First time NOOB Budget PC

Approximate Purchase Date: This week but I can wait if there's something major coming out.

Budget Range: 500~ After Rebates I might be able to afford some more but I'm a university student so tight budget.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Hardcore gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, old hard drive. I also have an external cd drive i don't know if that can replace an internal one to save money
I can buy a window 7 professional upgrade for 60 bucks but is that OS or just an upgrade for window 7 becaus I don't have a OS right now. Are there any deals for students?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: neweggs, amazon, I never been to a microcenter but there is one 30 minutes away

Country: USA Washington DC

Parts Preferences: I don't know if this is possible but since I'm in University I would like a tower that is not too big so I can carry it back home on commercial airlines. If it's not then I guess its okay I'll think of something when transporting my pc.

Overclocking: Never done it before

SLI or Crossfire: I don't know what that is

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 21 inch monitor

Additional Comments: Again, it would be GREAT if this pc can be small but if not it's okay. Also I'm playing on a laptop with i5 430m and a Ati HD5145 so I don't know how much I need to build a pc that is significantly better!

I'm considering to add more money to the budget if the pc is small enough and fast enough because then I can get more use out of it during the summer. The ITX gaming machines looks really good for my situation but I don't know if the size will make the pc slower.
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More about first time noob budget
  1. Colleges and University's usually offer Windows 7 dirt cheap, I got mine for $20 from mine!
  2. I'll look into that!
  3. Check the $500 build in my sig.

    If you are getting WIn 7 for $20, used the saved money to bump upto a Core i3 2100 (+$30) and a HD6850 (+$40).
  4. If I fork in an extra 100-200 bucks how good will that be for a mini tower computer? Can they handle hardcore gaming?
  5. Mini towers can handle gaming just fine, you just have to be more careful with the thermals. Get a good case like this one for example:

    Like zero said, i3, H61 mATX and a 6850 will be a great system.
  6. I'm actually thinking of something like this for the case

    apparently the thermaltake one can fit a long graphics card

    PSU: one of the case comes with one I don't know which case to get yet any advice?
    CPU: i3 2120 $128
    Mobo: I don't really know the difference between the mini atx boards can you guys help?
    GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD6770 $99
    Ram: Corsair XMS3 8 GB (2 x 4GB) $48
    HDD: my old 3.5 Sata $0
    Optical drive: Can I just get by with my external one so I don't have to pay? $0

    Alright this is what I'm looking at now can you guys tell me which case is better and any improvements on the build?

    Thank you guys!

    I am willing to throw in some extra money for an i5 or better graphics card, How much difference will make? Will it last me for 3 years?
  7. I did some digging and is this a good mobo? Are there anything better for the price?
  8. chaos92soahc said:
    I did some digging and is this a good mobo? Are there anything better for the price?

    Most like the z68 boards and a lot of people here recommend gigabyte boards.

    The cases? They are mini atx and micro atx cases meaning they need to be mini atx and micro atx boards to use in them.
  9. What is the difference between mini itx and micro atx motherboard
  10. The size for one thing lol and regular atx boards being even larger. So to use one of those cases you need a board that size to fit in it.
  11. Does the performance of the computer suffers with a mini itx motherboard? Because if it does then there is really no point of me getting a small computer.
  12. which mobo has the best performance mini itx mini dtx or micro atx because I'll base on the mobo to select which of the 2 cases I'll get.
  13. Motherboard form doesn't affect performance. However I don't have experience with mini-ITX gaming system, I'm not sure you can fit everything on a board like that. I just built a H61 mATX build for my little brother though, and it's awesome.
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