Just built a hot new gaming PC, hoping to get into this beta so I can give it a spin!
StarFoxA's forum posts
@codynewill: I'd recommend still getting an SSD as a boot drive, it's an awesome thing to have. Don't get the Kingston V300, because they changed the internals without changing the version number, so you'll get significantly reduced performance as a result. I got a Samsung 840 EVO 120GB for $90 and it's been a fantastic investment. You could also probably find a cheaper 770 if you really wanted (I got a PNY 770 for $290). You could probably ditch the optical drive, and I highly recommend getting an IPS monitor and mechanical keyboard.
Also, if you're a student you can get Windows for a discount (or even free).
With a $600 budget you could probably squeeze a better card into your build. I recommend taking a look at Logical Increments, Choose My PC, and /r/buildapc. PC Part Picker is also a great resource, but with a different purpose.
I wouldn't be concerned about getting an AMD card vs. an Nvidia card. Nowadays, they're nearly equivalent. Higher end AMD cards (7850 and up) are pretty overpriced right now because they're better for cryptocurrency mining, creating huge, insatiable demand for them (I had to get an Nvidia card as a result).
I run 16GB, nothing I do even comes close to maxing it out, you could get away with just 4GB but the sweet spot is 8GB.
VRAM is what matters the most, new cards come with at least 4GB thesedays and could see them going up to 6GB for mainstream cards for the next generation of PC GPU.
VRAM isn't even that big of a deal. The GTX 770 has 2GB (there's a 4GB version that offers little to no performance boost due to the 256-bit bus) and slightly exceeds the R9 280X with 3GB of VRAM. Games will use what's available.