Point me in the right direction please...

I have experience building PCs though the last one I built was in '05! :o A lot has changed since then. My main goal is to build a budget gaming PC that can run StarCraft 2 at a nice resolution.

Blizzard recommended System Requirements
* Windows Vista®/Windows® 7
* Dual Core 2.4Ghz Processor
* 2 GB RAM
* 512 MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 GTX or ATI Radeon® HD 3870 or better

Don't need a FPS machine, I use my xbox for FPS play. But I would also like something that has some upward mobility if in the future so if I want to upgrade, I can.

The reason I need a nudge in a certain direction is while my budget may only be $500-$600 I get Intel products at half retail. I know a lot of the upgrade path is determined by CPU and MB. If someone can suggest an Intel chip with a MB that I can get started with I'm sure I can figure the rest from there. It would be a bonus if there was an intel chip with intel MB combo that would be decent. Though I know Intel's MBs have been fairly bare bones for the money in the past. Thanks for any help you can provide!
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about point direction please
  1. Well firstly... the best bang for buck video card right now is the GTX460... so I'd start the build around that. It will play SC2 on ultra with ease.
    I'd reccomend the EVGA superclock GTX460 for 209.99 on newegg

    If you can get intel products half off... thats a good start. Really all you need is an i5-750 CPU at $190 retail price. It's the best bang for buck in the i5 lineup... its socket 1156, so you want a motherboard that is also that socket

    That will work fine... It's not a good overclocking or SLI board... but it sounds like you arent interested in either of those things.

    Of course since you get it half off.... you get more bang for your buck with an i7 setup.

    If you wanted to do that check out an i7-930 with this motherboard
  2. Forgot to give you some basic info that will help you out.

    i5's run socket 1156 and dual channel memory (ddr3) - so you'd want to get something like a 4gb kit (2sticks at 2gb each of DDR3)

    i7 930 runs socket 1366 and tri-channel memory (still ddr3) - so you'd want to get a 6gb kit (3sticks at 2gb each of DDr3)

    Since you get half off somehow... i'd definately say go i7 - the price difference for us normal folk is about $250 from i5 up to i7 between mobo/cpu/ram - but for you it'd only be like $125. well worth it!
  3. Thanks a lot, those are some of the components I was looking at so its nice to see some confirmation of my initial thoughts. Thanks again...

    BTW the half off thing is my wife works for the company and employee pricing seems to be about half of retail. :D
  4. Best answer
    Well counting half of retail... thats $250 for i7 and motherboard, $209 for video card, can find some 6gb DDR3 ram kits for around $120 after rebates. So you're alrerady up to around $600... still have case and power supply (about $120 should cover those) , and a harddrive (samsung spinpoint's get great reviews 500gb is roughly $55), and a cheapo DVDrw for around $20.

    So with the i7 build you're looking at $800 even with your big discounts.

    If you went the i5 route you could bulid the same thing for around 650.
  5. Ive got a nice coolermaster case left over from my last build so ill save a bit more there too. Will my power supply needs change depending on i5 or i7? I wont SLI anytime soon.
  6. What is your power supply? If it's a name brand 500watt, it should be fine...if it's a generic cheapo they you may have issues. Also, it will need i7's with a gtx460 consume peak around 400w according to a indepth benchmarking I read last week. (cant remember the source)
    *also, the 460 uses two 6pin power cables... so hopefully your power supply has those.
  7. if you need a power supply, this is a great deal here

    *they also have a 550watt for $45 after rebates that would work as well
  8. The power supply I have now is a coolermaster but only 450W... that one you linked looks like a great deal, thanks!
  9. So it looks like I was misinformed. I can get chips half off but there is not much of a discount on MBs. So I might be better off spending the 150 or so on a better board. What board at that price would be a good match for an i7 930 which I can get for $142. I can also get an i5 750 for $99 though as well so if there isn't a $150 board for an i7 perhaps I should get the i5.

  10. Best answer selected by MasterFramer.
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