[New Build] Gaming, video encoding ~600


Sep 13, 2010
Approximate Purchase Date: Within 2 months

Budget Range: ~$600 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (particularly SW:TOR), video encoding, graphic editing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon, any reputable site

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel and Nvidia for cpu and graphics, respectively. I realize this is unlikely due to my budget.

Graphic Card selected (although not married to): Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850

Overclocking: Highly unlikely, but maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Not initially, but perhaps down the road.

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Quiet is paramount. I don't want a single part that makes any noticable noise. ]


This is a good place to start.
This is a tough build. You need a strong CPU and storage system for doing the editing, but you need a strong GPU for the gaming. If it was one or the other (or you could tack $200 to the budget) then you could build a much better machine, but as it is it will not be bad, and you can always tack on upgrades in the future. OC and SLi are not options at this point, but I will try to keep it open to have those options down the line if you want them.

Win7 Home should do the trick $100

CPU: $128
i3 2120, duel core with HT. It would be nice to get a quad core, but this will get the job done

Mobo: $70
ASUS P8H61-M, no OC, no SLi or xFire and a max of 8GB of ram (technically 16GB but 8GB modules cost too much), but other than those upgrade limitations this board is perfect for you. When things get slow you will want to upgrade the cpu and gpu.

Ram: $37
8GB 2x4GB, DDR3 1600, Crucial. 4GB would be fine for games, but you will want 8GB for video editing

HDD: $85
Sammy F3 500GB 7200rpm, down the road you will want to get a 2nd one in RAID1/0 and use this purely as a content drive and get an SSD for your OS and scratch disc, but for now this will do the trick.

ODD: $20
Any cheap CD/DVD burner.

Power Supply: $80, $55 after rebate
OCZ 550W, 80+Bronze. I get a lot of flack for suggesting these, but the new ones are quite good, and the rebate is great, just go in with the understanding that they have been a crappy power supply company in the past, but have been 'remaking' themselves the last few years. Should be more than enough power for any single GPU you throw at it. There is a modular version for a few $$ more.

Case: $40
I do not like to suggest cases, as your case is personal to your own taste and budget. I use the Thermaltake V3 Black which is $35 after rebate right now and it is housing 3HDDs (soon to be 4! Almost ready for that SSD finally!), an i7 with a Hyper212Evo cooler, a 750W power supply, and a GTX570. I have 7 fans installed (including case and device fans), and it is quiet and cool. Loudest things are the 3x7200rpm drives (seagates are not exactly silent operators) and my 570, but the 570 will be getting an aftermarket GPU cooler soon, so it should just be drive noise soon. Point is that you don't need to have an expensive case to have one that is effective, and a little stylish. Cooler Master Elite cases are also in this price range and I have heard good things about them.

GPU: ???
Well, that leaves you $45 on your budget, so you will have to go a little over to get a good GPU. I would suggest waiting until the 7770 and 7750 come out and get one of them, or else wait for the 600 series by nVidia to be released soon.