Building a budget gaming pc NEED HELP!

hey everyone, i am new here, and i am also new to building a pc... so here is my situation:

I need a new desktop, and its main use will be for gaming and music/internet. The games i like to play arent crazy graphicwise, but they have a lot going on...main games i have in mind are Command & Conquer 4, Supreme Commander 2, and Starcraft 2 (as you can see i like real-time strategies).. anyway, my buddy who knows computers pretty well said i could build my own PC for significantly cheaper than a prebuilt from a retail store... My budget is about $500. I really don't want to exceed that much at all. so i did a bunch of research and came up with the following mock-up, please give me feedback, let me know if it will all work together, and any suggestions you might have, i have 2 graphics cards in mind because i don't know which would be better...

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Deneb 3.0GHz $126

Motherboard: ASRock K10N78 AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 ATX AMD Motherboard $60

Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $90

Hard drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA $70

CD/DVD Drive: ASUS Black $24

Power Supply: hec X-Power Pro 650 650W Continuous @ 40°C ATX 12V $45

Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 $77

OR: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 $80

Case: HEC 63RABB Black Steel ATX Mid Tower $40

also, for a monitor, i was recommended this: due to it has hdmi and its not wicked expensive, but i don't know about it....

any and all feedback and recommendations are welcome, remember i am new to this stuff, so any help would be awesome, also keep in mind this is about the top of my budget.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. My main advice would be to spend less on the CPU, and more on the mobo. Right now, you haven't even selected an AM3 motherboard to utilize the bucks you are spending on your CPU. If gaming is your primary concern, an AMD Athlon II will take you far enough. Overclocked, they run games just fine. Since most games are yet to be extremely heavily multithreaded, the quadcore phenoms will give you minimal gaines.

    It's my opinion that you should cut back a little on the hard disk too 1TB isn't really necessary, and use the extra over $50 bucks you save to invest in an AM3 board and DDR3 RAM. If you are willing to pitch in an extra $50-80 for a better graphics card, that's what will really bump up your gaming performance.

    Some of my opinions, but I can't claim to be an expert..
  2. any specific models you recommend for such changes?
  3. Why not start with Tom's system as a basis:

    System Builder Marathon, June 2010: $550 Gaming PC

    CPU AMD Athlon II X3 435 $75
    CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper TX3 $20
    Motherboard Asus M4A77TD $85
    RAM Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR3-1333 (PC3 10600) Model CTKIT12864BA1339 $58
    Graphics PowerColor AX5770 1GBD5-H Radeon HD 5770 1GB $150
    Hard Drive Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0 Gb/s $55
    Case Cooler Master Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black $40
    Power Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3 500W $40
    Optical Samsung Black 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-S223C $22
    Total $545
  4. so quad cores really arent necessary for a budget gaming pc?
  5. dial back on the psu 550 is fine
    also the hard rive 500GB is good enough
    spend that money you saved on an actual gaming card
    5570 is not a gaming card in any way
    if you do not overclock that motherboard is fine
    if the main focus of the machine is gaming you need at least a 5750 or 250 GTS
  6. Go with an 80+ PSU for peace of mind 24/7 ops ^^ $414AR
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