Need Help on Budget Gaming build for my Sister. $600-700

My sister wants to have me build her a budget machine with as much gaming power as possible. She says she wants to keep it at around 600, but will reluctantly go up to 700 total.

I'm not a budget builder. All of the systems I've ever built are $2-$4 grand each, so I don't have a clue what the low end market is like.

Her requirements.

Smallest case possible as long as it doesn't mean sacrificing power. She would like a square case that could fit on her shelf.
ATI card.
Must have an SD slot and plenty of USB and other ports for her cameras.
Doesn't need Blu-ray, just regular DVD.
No monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc. needed. Just the rig.

Someone school me on the low end. I honestly don't even know where to start. I3? I5? I7? ATX? Mini ATX?

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  1. The low-end is the only place AMD is pretty competitive, so it's a viable option if you'd like. I'd personally try and go with an i3-2100 build right now though - it's cheap, but outperforms a lot of the more expensive chips in gaming. I'd try and use something like this:

    I don't use newegg myself, but that motherboard, processor, ram, and video card would be what I would go for, plus other parts depending on how much she wants to spend. Anyhow, hope that's a start.
  2. Ok, but I mentioned that she prefers ATI cards

    And the first link is a fan cooling stand....
  3. Nothing, really?
  4. is the cost of windows 7 included in the budget?
  5. Whack a cheap 1156 Gigabyte mATX board into this Lian Li Case. There is the mITX version of this case but it doesn't have an inbuilt SD card reader. Obviously you'd need to pick up a mITX board for that.

    Grab some cheap DDR3 and an i3. I'm sure you've got some old hard drives sitting around. Don't skimp on the PSU though.

    As for the GPU well it's a fight for leftover cash. Have a look at the GPU charts on this site to figure out what's the best for the amount then go for that. I've always preferred HIS versions of ATI cards.
  6. Sorry, that first link was one of their Shell Shocker combos, and I guess it changed to something else.

    It was an i3-2100, Gigabyte H67M-D2 board, with a case, card reader, RAM, etc. for $265 or something after rebates.

    And for ATI cards, maybe grab a 5770 / 5830, or a 6850 if you can find one on sale...
  7. does she need a wifi board, in which case this would be good:

    otherwise a nice m-itx board like this would do well:
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