$500-600 Gaming pc approval & suggestions

Did a lot of research considering this is my first dive into the pc build world and this is what i came up with http://pcpartpicker.com/p/deIM . A few questions,

1) i have a terabite external drive and im wondering if i can just use that plugged into the desktop as my main source of storage or if not i have the 250gb hard drive taken from an xbox 360. Could either be used as alternative means to buying a new hard drive?

2) I tried cutting corners and going with very low end products with high ratings so i dont know if its incorrect of me to just mix & match certain brands. for example the case i choose will that be fine with the motherboard and other parts?

3) I choose 600watts based off other builds i've seen in the forums, is this fine or should i step it up with a pricier product?

4)With this build is it very safe to say i can run most games on high to ultra settings?

keep in mind i will be purchasing by the end of August so these prices might drop, ive set the price reminders on pcpartpickers site. For now im thinking i can use my labtop for its screen,keyboard & i have a mouse. I have cousins that would want one of these builds also so we might just all have the same one soon.


I also saw this compared to other popular choices and the rating dropped a bit from the 6870 but the price difference was significant. http://community.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/ATI+Radeon+HD+5850/review

i also read good reviews for this one http://community.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GTX+560/review
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More about gaming approval suggestions
  1. i forgot i dont have an os, would that be another $100 added to my costs, is that the only option?
  2. $55 after MIR 600 watt PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk3 S600 (Seasonic) http://pcpartpicker.com/part/pc-power--cooling-power-supply-ppcmk3s600

    $60 550 watt XFX Core Edition Pro Series (Seasonic) http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1550sxxb9
  3. Yeah the external hard drive will work just fine but it may be slower than a Desktop drive.

    I also built you a PC.Its a pretty big upgrade from the build you linked.And it's still below 600 USD.
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair CAFA50 61.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus M5A97 EVO ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.98 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card ($189.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.98 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $536.90
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-28 03:21 EDT-0400)

    If you still want better performance then you should replace the graphics card with this one.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127662&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Video%20Cards-_-MSI-_-14127662&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=
  4. curious as to why choose the CPU: 955 over the 965? $5 difference but rated better.
    Also the case you picked out, is that your preference or do i need it for better temp control. The video cards you suggested are insanely good but i wont be playing those very heavy type of games. Just looking forward to Dota 2 and the warZ maybe starcraft 2 so wouldn't the $70 card i listed above work? Everything else looks very reasonable and in my price budget thanks!
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