Need advice: budget data crunching PC/upgradeable to moderate gaming

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: basic configuration = now; can add non-essential parts later

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Heavy data analysis, multitasking, Gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: anything outside the case

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: is fine (deals from Fry's are good too)


OVERCLOCKING: Yes, if it's relatively straightforward SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Eventually

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920X1080 dual monitor setup


Budget for initial build = aiming for under $600. Additional $500 for upgrades later in the year.

Basically, I'm building a PC for home that I can analyze data from work with (I'm doing neuro research and have huge data sets that take forever to open, much less manipulate in Excel or LabView, on my dual-core XPS 400) as well as get decent performance from games with. Initially, it's most important that the PC is excellent at processing non-graphical data, so I wouldn't mind adding (not replacing) parts that would improve its performance as a gaming PC that would exceed the price range I've specified later in the year--but the PC has to be complete enough to do work ASAP.

In total I'm hoping to get recommendations for the initial build, and also suggestions for additional components that would be good to add in the next 6 months to make the PC more suitable for gaming.

I'm green, so I'd like have a system that doesn't suck electricity gratuitously, and has good solutions for cutting power use when idle (eg. I think I've seen some Asrock boards that supposedly were able to nearly shut the PC down while allowing Windows to become functional within a few seconds when woken up).

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More about need advice budget data crunching upgradeable moderate gaming
  1. PS...also forgot, PC won't have wired LAN connection, so built-in wireless capability would be good if it's better/cheaper than the USB options.
  2. Here is a config with the new AMD 6-Core...

    CPU -
    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban

    RAM + Mobo
    Gigabyte 880G + Mushkin 4GB DDR3 - The onboard would suffice for now...

    HDD - Samsung F3 500GB

    PSU + DVD
    OCZ 550W + HP DVD

    CASE -
    NZXT M59

    Total - $600 | $545 After Rebates...
  3. $548AR, 'nest' more than sturdy to accommodate a HD 5870 when u want to start gaming in future ^^

    Wireless N USB adapter $22 free ship
  4. Both of those builds turned out to be better than I expected to see--I ended up snagging a hybrid of the two. Thanks to both of you!
  5. Yep happy shopping/building and u are welcomed ^^
  6. ^^ Glad we could help... Good Luck...
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