gigabyte 1100k or something like that
2 gigs of ddr 400 probably
This build will be used only for starcraft 2, and probably at 1280x1024 resolution. I had my whole i760 build planned out, but the impending release of bulldozer, sandy bridge, and ati 7xxx series have made me think to wait. The thing is, I cannot wait to play SC2 anymore. That's just the way it is.
Budget: As cheap as possible to run SC2 at medium-high on 1280. THIS BUILD IS TEMPORARY. It won't even need to last more than 6 months, so cheap is KING. Let's say $150-200 for now, although I'm definitely flexible.
This will probably mean something like a 4xx AMD chip or something, but I have no idea what the AMD chip lineup is, and where I would fit on the spectrum. Graphics card probably looks something like the gtx9800. I have a good amount of knowledge of the most recent hardware, since I did a ridiculous amount of research for my i760 build, but skipped MULTIPLE generations (as you can tell from my current build), which is why I need your advice.
I would definitely be open to going used, if anybody has parts lying around.
There really is nothing you can do with $200 except get a decent GPU for your build and reuse it later when you get your actual build. All this is assuming your current mobo is a PCI-E board and not AGP. Also, look into overclocking your CPU for more performance.
On another note, if you have any dual core PCs around, it will run SC2 easy with a decent GPU. Your single core will run it fine as well with a decent GPU but will bottleneck the GPU. You will get the occasional lag when you run into massive amounts of units but everything else should run smooth for the most part.
with what you want to do, an Athlon II X2 will be adequate at about $60. 4 GB of cheap-as-possible DDR3 is Mushkins at $70, and a $60 motherboard (ASRock 880 or 770). There are cheaper Motherboards that use DDR2, but that woudl be no real savings in cost, and we're talking very low quality boards (Biostar, Jetway, ECS) anyway. thats about $190 plus a video card.
From here, a 5450 or 5550 or 5570 video card shoudl be adequate for SC2 at medium. Onboard might manage it at low.
For a total price of $152.96 for the very bare minimum needed to run the PC. You will need to reuse your old case/PSU and drives. If you want, you can try the IGP on the mobo which is about twice as good as what you currently have and save $35.
Alternately, you can just get an AGP version of a Radeon HD 4650/70 and OC your P4 to 3.2+ GHz.
Thanks kureme, that's exactly what I wanted to know.
I know upgrading like this is a bit of a waste, but I can't bring myself to upgrade before all the new hardware gets announced. I've been living with this POS for this long, and wouldn't be able to live with myself if I blew my budget with newer better tech right around the corner.