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Cheapskate building a cheap gaming rig

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January 10, 2012 3:16:55 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: No rush here, could be purchased between now and income tax. 

Budget Range: $250-$500. Looking to go as cheap as possible. 

System Usage from Most to Least : Gaming only. I have other lap/desktops and tablets for other uses. 

Parts Not Required: I do not believe that I will need a monitor. I should be able to use either my 73" Mitsubishi or 42" Samsung. 

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: My wife works IT and has access to different vendors but I'm not sure which ones. Possibly newegg and tigerdirect. 

Country: USA, Philadelphia, PA if any parts can be acquired cheap locally. 

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: Completely ignorant to this

SLI or Crossfire: Same as above 

Monitor Resolution: Unsure what my TV's can do. 

Additional Comments: Like I said, my wife works IT. She's more than able to build this but will not do the research so I can play a few games lol. I don't need anything top of the line at all. Currently all I want to do is be able to play Star Wars, The Old Republic and when it's released, Planet Side at decent settings.

In advance I appreciate the help here. If there is any info missing(which I didn't really have anything to go by) please let me know and I will do what I can. 
January 14, 2012 7:19:03 AM

First off, you might wish to research the gaming on a TV thing. I have never done it, but from everything I read, it is not all that great. Maybe your wife has some connection for getting a decent used monitor.

At any rate, staying within $500 is a bit of a challenge for a decent gaming PC. The good news is you live near a Microcenter. They have the best processor prices of anywhere I have seen. Other components, not so much although they do have the occasional ram and motherboard deals. Newegg is generally best for everything else so I will quote accordingly.

CPU - $99.99 - http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Motherboard - $69.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram - $18.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video Card - $134.99 after rebate - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply - $44.99 after rebate - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case - $49.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $418.94 after rebates.

The processor may look weak, but it is a dual core that acts like a quad core due to being multi-threaded. It also ranks just one slot below the high end on Tom's latest hierarchy chart. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...

You could also bump up to 8gb ram which is pretty standard for gaming rigs. In either case you will want a 64 bit version of Windows 7 like this. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The power supply is about the minimum you can get away with for this rig. It is good quality and 80 plus certified.

The video card is considered mid range these days, but should play most games on high settings.

Cases are more of a personal preference thing, but I love mine. Good air flow, and reasonably quiet. With the stock fan which I moved to the rear of the case for better cooling. If you find you need more cooling or quiet, these fans are very good at both. www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683520902...

I did not include a DVD RW or BlueRay drive as I did not know your preference, but this is a very good and quiet DVD drive, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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