Originally Posted by manofaction
Would that still stay in the price range?
Whats your total price range including OS?
I don't like the look of the power supply in that combo. If you're not attached to that particular case, you might be able to just pick off the shelf components for a similar price, but get better overall quality.
Here's an example.
I picked a Phenom II X4 as the higher (non turbo I may add) clock speed will help the games your friend plays more than the extra two cores. Additionally, this chip is unlocked, so you should be able to get 3.5-3.6 ghz on stock cooling without too much effort using just the multiplier. 3.7-3.8ghz are also readily available with a 20-30 dollar aftermarket heatsink. Be careful how hard you push it though as the mobo picked is not really up to the task if you go crazy with it. Keep the VRM sink cooled and you should be okay at 3.6-3.7 or so though. Add another 20-30 bucks for a better motherboard if you want to clock it higher, at which point you could get 3.8-4.0 depending on how lucky you are with the chip.
And the power supply there is MUCH better than the HEC unit. I'd be scared running a low end mobo and a low end PSU together. The combination can lead to wild voltage fluctuations. You also get 4 fans instead of the 3 fans in that combo, and they are nicer fans with higher CFM (although admittedly they do not have blue LEDs). You can also get a 4 pack of those cooler master blue led fans for like 20 bucks instead of the 30 for those cougars, so you have that option as well.
I have that case and can attest that it's pretty nice too. It's the same as a NZXT Tempest and a steal at that price, although not as much of a looker as the thermaltake, it sports the ability for twin 140s/120s on the top, twin 140s/120s on the side, twin 120s on the front, and an extra 120 on the bottom for good measure. Cooling on the case could be upgraded if your friend decides to OC.
It comes out to 497.91 with a copy of windows 7 home premium x64, a better PSU, and a CPU that is faster for the games your friend plays even at stock (with more room for improvement with a mild OC), and no rebates are necessary. There is also a 10 dollar promo code off on the power supply and a 10 dollar rebate on the power supply.
I didn't add a GPU as I don't know what the budget you have to work with is, but your friend will appreciate the extra clock speed when games are decompressing textures (I noticed a huge benefit in Fallout NV when I simply changed my CPU clock speed, for the most part the world wasn't faster unless I was using mods, but the load times were a lot shorter).Edited by SavantStrike - 2/5/13 at 8:55pm