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~600 Gaming Build

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November 24, 2010 5:06:09 PM

Hi, I currently have $645 and I plan on building my first gaming desktop.

I've done quite a bit of shopping the past week or so and I feel semi-confident with what I need to pick but I want help to avoid any royal screwups I might run into (I almost bought a kind of cheap PSU when I gather just today that I shouldn't). And I want opinions from people who are more knowledgeable to see well am I doing in terms of squeezing the most I can out of my budget.

I posted up on PCMech forums yesterday and I'm not so sure about the advise regarding downgrades... I realize I messed up my previous choices PSU & RAM. I haven't a clue but I'll keep poking around SlickDeals,NE,&Tiger until after CyberMonday.
http://www.pcmech.com/forum/build-your-own-pc/218172-~$600-budget-build.html

As for usage:
Nothing super hardcore, I don't need to run games at max settings at 1900x1200 bajillion resolution, something more modest. I do want to be able to run even demanding things decently should I want to, which it seems should be no problem within this budget. This computer will also be doing normal college student stuff, light multi tasking (chrome, im client, itunes, security software, some Visual Studio, etc...).

=============================================
Case: $40 - NZXT Apollo Mid Tower
Deal ends at midnight tonight! YES? Seems like it's a pretty good case and its discounted.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146025

PSU: Waiting for a deal BF/CyberM $50?

RAM: 4GB or 8GB?Waiting for a deal BF/CyberM $80-90?
Performance difference I looked up elsewhere on the website and it seems the vouch for 8GB is a yes.

CPU: $155 - AMD Phenom X4 965 or 970.
Pretty sweet deal in my (not so informed) opinion. Listed here:
Best Gaming CPU: $160-$200 : Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: November 2010
Not much benefit in upping to 6 cores correct? I don't do photo editing or anything that I'm aware of that utilizes so many cores.
HDZ965FBGMBOX AMD Phenom II X4 Processor 965 (3.4GHz) AM3, Retail - AMD Phenom II - SuperBiiz.com

MOBO: $80-90?
How much should I spend to get a solid mobo? I don't plan on upgrading too much, so no need for xFire/SLI waiting. 1 PCI-e slot is fine.

Is this a good deal?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

GPU: Radeon 6850 or GTX 460 equivalent. Sitting on deals.
Best PCIe Card: $170 To $250 : Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November 2010

Based on that and how much extra cash money I have, I'm aiming at tier up from what I was guessing. I was originally going for 5770 but now I think I can hit a Radeon 6850 or a GTX 460 no problem. If deals on BF/CyberMonday are cheaper than what I'm seeing at the moment, gonna have extra money to upgrade ... iono what. Hard drive?
This: has some deals but common sense tells me to sit through BF/CyberM and hope for better.
Newegg Bargain Blowout Graphics Cards: Zotac GTS 250 $90, XFX 5830 $130 AR, MSI GTX465 $130 AR, Palit GTX460 $155 AR - SlickDeals.net Forums

Hard Drive: $43 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U
I want a harddrive that bottlenecks the smallest amount without paying huge money. This one APPEARS to be the best rated HD that's still cheap.
PassMark Software - Hard Drive Benchmark Charts
I got advise to go for WD Caviar Black but... this has pretty solid ratings on NewEgg and the benchmark is much better than many of the WD's... Right or wrong?
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


Thanks for your time in advance. Much appreciated :) 
P.S.
I have a monitor, speaker system, keyboard & mouse because I'm running my laptop as a desktop at the moment. MSDN = Free Windows 7 x64bit. YESZ. No optical drive because my roommate has an external one and honestly I don't think I'll need it. I'll stick that extra $20 to somethign else haha.
I'm pretty blown away by how much 600 can garner. I originally thought it'd be like amd tri-core with 4gb ram, radeon 5770 and pretty much that's it... now it's super beefy >:o 

More about : 600 gaming build

a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 24, 2010 6:32:58 PM

CPU + MB - Check out MicroCenter for CPU + MB Combo. The "entry level" MSI board is fine, but consider the upgrades. Phenom X4 with MB will be $160 - $170 after rebate. In Store Pickup is the only catch!
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...

Memory - 8 GB memory is nice and all, but roll with 4 GB for now with the ability to upgrade to 8 GB down the road. You may never actually do this upgrade with your intended uses.

Boot Drive - An SSD boot drive is more expensive, but if you are concerned about bottlenecks, this is the way to go. Supplement with a standard 1TB - 2TB spindle drive.

GPU - Either of those video cards will well for you. Maybe a bit of overkill.

Good luck!
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November 24, 2010 6:56:06 PM

Wow those bundles are pretty legit. For sure I'll be getting it there. Fortunately I live only 15 minutes away :o 
Thanks a lot for the info: D

SSD: Cheapest one on NewEgg is 8GB $44 haha... I think I'll get it for my boot drive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram --> 4GB + give GPU a little slack and there's my $45.

As for my spindle drive, any opinions?
Seems like things are almost set!
Thanks again for the microcenter sadams, that saves so much money o_o
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November 24, 2010 10:38:10 PM

FINAL BUILD:

CPU/MOBO: $200-250, 965BE + one of the mobos as linked earlier
Case: $25 AR, Elite 430
PSU: $30, OCZ 600W
GPU: $150 AR, GTX 460 - *Probably.
HD: $43, Samsung Spinpoint HD322GJ.
RAM: $50, 2x2GB G.SKILL DDR3

EXCELLENT.
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!