Graphics Card And Hard Drive
Graphics Card: MSI N560GTX-M2D1GD5 GeForce GTX 560
Compared to the GeForce GTX 560 Ti we used last quarter, today's GeForce GTX 560 has one of the GF114 GPU's eight Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs) disabled, resulting in a loss of 48 CUDA cores and eight texture units.
This model from MSI maintains Nvidia's reference GPU clock rate of 810 MHz and 1002 MHz (4008 MT/s) memory frequency. Moreover, it offers dual DVI outputs and a mini-HDMI connector.
MSI's bundle includes printed quick-start and installation guides, a software DVD, a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, a DVI-to-VGA adapter, and a pair of Molex power adapters, one of which our build requires. There's a $40 mail-in-rebate on the card right now, which makes it a stellar buy.
Read Customer Reviews of MSI's N560GTX-M2D1GD5
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500 GB
Offering us the most storage capacity for $65, Western Digital’s 500 GB WD5000AAKX impresses with a 7200 RPM spindle speed, a SATA 6Gb/s interface, and 16 MB of cache.
Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's WD5000AAKX 500 GB Hard Drive
Ever since I read the 7950B/7970GE review on here/anand performance per watt for me has been a priority when selecting components.
On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.
One may presume that someone after a $500 build is on a budget and hence doesn't want higher power consumption from overclocking.
Overclocking is good for performance per dollar, not performance per watt.
Why not substitute some existing parts for either an I3-2100 and/or an eVGA 560 Superclocked?