Help with a sub $600 Gaming / CAD Build


Dec 12, 2012
I'm taking Engineering classes that are requiring more and more use of CAD Software, things like AutoCAD and Inventor from Autodesk. While not necessarily taxing on my current laptop, which was basically the cheapest we could find a year ago, I still enjoy my games and what I have now doesn't cut it. The 500W PSU is for (hopefully) future GPU addition. Aside from the AMD CPU, I'm fairly lenient when it comes to brands for other hardware. Just a preference that I can't even explain.

Here's something along the lines of what I'm looking for, but if any improvements can be made that keep everything within $600, then please say so.

CPU : AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core $129.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 ATX AM3+ $69.98
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 $38.99
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM $54.99
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7750 1GB $117.98
Case: Thermaltake VM30001W2Z ATX Mid Tower $39.49
Power Supply: CoolMax 500W ATX12V / EPS12V $19.99
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer $17.99
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $89.98
+$20.00 (Rebates being ignored)
Total: $599.38

So, before rebates, I'm looking for something under $600. The above build is a general guide, if something completely different is suggested, I'd be open minded about it.
that looks good, but you can get a 7770:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($107.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Xigmatek Asgard II Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.79 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($35.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $480.71
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-12 18:41 EST-0500)


Dec 12, 2012
Is their a possibility of sliding a decent 1x8GB RAM stick instead of 2x4GB? I'm kind of looking for a more future oriented set up, since I'm not too sure what software will be thrown at me for future use in some of my classes. If not, that's fine. Any reasoning behind the 2x4GB setup instead of a 1x8GB? Is it pricing or for Dual Channeling?