tpk=Antec%20Three%20Hundred $54.95

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128387 $109.99

    CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005&Tpk=650tx $99.99 - $10.00 MIR

    AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103471

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.201176 $239.98 (CPU + RAM combo)

    XFX HD-485X-YDDC Radeon HD 4850 XXX 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150348 $119.99

    WESTERN DIGITAL WD3200AAKS 320GB SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Hard Drive Bulk
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10005615&prodlist=celebros $51.99

    LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136167 $24.99

    Total - $701.88 - $10.00 MIR

    I would just download and use the 64-bit Windows 7 RC until it's released to save $100 right now.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.aspx

    You could save some money by going with a different PSU. I added that one to allow the option of adding another GPU in crossfire later and still have plenty of overhead. A PSU like this would work fine with one GPU and save some $.

    CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003&Tpk=450vx $74.99 - $20 MIR + $5 promo code "EMCLTMM58".

    There are also a couple cheaper 4850's available. I like the XFX since it blows the hot air out of the case.

    SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102824 $109.99 - $15 MIR
  2. Looks great, thanks. I was looking at some prefabs and this thing blows anything under 1200 out of the water from what I can tell. Going to run it by some of the IT guys at my office and get some feedback from them. I forgot to mention that I actually already have a hard-drive that will work fine. With shipping that puts it at ~675.

    Does anyone else have any ideas of where I could make a few cuts in price, or any good deals anywhere? I'd rather not make sacrifices in the power supply, simply because that is where I have always had issues before with computers.
  3. frozenose said:
    Looks great, thanks. I was looking at some prefabs and this thing blows anything under 1200 out of the water from what I can tell. Going to run it by some of the IT guys at my office and get some feedback from them. I forgot to mention that I actually already have a hard-drive that will work fine. With shipping that puts it at ~675.

    Does anyone else have any ideas of where I could make a few cuts in price, or any good deals anywhere? I'd rather not make sacrifices in the power supply, simply because that is where I have always had issues before with computers.


    this powersupply is just as good, slightly less power by 40watts and 3amps on 12v rail but you won't know the difference. saves $5, even more if the mir comes in.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703005

    As far as processors go for "CS3" no idea what that is honestly I'm not sure how much performance in that you will lose by switching to an AMD Phenom II X3 720, but it saves $45, It won't hurt you much in gameing because you can buy a better gpu with the money saved.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103649

    xfx 4870 1gb $150

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150394
  4. CS3 is the Adobe Suite of software (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.). From what I understand, a faster processor and quad core will help a lot with that. I'm going to take a look at that PSU though. Might have to buy this thing tomorrow if I decide to go that route (the MiR expires).
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