Budget gaming build <$600

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 30 days

Budget Range: $600 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (EQ2, Sims 3, Skyrim), graphics design, web browsing

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,,

Location: Oregon, USA

Parts Preferences: AMD

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: I've only built one PC before, so I'm a noob at this. I need something cheap that has upgrade potential.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: need a new computer for school (and gaming) I've put together this tentative build, but I have no idea how good it is.
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  1. Best answer
    here is a slightly better build: higher quality parts, faster video card

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($104.98 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($74.98 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: PNY Optima 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($35.09 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital RE2 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($53.78 @ Compuvest)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.98 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Antec 380W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($40.49 @ SuperBiiz)
    Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.72 @ Amazon)
    Total: $590.99
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-06 17:56 EDT-0400)

    the ram is dual channel, the motherboard is ready for piledriver and Gigabyte is better then ECS for build quality, a 7770 is better than a 7750, the Antec 380W is a far better quality PSU than anything from Broadwell. the case is less fancy, but still quality and functional. I added a DVD drive that you forgot in your build,
  2. Best answer selected by tarakitten.
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