I made a list of components for this system. It is for a friend and he wants the system to be versatile yet powerful. I thought quad core and believe that the Phenom 9600 issue was blown out of proportion, especially since he does not plan on overclocking. Please tell me your thoughts and what I should change if anything. Thanks.
1. You picked an IDE DVD burner.
2. Rosewill PSU's should be avoided at all costs.
3. That HD is a slow, older model.
4. Biostar only makes so-so motherboards.
5. That Patriot RAM needs 2.2v just to get DDR2 800 speed (not a good indication of quality RAM). You should also use DDR2 1066 RAM with an AMD build to get the full benefit of their integrated RAM controller.
6. The original Phenom CPU's performance matches their bargain bin price.
Here's a build with current, fast parts for just over $500:
The old phenom's were really bad, there is a reason they are dirt cheap. 2.3ghz for a first gen phenom processor is really slow. If you downclocked a new Phenom II to that speed, it would still be much faster because the architecture of those CPU's sucked. Just like how Q8200 which runs at the same rated speed is much faster than the X4 9600.
I just picked the 4770 because it offers just slightly slower performance than the 4850 while consuming less power. The 4850 in your OP also costs $125 before rebate which would have put the build that much more over budget.
Gigabyte and Asus use higher quality components than Biostar, ASRock, Foxconn, ect... For the same price, I'd always pick either Gigabyte or Asus over any alternative. The $20 you save by using the CPU + motherboard combo makes the price of the mother the equivalent of $44.99.
If you want a 4850, I would pick up this one since it's only $10 more than the 4770 before the MIR and the same price after the MIR. The 4770 will put less strain on the 430W PSU, though.
You picked an Asus M3A76-CM mobo for this guy's rig. Guys are calling this a hybrid size mobo, as it's 9.5" x 9.5" perhaps half way between an ATX and a microATX. I like this mobo for the price and am wondering if I can fit it into an older case. Are the holes to screw it in properly only to be found as an option in the newer cases?