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$500 Budget Gaming PC, need advice & suggestions; compatibility?

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October 30, 2010 3:18:00 AM

Approximate Purchase Date:
If all the parts I have listed work, then I will purchase them by tomorrow or Sunday (10/30-10/31). If not, I'm willing to purchase when deals arise. I'm mostly concerned with purchasing too hastily, right before Black Friday deals.


Budget Range:
=<$500-550 after rebates and taxes


System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1. Gaming (Fallout New Vegas, Fable III, a couple free MMORPGs like Shaiya or Kitsu Saga)
2. Web/graphic design (Adobe Photoshop/InDesign/Illustrator simultaneously)
3. Web browsing
4. Watching movies
5. General college schoolwork (text documents or computer programming-related related assignments)


Parts Not Required:
Keyboard, mouse, monitor (Dell 17", but if there's a good deal for a 20+" I'm willing to acquire it), speakers, OS


Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Amazon.com (most preferred because of free shipping and no tax in California)
edit: TigerDirect.com
Newegg.com
Microcenter.com (nearest store ~41 miles)
Frys.com (nearest store ~21 miles)


Country of Origin:
USA


Parts Preferences:
I don't have many preferences; I'm willing to try out any brand that's reputable and reliable and/or with a good warranty.


Overclocking:
Maybe


SLI or Crossfire:
Maybe


Monitor Resolution:
1440x900, but as I've mentioned, if there's a good deal on a 20+" monitor, send those deals my way.


Additional Comments
:
I'd like a case with a side panel window that's relatively quiet. Thinking about going with an AMD Processor because MicroCenter has a promotion for them at the moment that comes bundled with a motherboard. Do I need a Phenom II X4 or am I good with a Phenom II X2?

Here are parts I'm thinking about getting, but I'm entirely open to other suggestions since I don't know if every part is compatible:
Case: $40 COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-OWN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028ACYMC/ref=pd_lpo_...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Phenom™ II X4 965 Black Edition
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Motherboard: MSi 785G-E53 AM3 785G ATX Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

CPU + Motherboard Combo: $170
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...

RAM: OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3RPR1600C8LV4GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply Unit: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM + PSU Combo: $90 ($124.98 - $35 mail-in-rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?nm_...

HDD: Undecided Need/prefer around $50 1TB, unsure about what characteristics I need, i.e. 5400 or 7200 rpm, etc.

Video Card: $135 ($164.99 - $15 sale - $15 mail-in-rebate) SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Optical Drive: Undecided Needs to be under $20
October 30, 2010 4:51:05 AM

IIRC tigerdirect.com does not tax in cali but newegg does because they're based there. That could be another option to get parts from.
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October 30, 2010 5:18:17 AM

Oh! Thanks for the suggestion; I assumed that TigerDirect taxed too and forgot to list them. Blah, everyone's based here.
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November 1, 2010 12:50:41 PM

You won't find a good 1TB HDD for around $50 but a good and cheap one is the Spinpoint F3 1TB, which is also highly recommended. Microcenter has it for $59.99 + tax, tigerdirect $64.99, newegg $69.99.

Just grab the cheapest dvd burner tigerdirect has to offer with free shipping if applicable (I'm not sure how tigerdirect runs but newegg usually has a lot of free shipping). Better than having to pay tax on it.

Dont see any great deals on monitors right now but there are a couple 23" ones for $160.
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