Approximate Purchase Date: Between now and June 30th (possibly one component at a time)
Budget Range: 400-500 after rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (probably nothing more demanding then Battlefield 3--mostly Blizzard games like D3 and SC2), surfing the internet, watching movies
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, optical drive, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or other reputable site
Parts Preferences: Intel
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1600x900 I think, that's the highest it would let me set it on. I will get a better monitor later (unless 1600x900 is good enough?).
Additional Comments: This will be my first build and I definitely want an Intel. Nothing against AMD, I just prefer Intel for their performance in the gaming department atm. I have heard rumors that the HD 3000 integrated graphics with the i5 series and possibly even the HD 2000 with the i3 will run games like D3 on low or medium settings comfortably. If this is the case, perhaps I could wait until later to purchase a graphics card. I know performance and gameplay experience will suffer as a result, but I am strictly considering budget and would be able to purchase a better graphics card in the future if I wait. For instance, as of right now I don't think I can afford anything more than an HD 6670 or the comparable nVidia counterpart (and really dont need anything more), but if I use stock intel graphics to play D3 for a month maybe I can upgrade to something better in the future or use the extra money saved to, say, upgrade from an i3 2100 or 2120 to an i5 2300 or i5 2500. I don't need a fancy case, but I don't want to compromise quality on vital components such as the psu. Don't need a fancy motherboard for SLI, overclocking, etc--just want the best bang for the buck. Production/price is my primary concern. Willing to take and open to any/all advice, so please help me out!!
Ok, the following build just squeaks in under your budget. There's shipping on some things, but there's also a rebate on the graphics card.
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Model #:EA-380D Green
$59.99 -$15.00 Instant $44.99
My "goto" PSU on budget builds for years. Stable, efficient, and quiet. I have not known one to fail yet. Can power up to a HD6850 or HD7770.
Rosewill R218-P-BK Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
I have built in this case. For a cheap case, it is reasonably sturdy, and its fan is quiet but moves enough air.
ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$74.99 -$8.00 Instant $66.99
Has SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0. ASRock is one of my personal brand favorites.
XFX HD-677X-ZNLC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Mail in Rebate Card
$119.99 -$10.00 Instant $109.99
Should handle any game, most quite well at 1600x900.
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32100
Sometimes the i3-2120 is cheaper, but not right now. There may be a combo of this with a DVD drive, so check for that when you actually buy.
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
G.Skill has become my preferred RAM because I've never had to return any. I cannot even say that about Mushkin. This set uses Micron RAM chips.
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$84.99 -$5.00 Instant $79.99
I believe this is the model I have bought a few times. It is reasonably quick and quiet.
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer - Bulk - Black SATA Model iHAS224-06 LightScribe Support - OEM
One optical drive is much like another. This one has Lightscribe support. Check on the optical drive combo with the CPU though, it may even be cheaper.
Squeak squeak! There's nothing on this list I would not buy myself, and some I have. Going cheaper on anything (especially the PSU) would likely lead to quality sacrifices that I would NOT make.