~$600-700 Gaming Build

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month if possible.

Budget Range: $600-700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Starcraft 2 in particular.), movies, web browsing.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Newegg. There is also a microcenter fairly close to where I live.

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: None.

Overclocking: Not if I don't need to.

SLI or Crossfire: Not sure.

Monitor Resolution: 1600x900 or 1440x900

Additional Comments: Trying to get a decent gaming computer for as cheap as possible. Would like to be able to run Starcraft 2 on max settings if at all possible, but not completely necessary.

Also, I am completely new to building computers and am unsure how difficult it really is. Any tips/suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
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  1. I suggest checking out AznShinobi's $600 build here
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore

    My built which I plan to be ordering within the next week is based off of his as he helped me out. It seems to be a really solid build!

    As you live in the US, pricing is a bit different compared to me (I'm in Canada), so it should be significantly cheaper for you. Because of that, you would probably be able to afford upgrading the CPU to an i5 2400, which would be great for you as SC2 relies on your CPU a lot more than most other games.

    For the GPU in his build, he recommends the HD 5850, which I couldn't find as it seems to be unavailable. So take a look at the HD 6870 or GTX 560 Ti for something equivalent. The 560 Ti is the best pick from those. You could even opt for a cheaper card such as the HD 6850 which will have no problem with SC2

    You can check out some benchmarks with SC2 here:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-radeon-hd-6850-barts,2776-14.html
  2. Take a look at this $600 build.
    http://gamingrig.blogspot.com/2011/06/600-gaming-pc-june-2011.html

    You can easily max out SCII at your resolution on that.
  3. Lobodomy said:
    I suggest checking out AznShinobi's $600 build here
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore

    My built which I plan to be ordering within the next week is based off of his as he helped me out. It seems to be a really solid build!

    As you live in the US, pricing is a bit different compared to me (I'm in Canada), so it should be significantly cheaper for you. Because of that, you would probably be able to afford upgrading the CPU to an i5 2400, which would be great for you as SC2 relies on your CPU a lot more than most other games.

    For the GPU in his build, he recommends the HD 5850, which I couldn't find as it seems to be unavailable. So take a look at the HD 6870 or GTX 560 Ti for something equivalent. The 560 Ti is the best pick from those. You could even opt for a cheaper card such as the HD 6850 which will have no problem with SC2

    You can check out some benchmarks with SC2 here:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-radeon-hd-6850-barts,2776-14.html



    Thanks. I checked out that build and took a look around. I also could not find the hd 5850, so I'll probably go with the 6850. I'll also probably take your advice and go for the i5 2400.

    Here's the parts and prices that I have found so far:

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0340562
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0283272
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354590
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371030
    http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-DL-DVI-I-SL-DVI-D-PCI-Express-100315L/dp/B0047ZGIUK
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231275
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157236

    Anyone mind checking that over to make sure everything is compatible? Also, any suggestions on a cd/dvd drive?
  4. Everything look like it will be compatible. But if I'm not wrong, that motherboard will not support SLI/CF with HD 6850s if you plan to do that in the future, which would be a great choice if you're going to upgrade your GPU.

    As for a disk drive, this looks like it would be fine:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
  5. Haha thanks lobodomy for the support. For future CF/SLI, go with this mobo, it's pretty cheap for a motherboard supporting 8x/8x
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130583
  6. No problem :P

    How does that motherboard compare to this one you recommended me:
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128502

    I might switch to the one you recommended him if it's a better choice, it's a cheaper board for US, but for me it's actually $5 more. Makes me think the Gigabyte is a better choice but the US to Canada pricing makes it cost less.

    I figure if I'm getting an SSD eventually I should stick with the Z68, correct?
  7. Not to jump in on a thread in progress, but I second all suggestions so far. (But if you can stretch the budget $20, be sure to get a 6870 ;) ) Might I add a +1 to the gigabyte? It's an excellently built board, with more spacing and expansion options.

    And you do not need Z68 for an SSD, that's for SSD caching which is only marginally better than a normal HDD. I think RAID 0 with some Spinpoint F3's can rival caching.

    I also disagree on the case. I prefer the HAF 912, mainly more airflow/space for the money, plus you get sick looks :p (Hint Hint Shinobi, maybe a little edit to the guide?)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233&Tpk=haf%20912

    And that's pretty much it! Solid build.
  8. Haha. The HAF is meh for me. I like the Antec's because of the cheap times when they have a sale for 55$. The Illusion is a great deal then, has lots airflow versus I believe only 2 fans on the HAF 912.

    As for SSD, you can stick with Z68 if you want. Caching is meh for me. I think I could live without it and be smart about what I put onto the SSD.
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