Well, I'm really just hoping for Skyrim, I have no interest in BF3.
I also have a 1680x1050 monitor if I need to drop the resolution a bit.
Anyway, I like your advice except for 2 things:
1) I'm pretty sure there is no chance of reusing the Dell case. It would probably involve modifying the back of it physically, so I'm pretty sure I need a new case
2) I'm not too thrilled with the H61 mobo from what I see. Would there perhaps be an AMD route that would give me a better mobo, with a decent CPU that would also be more possible to upgrade in the future?
Also, I believe I have a copy of Win 7 64 bit someone gave me with a PC I bought on craigslist awhile back. Come to think of it, I'm not sure it's a legit copy but whatever.
Theoretically you will have problems activating an OEM version of windows on two sets of hardware . But its worth a shot if its a 64 bit version . If its not then you probably need one anyway .
I agree with you about H61 motherboards . They are very lightweight. But they do work and they are very cheap . Ideally a mb with a Z68 chipset . Full ATX models that cant crossfire or SLI sell for as little as $120 .
A good gaming case like the Antec 300 is around $60 , and there are many other options under $50 that compromise a bit on quality .
IMO always play at the monitors native resolution even if it means turning down image details in the game settings . If you just reduce the resolution the monitor has to adjust the image to fit the screen and thats a worse option.
Yeah, I'm starting to think I'll wait at least until Skyrim actually comes out to see how it actually performs on my system. If it works well enough I could save up more money to make my new build a little more potent.
And as far as always playing at the monitor's native resolution, I totally agree. I have two different monitors, one 1920x1080, and the other 1680x1050. When my computer struggles at 1920x1080, I actually switch monitors so I can still play at native resolution lol. I can't stand playing at non native resolution.
Anyway, thanks for the help, but I think if I wait until after my wedding (and maybe cut down some of our catering plans lol) I will be able to build something a little better.