Gaming Desktop at or below $650


Aug 23, 2011
Hey guys! So, I'm new to building computers and really have no idea what is a good part and why. I can tell that one graphics card is better than another, but I can't for the life of me tell someone why that is. Anyway, I need a build that is at or below $650 that would run WoW, the Total War series (Shogun), Mount and Blade: Warband, and possibly games such as Skyrim when they come out. Thanks to Chillin15, I have a build that may fit that ticket, but I was wondering if there was anything anyone would change or if there is a better build all together. Chillin's build is below. Thanks ahead of time!

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy


GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard


PowerColor AX6850 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

Now: $159.99
$139.99 after mail-in rebate

Corsair Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

$49.99 after mail-in rebate card

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9S-4GBRL


AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ970FBGMBOX


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Now: $59.99
$49.99 after mail-in rebate

Subtotal: 603.92

better processor, ram, case, video card, psu, and mobo than your prebuilt build. You can upgrade to bulldozer once it comes out too

Any other money you wish to spend would be on a cpu cooler:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus [...] 6835103065

All prices are taken from newegg
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In any case, if this was an AMD build. I disagree with the CPU, maybe the PSU, and possibly the motherboard.

For one thing, if you get the H212+ I'm assuming you will overclock. If that is the case the 970 is a waste of extra money when currently the 965 only costs $115 w/ promo. Also, I don't really think the CX series is a very good lineup, the CX430 is good for the price. But the 600 and 500 are expensive for the price. You could easily run your selected system with a 500w and this is a cheaper option.
Higher efficiency $50
Or if you plan to run SLI/CF for the same price of $70

As for the motherboard, there are better boards for the price. By better, I mean PCI lanes. Should you plan to CF/SLI. The 970 Extreme4 Asrock would be a better board. Cheaper, plus it runs 8x/8x.

You could check out my build guide for $550 that'd run pretty well. Cheaper too.
That power supply is pretty overkill, 500W would be plenty even with heavy overclocking. I think though, if youre willing to sacrifice overclocking you can get a much better gaming system.

Intel i5-2400 - $189.99
4GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1333Mhz - $29.99
ASRock H61M-VS - $59.99
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99
Sapphire HD 6870 - $174.99
Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99
Corsair CX-500 500W - $59.99
LG DVD Burner - $18.99

Total $653.92 before shipping and $50 of rebates

If you can afford it i would consider making that RAM 8GB, possibly do it when you get the rebates or something. Either way that should noticeably outperform the other system at the same price.