Suggestions for My $500 Budget Gaming PC

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: $400-600 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (Starcraft 2), surfing the internet

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900


AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $113.99
GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard $89.99

(Alternatives: )
Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
plus either:
* Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H Socket AM3 880G mATX $159.98 for the combo
* MSI 870A-G54 Socket AM3 870 ATX $169.98
* Asus M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 870 $179.98
* M4A88TD-V EVO/U Socket AM3 880G ATX AMD $189.98

Video Card:
EVGA 01G-P3-1370-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB $129.99

(Alternative: )
* GIGABYTE GV-N26UD-896M GeForce GTX 260 896MB $108.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) $39.99

Power Supply:
Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W $54.99

(Alternative: )
* OCZ Fatal1ty 550W Modular Gaming Power Supply $49.99

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EARS $54.99

Optical Drive:
LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner $18.99

APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case $36.99

I want to make sure these parts will all work together, none of them are known to be horrible quality, and I'll be able to play Starcraft II. If you have any ideas for saving money or things I could switch or cut back on, that would be great too.

Thanks for your help!
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Cant see the point in a "green" hard drive for gaming . They use a couple of watts less power but trade off too much performance . And take half as long again to load and boot .

    Do not use a gtx 260 . Too old , too slow .

    At this price range the Phenom quad is the processor of choice BUT make sure you use a motherboard that supports AM3+ processors . This is going to open up the possibility of future upgrades to AMD's next generation Bulldozer processors .


    I'd even save a few dollars on the processor to get an AM3+ motherboard
  2. I would strongly suggest you to go with AM3+ board if you want to upgrade a CPU in the future. However, if you do not plan to upgrade CPU in the future on the existing board, AM3 would do fine.

    Something like this:

    Also, I heard MSI does not pay much attention to quality for AMD boards, so you may avoid this.
  3. Thanks for your help! I plan to switch my motherboard to Outlander's suggestion, GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ $92.99.

    I'll also switch my hard drive to Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALX 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Internal Hard Drive $54.99.
  4. Best answer selected by typhoon2011.
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