Last, and very much least, the case I'm putting it all in has a 120mm fan just a few inches from the processor, but I still think I want to replace the stock heatsink with something better; cheap but respectable. I was thinking this:
Again, I'm a novice. I'm sorry that these questions are no all relevant to the subcat, but my main concern is. If anyone could tell me whether I'm about to make a very big mistake, I would greatly appreciate it.
The CPU may be compatible with your specific MB, but it'll require a BIOS that supports it - check the CPU support list at the maker's web site.
If you're on a tight budget, there's no point in replacing the stock CPU cooler. It will work fine, especially on a lower-power chip like a Phenom II. IIRC, the AMD CPU warranty only applies if you use the stock CPU cooler.
oh.. that gfx is way too old(and costly for the performance you get).. go for the 4670 or 4830(same price i think).. also, i don't think that motherboard supports full hypertransport speed, that's what you're looking for.. see what the cpu is running, iirc its something like 2600mhz on the hypertransporting, and you need to find a motherboard matching that.. 780G or something a little older than the newest should do the trick i believe.. (when on a budget)..
edit: seems that phenom II is 4ghz on the hypertransport, so you'll need top of the line motherboard.. look for the newegg rebate deals.. i think i saw one, when i clicked the cpu link, that should do the trick..
From Newegg: 1 x MEM 2Gx2|OCZ OCZ2G10664GK R - $45.99
1 x VGA SAPPHIRE HD4830 512M DDR3 RT - $89.99
2 x FANS HEATSINKS ENERMAX|UC-8EB RTL - $10.98
1 x CABLE NIPPON|SATA-L1-R R - $6.49
1 x MB BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M RT - $109.99
1 x PSU COMPUCASE|HP485D RETAIL 485W RT - $19.99
1 x CPU AMD|PH II X3 720 BK AM3 2.8G RT - $147.00
1 x HD 1T|ST 7K 32M ST31000333AS - $89.99
1 x DISCOUNT FOR COMBO - $-45.00
1 x DISCOUNT FOR COMBO - $-6.49
I probably didn't need to go so high with the fans, but I figure they should last awhile and carry over into the next box.
In closing, I just want to thank everyone sincerely for their help. This would have been a much different box (and more expensive) had it not been for your input. Props all around.