$500 Gaming/Tri-Screening Rig

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as I decide on the parts.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Websites, Movies/Tv (on projector)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitors, speakers, OS, case, hard/dvd drives

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any highly rated sites such as newegg or tiger direct

PARTS PREFERENCES: Nvidia/Intel (but willing to go AMD and/or ATI if better value)

OVERCLOCKING: Probably (lightly) | SLI OR CROSSFIRE: If better, why not?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Tri?-screening: 1= 1920x1080 | 2= 1280x1024 | 3= Projector w/ HDMI (preferred), VGA and S-Video input (1+2 always used, 3 mostly only for tv/movies)

NEED: Mobo (with 6+ usb, 5.1 on-board sound), Ram, PSU? (Will current do?), CPU, Video card(s)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Budget is $500 after rebates. Wanting the best value/bang for my buck that will last me as long as possible on this budget. Going over the budget a little for a much better value/longevity and getting parts to allow easy compatible upgrading in the future without an entire new system re-build OK, just post your reasoning behind it. My gaming consist of Half Life 2 engined games, WoW, (and when released) Star Craft 2 and Diablo 3.
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  1. Best answer
    Here is what I'd suggest:
    CPU - $99 shipped!! Good solid Quad core CPU, which looks like your probably going to need a quad, due to possible multiple applications running.
    AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail


    CPU - $102 shipped!! Clocked at 3.1 gHz, easily OC'd (unlocked multiplier adjustment needed in BIOS) to 3.6-3.8 gHz!!!
    AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

    Mobo - $88 - $10 MIRc = $78!! Plenty of USB 2.0 ports (8 external!!) and pleny of other ports!!
    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    RAM - $94 shipped!! One of the better sets that runs on stock voltages (1.5v)!!
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail

    Case/PSU combo - $100 shipped!! Comes with a 500w quality PSU. It has 2 x 6 pin PCI-e power connectors (needed for demanding GPU's). Your existing PSU isn't going to be able to handle this system. If you have a good case, than we can adjust the build to fit your needs.
    Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail

    GPU - $155 shipped!! One of the best GPU's you can get for the $ right now!
    SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

    Total ~$535 - $10 MIRc = $525!!! Hard to beat this for this price. Like I stated before you could get the PhII x2 550 BE for $3 more and use the unlocked multiplier to OC the chip (only takes about 1 min. to OC the beast!!).

    Edit: I forgot to mention that the GPU comes with 2 x DVI and 1 HDMI output, which I think will work just fine for your 3 monitors!!
  2. Thank you for this great build. I am pretty set on this case I am going to get that does not come with a PSU. So what would be the best PSU to get by itself with this build?
  3. Well a quality 400w PSU will do. Most of them aren't priced well at this point, that is why I suggested the Antec Sonata III case w/PSU combo. You get a quality case and PSU together. If you like a different case than get what you want. Cases are personal preferences, so everyone has different tastes. I'd stick with Antec, Corsair, PCP&C, & Seasonic for PSU brands. You will get good quality and good warranties too.

    Here's the absolute bottom level of PSU that I'd get that still gives you quality and warranty that you should expect:
    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    It has 28A on the combined 12v rails and is 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified efficiency, plus has a 3 yr. warranty. Now it only comes with 1 x 6 pin PCI-e power connector, so if you wanted to X-fire/SLI in the future, you would need to upgrade your PSU.

    If you want a little more breathing room, I'd consider this PSU (has 32A on the combined 12v rails and has 1 x 6 pin PCI-e power connector).
    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
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