CPU - X2 PHENOM II BLACK EDITION 3.10GHZ AM3 550 [$133]
MOBO - ASUS M4A77TD-PRO[$120]
GPU - 1GIG 4670 HIS-ICEQ [$96]
RAM - 4GIG DDR3 (2X2GIG) PATRIOT-VIPER 1600 [$90]
HD - SEAGATE SATA 500GIG [$62]
CASE - ANTEC 300 [$94]
PSU - ANTEC EARTHWATTS 500W [$103]
Total - $AU698
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: (Currently) 1280x1024
Looking to put together a gaming rig (below). with a $AU750 to $AU800 budget. After reading numerous reviews i selected the following components from www.msy.com.au (yeah i know its not the best looking site, but they are cheap, and i haven't heard any complaints).
After recently showing a colleague of mine the above specs, explaining it was to be a gaming machine, he asked me why i chose AMD over Intel. He said Intel was better than AMD these days. My response, AMD being more cost efficient, and nice O/Clocking capabilities.
Currently i'm running a Celeron D 2.8Ghz, 1Gig Ram, 256 Radeon 9600 AGP (The base PC is 5 years old, since upgraded the RAM and the GPU) I look to play games like EvE online, Call of Duty 4, being able to play at very high settings (without forking over the cash for a high end gaming rig). Currently i play on a 19" LCD @ 1280x1024, will eventually upgrade to a 22" (maybe a 24").
So i'd like to ask your opinions. Does the machine above look good for my needs. Or could i go Intel based, spend $AU50 to $AU100 more and get a bigger bang for my buck.
Phenom 2 x3 would be a good choice in your price range. However, if price is a large concern, you might look at the Athlon 2 x4. While not as powerful as the phenom 2's, as games go for multicore optimization, it may not turn out to be such a bad choice considering the Athlon 2 x4 620 propus chips can be had for 100 bucks US.
The thing I'm not liking is that you are gonna go with Socket 775. It's not that those intel chips don't perform well, but you are getting into a dead end. So if you want to drop a new chip in that board in a year or so, you may not be able to do that. That's why I personally like AMD, because going with their AM3 line, you might be able to do a drop in chip upgrade with a bios update later. It's up to you though. May even look at i5 from intel as well.
IMHO, going intel Q8xxx is no step in performance level, the q8xxx are the worst quads from intel, there are crap.
if you must have a quad, go amd athlon II 620 or intel q9xxx
what I would do is stay with the original setup and try to unlock the extra cores.
wcs, staying with pII x2 BE, ncs, getting a cool pII x2 BE, bcs having a full working pII x4 BE in the price of x2
However, while a lot of guys have luck with unlocking extra cores, there is no guarantee. If you are willing to spend the extra, I would still be tempted to look at a 720 x3 Black Edition. That way you still get some good multicore performance, those have the chance for core unlocks, but even if it does not work, you still get a good balance.
Edit *looked at the price list, noticing how much more expensive the 720 is. If you want to spend say 10 bucks more over the original setup, you could get the x3 710. The drawback is it's not a Black Edition, so harder to overclock, should still be able to squeeze an OC out of it however. Not sure about core unlocks on those however.
A fellow Aussie here.
You have good quality parts there. Asus Mbs are great.
I am researching parts for a new build my self will defiantly go with an Asus mb.
Good luck with the build & have fun