With summer vacation approaching for my kids, they've voiced a deep interest in becoming involved with a variety of MMO's over the coarse of said period. We'll need performance ranging from web-browsing on the low end, up to games like WoW, Tera Online & SW: toR on the high end. The idea is to reach our performance/requirement(s) goal via the lowest dollar amount possible, but still pull off a reliable system. Ideal budget $450 or less
CPU: 3Ghz dual-core minimum plz, Best perfomance for the same rough $ amount is ideal
PSU: Reputable brand/model, as this system will see long steady hours of use over the coarse of the summer
Approximate Purchase Date: aSaP
Budget Range: As cheap as we can get, but still meet with performance requirements and reliability needs
System Usage from Most to Least Important: MMO gaming - Netflix/Movie media - Web-browsing
Parts Not Required: Case, as I'd like to begin the build with the APEX TX-381-C. Keyboard, mouse and display need not be included in build suggestions
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have access to Newegg, Microcenter & Amazon
Parts Preferences: 3Ghz(+) dual(+) CPU
Overclocking: Maybe, if possible w/o taking a serious jump up in mobo cost
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: undetermined
As a longtime lurker on the site, I've seen the magic this community can work via its knowledgeable & talented user-base, I look forward to viewing your ideas...and thank you for participating in advance
At this point, I'll stop to say a few things. First, sign up for newegg newsletter, you'll get promo codes and sale news every few days, and it'll trim a few bucks off some parts. For instance, windows 7 oems regularly go down to $80 every few weeks, which is twenty bucks that can go into something else. I've included the shipping with these; again, watch the newsletter as there is usually some optical drive on sale that also has free shipping for the week, which is another way to save five to ten bucks.
I chose the G620, which is below you're requested 3GHz requirement, for a few reasons. First, it is the same price as an Athlon dual core which would be clocked at your target. AM3 is a drying up socket, with not much by way of upgrade possibility after another year; LGA 1155 should still have a good year or two left, plus used CPUs, like the i3-2xxx, or an i5-2xxx will be lovely upgrade options. And, the G620 spanks the higher clock of the Athlon on most benchmarks for gaming anyway. Check out youtube, type in G620, and watch how that little sucker handles most current games if paired with a decent video card; for gaming exclusively, it is hard to top the sandy-bridge in the budget market. Which brings me to my final component, and the most important after the CPU for gaming.
Our budget as it stands is $373, so roughly $80 for the video card. If you wait for a sale, you might massage that number down $30-40, which would bring in a much more welcoming three digits to play with. The first card that I think of is the gddr5 HD 6670; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... this one was $84 after code, and $74 after rebate, inside the budget. The ddr3 version of the card is around $60 and should still perform well enough for some mmo's on medium settings.
If you can get some of the other parts on sale or find other ways to trim the budget, the HD 7750 would be the perfect card and will get you sitting pretty with your mmos. It is $110, so without any budget trimming, you'd be at about $480, but it would be a great fit for your computer. One thought is to drop your power supply down to the Basiq to save $10 or so, since the HD7750 and the HD6670 both do not require a six-pin from the PSU. The PSU I included does have one in case you would like that upgrade option in the future.
HD 7750: $110; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
With the promo, you'll save ten bucks going the AMD route, for a triple core that's clocked above 3GHz. Without the promo, you're pretty much at the same price. The AMD will draw more power, and thus produce more heat; the G620 will be cooler to run, especially in longer gaming sessions. Either way, watch for those sales.
I have a lan box with the AMD triple core in it right now, and I am selling that and building a new one with the G620, so I have both processors right now. The Rana was fantastic with WoW, but I want something smaller and cooler for lan-parties, hence the G620. The fact that it does so well with gaming is just added bonus. Only thing I need now is a smaller case, and a new video card. I'm leaning towards the 6670 as well, depending on whether I want to splurge for the gddr5 version or stick with a cheaper ddr3 card.
I'll check back tomorrow, hope this gets you started at least!