So it looks like I'm going to be coming into some unexpected money and am looking to build a system that will be fairly future proof to get me through untill I can afford an upgrade. I play games(left for dead, cod4 mostly) mostly but it will also be hooked up to a flat screen TV in the computer room for watching movies. I am looking to try and get a fairly extensive OC out of the system and want to use it as my intro to water cooling when I can save up the money in a few months for the proper equipment. (will post for water cooling advice closer to when I purchase the system)
The phenom II's will cover all the gaming I want to do and give fairly impressive numbers when I overclock. The anti trust lawsuits don't seem to faze intel maybe if they lose some market share they'll start being more responcible. Plus with what they've done in with the 5000 series makes me hopeful they might have a better cpu in the pipelines to compete with the i7's better
I won't argue with you about choosing AMD, that's fine with me. That is a good CPU cooler (the direct contact ones should be excellent) and should allow for a decent OC. As for the ram, there is a lot of new stuff out for Intel's i5 and i7 that is low voltage (because they can only do 1.65V). I would try to get some of that if possible, just to keep heat down and life of the ram up.
Glad to see a Dream AMD build for once. I have a few suggestions for you even though it looks like you have a good idea on everything.
The PII X4 955 is practically the same processor as the 965. AMD just tweaked the clock on the 955 and made the 965. It will save you a few dollars to get the 955 as they reach the same OC limit. The 955 also uses less power than the 965. AMD has released a tweaked 965 using 125W but I haven't seen any available yet.
For RAM I suggest Mushkin Enhanced Redline. I was lucky enough to get the last kit on Newegg US. Amazing RAM, 1600 4GB 7-7-7-18 for $117.99.
If you are still looking for a liquid cooling setup I suggest you take a look at Swiftech. Most of the waterblocks are Intel designed so make sure to read carefully. They do have AM3 waterblocks, you just have to sift through all the Intel.
Without a doubt make sure you get one of these, and its definitely worth the 25 bucks over 955. These are probably the highest quality chips in each wafer. These will give potentially the highest clock speed. Intel did, is doing the same thing with Q9550, and Q9550-s They get over a hundred bucks more.
thanks all I'm doing a price match now on ncix to try and price everything out. looks like I'll be able to afford a ssd for my os not much else will fit on it but I guess I could pick up a raptor or 2 for my games when I have money before I get the lcs.