Description: A mid-sized desktop. A core i3 powers this machine, meaning you get a dual core with quad core gaming power thanks to Intel's Hyper-Threading technology. Gaming performance is equivalent to an AMD Phenom II x4 900 series CPU. Non-gaming performance is about on par with other dual-cores. RAM is a standard 8GB, easily upgradable to more. Motherboard supports USB 3.0, as well as x16/x4 Crossfire (which you probably won't want to use anyways). A beefy 480W power supply provides clean power for this machine. You also get a nice bump in graphics performance with the HD 7850 and a nice boost from the Caviar Black hard drive.
Expect excellent 1080p performance out of most games at high settings, good performance at 2560x1600 at medium settings.
|CPU||Intel Core i3-2100||$120||---||Newegg|
|RAM||G.Skill 8GB DDR3 1600MHz||$25||---||Newegg|
|Power Supply||Rosewill Stallion RD500-2DB||$40||---||Newegg|
|Hard Drive||WD Caviar Black 500GB||$70||---||Newegg|
|Graphics||XFX Radeon HD 7850||$170||$20||Newegg|
|Motherboard + Case||MSI Z77A-G41||Rosewill Blackbone||$100||$15||Newegg|
SSD: With the lack of quality, > 64GB capacity SSDs at the $70 price point, the budget-friendly SSD substitutions remain the same as from the $300 build. Keep the same configuration above, but replace the WD Caviar Black HDD with a 60GB SSD. 60GB should be able to hold your OS, basic applications, and 3 - 6 full games. At the slightly-over-budget $90-$100 price point, 90GB and 120GB SSDs become available. There's even a crazy clearance deal for Intel 180GB SSDs. But be quick, they'll run out soon.
|Crucial M4 64GB||$66||---||Amazon|
|Samsung 830 64GB||$63||---||Amazon|
|Kingston HyperX 3K 90GB||$88||---||Amazon|
|Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB||$100||---||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme 120GB||$100||---||Amazon|
|Intel 330 120GB||$100||---||Amazon|
|Intel 330 180GB||$100||---||Newegg|