Custom building your PC can be very cost effective and you will see huge performance gains in your system. If you enjoy gaming on your System, this should be something you look at. Most people don't realize how easy it is to build your own computer and the money you can save by doing it. You not only save money but you can get a machine that would outperform anything in the price range you would have bought from a manufacturer such as HP, Dell, or Apple (lol) Here's what you need 1- Case 2- Motherboard 3- Processor 4- Video Card 5- Hard Drive 6- RAM 7- PSU (Power Supply Unit) 8- Cooling system....most cases will come with fans but you can always add extra 9- DvDR/CDR drive 10- Sound Card Thats all you need on the hardware side..the rest is software which is easy enough. It's been a hobby of mine to build them and I also enjoy playing First Person Shooting games on my PC which is usually graphic intensive. My system Case- Cooler Master CM690 ATX Mid-Tower Case- Cooler Master CM690 ATX Mid-Tower Case at TigerDirect.com $80 Motherboard- Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H Motherboard - AMD 785G, ATI Hybrid CrossFireX, PCIe 2.0, USB 2.0, RAID, HDMI, DVI, VGA Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H Motherboard - AMD 785G, ATI Hybrid CrossFireX, PCIe 2.0, USB 2.0, RAID, HDMI, DVI, VGA at TigerDirect.com $80 Processor AMD Phenom X4 9600 Quad Core Processor AMD Phenom X4 9600 Quad Core Processor HD960ZWCGDBOX - Black Edition, 2.30GHz, 4MB Cache, 1800MHz (3600 MT/s) FSB, Agena, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket AM2+, Processor with Fan at TigerDirect.com $250 Video Card XFX Radeon HD 4870 Video Card - 1024MB ( 2 of them) Most people only need 1 video card $150 each $300 Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS Hard Drive - 1TB, 32MB, SATA-300, OEM at TigerDirect.com $90 x2- $180 RAM- Corsair Dominator Dual Channel 4096MB Corsair Dominator Dual Channel 4096MB PC8500 DDR2 1066MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB) at TigerDirect.com $80 PSU Corsair TX650W 650-Watt Power Supply Corsair TX650W 650-Watt Power Supply - ATX, 120mm Fan, SLI-Ready, SATA-Ready, 80Plus at TigerDirect.com $80 CD/DVD Drive Sony AD-5240S-0B Optiarc DVDRW Drive Sony AD-5240S-0B Optiarc DVDRW Drive - DVD+R 24X, DVD-R 24X, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6X, SATA (OEM) at TigerDirect.com $30 Sound Card Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio at TigerDirect.com $40 Total Price for my system A little bit over a grand. Pretty much a beast of a machine...I can run any game on it..Including Crysis at max settings. Trying to go to a manufacturer and get something similar (which you won't because they can't mix and match pieces like you can when you custom build) would be much more expensive. My cousin spend 4 grand at Dell for a machine that doesn't come close to the performance. If you want Value, I can give you the pieces to buy for a 400-600 machine which would run very efficently and smooth.