Budget Gaming - Help me trim this to $450 with your expert advice

Hi Tom's Hardware followers:

I would appreciate some specific and expert advice on an economy gaming build that will take place this week (07/06/11) - (07/10/11).

Right now I am at $528.00 and I want to knock it down to $450.00 or less. In addition, I would appreciate advice on the items I have selected. If there is a better deal or better quality, I would love to know.

This PC will be designed to link up via HDMI to a 1080p plasma tv and use a wireless mouse/keyboard from the couch. I will be playing games like Starcraft II and Star Wars the Old Republic - I would like the best graphics bang for my buck.

I would prefer my parts to all come from one source but am open minded.

Overclocking and SSL/Crossfire are not that important to me.

One last thing as I list my Newegg cart: I'm torn between investing more in the graphics card and less in other areas. Please look at what I've selected and give me some feedback. Thanks!

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  1. ^ Some suggestions -
    Why do you need a CPU cooler ? You cant overclock, so the stock would suffice...

    Here is a build -
    CPU + A no-frills decent board
    i3 + Biostar H61

    RAM - Again a good cheaper RAM

    GPU - For gaming where it matters most
    HD 6770

    CASE - Even this would be a very good option -
    NZXT Gamma

    PSU - Corsair 500W

    HDD - If you wont need much space, then the one you have selected is fine,...

    DVD - Same

    Mouse + KB - Same
    Or check this -

    Total - ~$517
  2. this build is similar to gkay09, but some modification:

    CPU & Motherboard: $165-i3-2100 & Biostar H61MH (Great processor & decent motherboard lacks USB 3.0 & SATA 6GB/s,same)

    RAM: $35- Gskill NS (2X2GB, same)

    Power Supply: $45- Corsair Builder Series CX430 (Decent 80 Plus certified power)

    Graphic Card: $125- Sapphire Radeon 6770

    HDD: $40- Seagate Barracuda 500GB( higher capacity)

    Case: $35- Sentley Black

    Optical Drive: $19- LiteOn

    Keyboard & Mouse : $32-Logitech EX100

    Total (Excluding Rebates) : 496 USD

    Rebates: 50 USD

    If you just need mouse, get a cheap one like Microsft Comfort worth $11
    Also no need of a cpu cooler, the stock heatsink is sufficient for your needs.
  3. You definitely wont need a cooler, so you got a $45 saving right there. Also maybe a cheaper case for ~$35ish.

    Check my sig. They come with a $100 OS included. The $600 one packs a i3 2100 + HD6850.
  4. I just did a quick scan of your build. Toms builds gaming machines in their systembuilder marathons and they have to work hard to fit within $500-600, and that is without having to buy mouse and keyboard. To go below that price level requires squeezing real hard, such as buying the cheapest POS case you can find, maybe even scrounging up a used case and DVD drive. Instead of the i3 you could save a little by going with AMD, even though I'm not an AMD fan personally.
  5. In another thread someone wanted a $350 computer, which is a hard price range to pull off.

    -Make sure the key/mouse takes aa or aaa batterys, then you will need nimh rechargeable batteries for the mouse with a charger. The mouse will need rechargables, the keyboard should be fine with disposables. If the mouse takes aaa's you will need 2 sets of batteries. Try and find one where the mouse takes a pair of aa's.
    It might be better to buy the key/mouse local in case the range is poor, or you don't like the feel of the key/mouse then it's easier to exchange it.
    The key/mouse is the hardest thing to figure out for a living room pc.
    You should get a usb extension cable so you can hide the receiver close to the coffee table or under the couch so the range is not so much of a issue.
    I had good luck with microsoft mouse's (some take aa battery's too which is better than aaa's) logitec seemed to be ok too. even those brands have range issues.

    -It's a bit cheaper so you can buy a nicer key/mouse, a wireless joystick, a wireless joypad, a few games on steam. Figuring out this so it works without wires everywhere is your biggest battle with a living room pc. You might have to exchange a few things till you get it right. You need a nice higher coffee table for the key/mouse, you might have to spend a bit on a new coffee table. Get one with woodgrain and not a solid color like black since the mouse needs detail on the surface to work. I built my own since its hard to find ones that are a bit higher and real wood.

    AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX630WFK42GM - OEM
    bundled with:
    1x BIOSTAR A780L3L AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    1x G.SKILL Value Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 ...
    1x LOGISYS Computer CS305BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower ...
    1x Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA ...
    1x Thermaltake A4022 92mm CPU Cooler

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814131434
    PowerColor AX6770 1GBD5-H Radeon HD 6770 1GB Free Sid Meier's Pirates w/ purchase $119.99 ($99.99 after mail-in rebate)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827135204
    $19.99 Free Shipping Asus 24X DVD Burner

    Subtotal: $358.97 ($338.97 if the $20 mail in and pray rebate ever comes in) Ya don't count on the rebate, Don't "sell" your cell phone number to them for $20. Sometimes its not worth applying for the rebate cause your phone number is toasted when they sell it to marketing firms.

    -It might need a new power supply if the one with the case crashes in 3d games with the 6770 card, you will just have to try it first. Something like a 600 watt corsair on sale would be good if it proves to be a dud.

    -The cpu should overclock to over 3ghz. and the 6770 is known to overclock well too. they might not overclock with the generic 480 watt however.

    well good luck.
  6. Thanks so much for everyone's assistance. I was able to put together a good build from the advice. Thanks again!
  7. Siggy I have a $450 build though I don't know if you've already picked a build.
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