Let us say $300 to $400 for a budget, and I do plan to overclock.
Is there something better in this price range than an e8400 to get when I need to add a motherboard, ram, and a nice heatsink to overclock with? This is for gaming first and everything else second. I currently have a Corsair 750W PSU and an ATI HD 4890, + everythign else I need.
Any suggestions? I have built a couple systems now for other people using a Gigabyte motherboard and an e8400. Should I do something different for myself? How far away are games from using quad core?
Its hard to say Intel socket 775 right now with AMD prices and combos making a lot of sense. The AM3 platfrom is fresh out making it upgradable where the 775 is EoL (end of life.) Systems running games are taking advantage of the tri cores and a notable increase in the benchmarks. While there's not a big jump from the tri to quads, the fact remains the prices are hard to beat. Since it looks like you're set up for an high power gamer rig, I'll throw 2 options at you. A tri core and quad.
Now the 790fx is more expensive than the gx, but if you are going to crossfire with another 4890, you'll benefit from having 2x pcie 2.0 x16 slots instead of splitting the slots into 2x pcie 2.0 x8 like the GX does. If youre not going to crossfire, then that processor has some good 790gx mobo combos for less.
The ram is good stuff for the price. I'd suggest it for the tri core setup here too.
[You didn't say if you care for sli setup(next generation gc will be 2x faster then dual cards...as usual)i don't.if is important to you stay with what already recommended.if not there is a mobo Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P motherboard for $79.00 (see review @guru3d.com) supports am3 and ddr3.Also there is a Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
Four Cores, 3.4 GHz, 6 MB Cache
that you can special order for a little more then 955(techpowerup.com) and overclock it.You will still have money left.... that darknight cpu cooler is a must if you plan to overclock.....good luck and have lots of fun with your new build.