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Building a $500-600 gaming system

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November 6, 2011 8:16:19 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: This weekend.
Budget Range: $500-600 After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Skyrim, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca (or any other good Canadian sites)
Country of Origin: Skyrim -- I mean Canada
Parts Preferences: existing 22" LCD, leaning towards Intel i3-2120
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 native
Additional Comments: Skyrim, cheap, simple, quiet -- in that order

Before I pull the trigger on this, I'd like a second opinion. It's more pricey than I'd like, but I'm concerned about going too cheap.

This is a personal machine for light gaming, internet, tinkering, whatever. If it does nothing but play Skyrim on high (OMG, or ultra ....) I'll be happy.

Here is what I have so far:

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120
GPU: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 460 1GB
Mobo: MSI H61M-E33 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 micro ATX
PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
CD/DVD: LG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model
WIFI: Rosewill IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Wireless Adapter Card

total: $554.93 + shipping + tax - $50 mail in rebates

I could drop down to an i3 2100 and higher latency RAM, but it would only shave off maybe $20-25. Maybe a cheaper case?

Thanks in advance! :) 

P.S. Yes I need some sort of wifi here. Cabling is not an option, sadly.
P.P.S. What's with HDD prices? Am I dreaming or are they higher than they used to be?
November 6, 2011 8:32:26 AM

I might see if I can pick up a cheap HDD in town here. I feel like I could get something on sale for half that price.

As for games ... Battlefield 3, Rage, Metro 2033, Crysis 2, Mass Effect 3 ... whatever I can get away with really. :D 

I'm not too worried about being able to play on max settings or anything, but of course I would like things to be pretty. :) 
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November 6, 2011 9:00:14 AM

I dunno, Intel doesn't give the option to SLI/Crossfire on the H61 motherboards, so I think you'd be better off with a slightly higher end card. The 460's getting old, and only way to upgrade is going to be buying a new card. A 6950 (f.ex.) might last another year or more.
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November 6, 2011 12:37:11 PM

get to the toms 500 system builder, much better option option
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November 6, 2011 4:21:21 PM

FinneousPJ said:
I dunno, Intel doesn't give the option to SLI/Crossfire on the H61 motherboards, so I think you'd be better off with a slightly higher end card. The 460's getting old, and only way to upgrade is going to be buying a new card. A 6950 (f.ex.) might last another year or more.


Sadly, a 6950 is over $100 more, which blows my budget. And the 6870 is $40 more. I'm hoping by the time I need to upgrade, prices will have dropped and I can patiently wait to find a good deal on a better card.

I was looking at SLI/Crossfire options (for the long term), but that doubles my motherboard cost. Figure I can just sell the GTX 460 and buy a new one, if I find it necessary.
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November 9, 2011 12:56:00 AM

Best answer selected by kwnd.
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