First Build Advice/Critque under $600

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP, hopefully within 2 weeks

Budget Range: under $600 after Rebates (closer to $500 if it can be helped)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet surfing, microsoft office

Parts Not Required: Monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: anywhere; from what I've seen is the place to go

Parts Preferences: no preference

Overclocking: Laugh if you will, I have no clue what this means

SLI or Crossfire: I'm not exactly sure that this means either. Sorry for the naivete.

Monitor Resolution: I have a monitor but I am unsure of the resolution (not with me at the moment, will check and post) EDIT: 20" monitor at 1600 x 900 resolution

Additional Comments: I did a bit of researching and this is the parts list I personally came up with:

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.24 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($37.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Cooler Master 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.97 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Full (32/64-bit) (N/A)
Total: $537.15
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-19 03:22 EDT-0400)

I am so green at this that I don't even know is this set-up will run together. I would greatly appreciate any and all critiques of my list as well as advice for parts and the build as a whole. Just as a reference, I plan on playing Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 smoothly on this build so if these parts won't play those then I need to make some changes. Thank you!
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  1. Best answer
    Wow, Nice Budget Build there, the i3 2100 for 90, the Hd for 70, Everything is Great.

    This is my 2 cents.

    Better motherboard for less money -

    Better Video Card - it owns the Gtx 550 ti.

    Now now, the Psu is the Heart of the pc, you cant go and waste 30 usd in it.
  2. Thanks for the advice.

    While I was checking out the motherboard you mentioned, I stumbled upon this similar one:

    Any difference between those? I saw someone else has a similar build as mine and that's what they ended up with.

    As for the video card, I had no idea whether to go with GeForce or Radeon and when I checked the benchmarks for the two cards you were definitely right about the Radeon 6790 being better than the GTX 550 ti (at least as far as I see).

    For the PSU, I beg your forgiveness lol. First build so I have no idea what is necessary.

    Do you think I will need to buy multiple fans? (and if so, how many?) Also, are these parts compatible?

    Sorry for the noob status here, thanks a ton!
  3. Best answer selected by deport.
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