SimCity 5 System Requirements

http://www.simcity.com/en_US/system-requirements

Recommended specs for SimCity5
Processor: Intel core i5 or faster
Operating System: Windows 7
RAM: 4GB RAM
Graphics Card: nVidia GTX 275 or better or ATI 5850 or better

http://www.newegg.com/Store/ComboDeals.aspx?ComboStoreID=3&name=CPUs-Video-Cards

Hello Earth People;
My son (13 years old) wants to build a gaming computer - a truly worthy endeavor.  I have built several computers from the chassis up in the past.  However, it appears that my knowledge and experience from the 80's / 90's are insufficient for building a truly modern gaming system.

SimCity5 is the target game that the hardware is being bought for.  I have included some info and links above.

What I need is some advice from someone who has done this recently.  The budget is around $600 (before taxes, shipping, etc...)

If we could start with a CPU / Video Card combo from the newegg.com link above, that would be great.  However, if there are better sources for hardware I am open to suggestions.

In the end I would like a fairly complete solution with the motherboard, case and OS specified as well.

Thanks in advance!
 - Dave
AviationAceSole-ProprietorAsked:
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Dan CraciunConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultantCommented:
This should be a good start. It's already over budget and it's missing the case and PSU :)
But:
- it has an unlocked CPU - good if your son likes to tinker, good if you intend to keep it for more than 2 years - you can overclock it and breath some new life into it. And it does not really make sense financially to go for an i7 on a gaming system - the i5 is the sweet spot, IMO
- it has a video card that will allow your son to play pretty much anything at 1920X1080 px with mid-high details and high frame-rates (yes, even for SimCity 5)
- it has a SSD, which will improve the system's responsiveness a lot.
- it has 8 GB or RAM, which I consider to be a bare minimum for a gaming system.

See the image.
newegg configurationHTH,
Dan
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AviationAceSole-ProprietorAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help!
Two more items of interest:
How big should the power supply be?
Can you point out a case that would provide ADEQUATE COOLING?  (Maybe even one that has an appropriate power supply already built in.)

Thanks again!
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
I've built a similar system last week and used this as PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151096
and this case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139008
as the owner wanted to have the option to water cool in the future.

I prefer Seasonic PSUs, next in order of personal preference are Corsair's PSUs, such as this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028
If you're energy conscious, then a Gold or Platinum PSU might be better for you: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151118

The Antec 280 is another excellent case that I personally tested: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129179

HTH,
Dan
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AviationAceSole-ProprietorAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the insights!
If anything else, what's your preference for a gaming machine these days: Windows 7 or the new Windows 8.1?
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Windows 7 64 bit.

Windows 8.1 might work well for new games, but I've had some weird stuff happening on older games (3-5 years) that ran flawlessly on Windows 7.
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