Can you build me a gaming computer $500 budget

I have ~$500 budget, I don't want to spend too much more (600 is really pushing) Im looking for advice. Im a software guy, but I have no idea when it comes to hardware.

I'm asking for your suggestion for a gaming pc on a $500 budget. Now, I would like the nicest stuff I can get, but theres no need for the new video card that supports 16 monitors, 2 will do nicely. I'd like to be able to run 2 copies of games (case a buddy comes over we can just share the pc) if this kills the budget, scrap that idea. I have mouse/keyboard/monitors, all I'm looking for is the stuff that goes in the box.

Im capable of building it myself, figure i'll buy online, and do plan to overclock, I know there are places online with great deals (but lets play with safe numbers)
Graphics are key.
I'd like 6 gigs of RAM, Im a multitasker and hate lag, though I am on a budget
as for HD, 500gigs will cover me, If it saves on initial costs I could manage off 50 gigs til next month
Basic DVD burner is fine (other than audio and a few files I dont burn much)
(minimal) decent power supply, when I upgrade slowly over the next few years power will be upgraded first.

Please post your suggestion and short explanation of pro's/con's of it.

Thank you very much

(edited for formatting)(edited again for more info)

Got all the software i'll need. Software is not an issue. plan to use XP (debating weather using a XP/Vista custom hybrid)
Purchase date - within 30 days or so
prefered website for parts - I shop around, use the site you want to (fan of tigerdirect however)
Part Brands - Dont care long as it works, never been a fan of paying for for the name
Overclock - Definately, hopeing to clock past 3.0 (I think I got that right >.< )
Monitor size - As for internal parts it doesn't matter?? atleast 1280x1024 main. already have monitor

Additional comments - Gaming. Multitasker. I understand sub 500 is tough, but thats why I'm asking for help, different builds will give different pro/cons. software is no issue external hardware is covered. I dont know if I *need* a quad core or just want one because I like the sound/idea of one. Sound, to me, is sound. Dont know if that plays into anything but I don't plan to set up a surround sound system. I'd prefer if most the cost is upfront, but *some* mail in rebate wont hurt

Thank you everyone that's contributed, I appreciate it all, especially the additional comments critiquing components/additional options.
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  1. The 6GB RAM kits are designed for the triple channel RAM controllers used by the LGA 1366 Intel i7 chips. 4GB should work fine for your intended use. You can always upgrade to 8GB, but your $500 budget is already making building a decent computer tough. Here's a build that comes in just over your budget, but would make a nice little computer.

    AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

    COOLER MASTER Elite RC-332-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $84.99 (CPU + case combo)

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM (Includes free Windows 7 updrade coupon) $149.98 (HD + OS combo)

    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail $124.98 (motherboard + RAM combo)

    SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $99.99

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM $31.99

    CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $49.99 - $10.00 MIR

    Total - $541.92 - $10.00 MIR

    Editing your post to follow the format in the "How to ask for new build advice" sticky at the top of the forum would help us give more meaningful advice.
  2. do you need an os
  3. Nvidia GTX 250 seem to be in the $100 range also after rebates, at least at my local microcenter and it seems to get about 10% better scores than the 4850. Just another thought.
  4. AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz & GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P $179 - $10 rebate = $169

    OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 $70

    XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB $145 - $20 rebate = $125

    Thermaltake WingRS 200 & Thermaltake Purepower W0121RU 600W $110 - $25 rebate = $85

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB - $50

    LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - $30

    $584 - $55 in rebates = $529

    You are gunna do much better than this in your price range. If that's 32bit XP you are talking about(likely) then more then 4GB of ram cannot be used and the difference between 4 and 6gb is marginal anyway.
  5. That Thermaltake Purepower PSU is a POS. The little red voltage switch indicates no active PFC. Other dead giveaways are the 70% efficiency and low 12v Amp rating. I wouldn't trust a system to that POS. A cheap PSU will cause all sorts of problems ranging from system instability to fried components. The 400CX linked above actually puts out more power on the 12v rail than that POS 600W Thermaltake.
  6. You cant cheat with a crap PSU, not when a cheaper one puts out more power and has better efficiency. It makes me sad to see PSUs rated higher than they should be because i know some poor soul is going to fall for it and blow their whole system up.

    Shortstuff listed a good build there for your budget, if you dont need an OS then you can get a stronger CPU like a PII 545 x2 which would help out, but the 240 should still game decently.
  7. Heres mine....

    Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case - Retail $54.95

    AMD HDZ720WFGIBOX: $119.00 / GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P: $79.99
    Combo Discount: -$20.00
    Combo Price: $178.99
    $10.00 Mail-In Rebate Card pdf
    Price After Mail-In Rebate(s): $168.99

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory - Retail - $88.99

    ASUS EAH4670/DI/1GD3/V2 Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail - $74.99 - $20 rebate = $54.99

    CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retai l$79.99 - $10 off & $20 mail in rebate = $49.99

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $49.99

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223B - OEM $30.99

    ** This is a few weeks old, the links were old so i some of the prices probably arent correct, but anyway, this build should come in under $600. With all the mail ins and all I had it closer to $500. I bought 3 pieces so far. HTH.
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