In order to get the most bang for your buck, you should build the PC yourself. It's fun and educational, besides, you know exactly what goes into the PC which means you have greater control over quality. Below is a suggested hardware configuration. The below hardware configuration is more expensive than $750, but once the mail-in rebates are applied, you will be close to the budget.AMD AM3-based system
, this is cutting edge but more expensive than AM2/AM2+models.
Case: Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-US-BA-WOPSU Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
- You need a full-ATX case to hold some of the larger graphics cards. A mid-ATX case will work too, but won't have as much upgrade potential. $74.99 (Before $25 mail-in rebate)
Motherboard: ECS BLACK SERIES A790GXM-AD3 AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
- This is a very new motherboard, it will use the latest AMD processors and will allow for Crossfire. $109 (Before $15 mail-in rebate)
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 4MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
- This is one of the newer AM3 processors, there are two other Phenom II X4 AM3 processors that are much faster, but this is still a very good processor. $169
Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
- Only recently, this was AMD's top single card. This card will run most games very well and will Crossfire with other AMD cards. Crossfire will allow you to combine two or more cards into a much more powerful graphics system. $174 (Before $15 mail-in rebate)
Power Supply: RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-530SS 530W
- This power supply will handle this computer nicely, however, if you want to use Crossfire, you would want a much more powerful unit. $49 (Before $15 mail-in rebate)
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
- This is plenty of RAM for your PC. Your motherboard can handle far more than 4GB of RAM, which you can expand into later. $59
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB
- Plenty of space at a low cost. $64
Optical Drive: Sony Combo SATA Drive
- This drive will handle most optical discs. $23
Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit
- You need a 64-bit operating system to use 4GB or more of RAM. $99Total Cost
: $828After Rebates
: $768AMD AM2/AM2+ System
, if you want to save more cash up front but want a less powerful system, this is for you.
The parts from the above configuration remain the same, with the following exceptions.
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA780G-UD3H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
- This motherboard is a good choice, price wise. It allows for Crossfire and the use of AM3 processors, but you will not gain any benefit from DDR3 since this is a DDR2 motherboard. $89
RAM: OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
- This is DDR2 RAM with the exact same capacity as the DDR3 RAM above. $47
CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz
- You can reuse the processor from the above AM3 configuration or you can save a little money with this processor. This is a triple core processor at a slightly higher clockspeed. $145Total Cost
: $771After Rebates
Edited by DJBPace07, 05 May 2009 - 05:34 PM.