Both of us are complete noobs so when we actually got this to work, we were honestly surprized.
Here is the computer me and my friend built under $600. Was it the best rig? No definitely not. $600 dollars Canadian was his budget so DDR3 ram and compatible motherboard was out of the question he said (only would have costed him an extra $50 bucks more for a ddr3 mobo version of this and ocz 4gig ddr3 ram). The motherboard though was said to be pretty decent for a low end board (its not ASUS material, but it is still pretty good for the price we paid) and the ram was on sale so we said what the heck.
We also went with the AMD brand for the processor and got us the cheapest quad core on the market (AMD II x 4 620) and the stock cooling that came with it (so if he wants to overclock in the future, he will have to put down some cash). As complete noobs, we went for the cheapest lol. Looked at some reviews online (dunno if you can trust online reviews but better than nothing), and said it was pretty good for the price.
Also the case was surprizingly good for $25 bucks. 3 fans 1 120mm and 2 90 mm (the 120 and 1 90 had red led lights). Fit was alright too and yes it did pull the hot air out of the case quite nicely (for a cheap case, it was pretty good. Not the best but good enough for sure). Heck it is even wide enough to fit any heat sink
Video card was XFX Radeon HD 4870 750MHZ 1GB 3.6GHZ GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI HDCP Video Card
The 500w Powersupply was returned though. Although 500W was the bare minimum for HD 4870 (according to ATI) and it was a thermatake brand PSU (OCZ and Thermatake are the brands he trust), he had a PCI wireless adapter, sound card, external hard drive and some other utlities helped eat the wattage. Also the AMD II x4 quad core processer didn't help either (it isn't really what you would call "power friendly"). SO you can say we were definitely worried that the video card wouldn't hold up when put under stress. We used the power supply calc lite http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp to get a general gist of the power that is required to run it. But it doesn't tell you the range of the wattage it would take when under stress
We tried it out for a couple of his games like LFD2 and MW2 on the highest settings and got no problem whatsoever (unsure how much stress those games put on the card). But to be on the safe side he decided to return the 500W PSU, get store credit and throw in $20 bucks more for a OCZ ModXstream pro 700W.
So it would work for under $600 but if you want to be safe, throw 20 dollars more and get a more powerful PSU.
Here is what he bought:
It works for him, and i am surprized we put it together no problem. Especially since we didn't have any clue what would be the best things to get. We aren't really the most computer savy individuals so whatever works, works lol. Probably someone like Tulsageoff can find even better deals for a better price and a better build =D.