Approximate Purchase Date: Within a week, unless there's a good reason not to.
Budget Range: Around $600
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming only
Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, optical drive, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: SFF.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
I want a small PC for gaming only. I have a 8TB NAS in the basement, so bulk storage isn't an issue. I have an Asus media player on the Tv, so movies/media are not an issue. My main machine is a Macbook Air connected to the same Apple LED Cinema Display that this PC will use (A mini Displayport KVM will be used.)
Gaming wise: I want to play LOTRO with my kids, maybe Diablo 3, and older games galore. I'm not sure I need to use the complete 1900x1200 resolution ... would be ok.
I'd like a case the exact size of a motherboard, SSD and graphics card with an external power supply, but that seems impossible to find. "Gaming Graphics" and "external PSU brick" don't seem to go together. Hence, this proposed compromise.
APEVIA X-QPACK2-BL/500 MicroATX with Case 500W Power Supply $99
BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $60
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB)DDR3 1333 F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ $43
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 C3 $90
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SSD $114
PowerColor AX6850 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit $180
I'll be using either XP or 7. I'd prefer XP, but TRIM & the latest DX will probably push me in to 7.
Wattage-wise, the 500W will suffice for HD 6850. Quality-wise, it's a question mark. Apevia isn't a known good PSU manufacturer. It'll work. Initially. The cheapest Apevia case is $80. A quality 500W PSU will set you back $60ish. It'll be over budget if you buy a case & psu separately. However, you don't need HD 6850 for those old games except maybe Diablo 3. Knowing Blizzard, they'll probably optimize the game for as big a fan base as possible.
I'd suggest you get a case, a good psu, a small HDD & a GTX460 which can power the games you plan on playing. $600 for a gaming pc is too little to have a SSD. Your bottleneck will most likely be network latency. LOTRO is an online game. No need for SSD. You'd be waiting for your opponents to move or you'd be "teleporting" around cuz your pc is faster than others'.