I'm considering building a system for general use and light gaming - in particular, I'd like to be able to play any modern game at medium settings. My max budget is $550. How does the following build sound?
Case and power supply:
COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-OWR460 Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case RS-460-PSAR-J3, Elite 460W Power Supply ($70, newegg)
785GM-P45 AM3 mATX motherboard, MSI ($10 combo deal with the processor at local microcenter, ends Dec 5)
AMD Phenom X4 965 black edition ($160)
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512MB GDDR3 PCIe 2.0, $60 at TigerDirect via "Black Friday II" coupon code
ASUS CuCore Series EAH5770 ($150 @ newegg)
RAM: ADATA 4GB DDR3 1333, $50 (microcenter)
HD: WD Caviar Blue 500GB, $50 (microcenter, not sure about this, capacity seems low)
total: $400 with the 9800GT card, $500 with 5770 card.
More about :homebuilt home build advice appreciated
I just realized that the Cooler Master's power supply gets poor reviews. Instead, I might consider a cheapo case like the powerSpec TX366 steel case, $17 sale, newegg, and a better power supply (Cooler Master GX Series 650W ATX is $55 at microcenter right now).
looking at about 490 before rebates on this... will be around 430 after your rebates.
If you feeling like dumping a bit more money in the build, spring for one of the more expensive MB processor combo's that include a board with which you can potentially unlock cores. There's a good chance you could then unlock the phenom II x2 into a X3 or X4 ...