Hello all! Thank you to everyone that helped me thus far, I just thought I'd start a new thread, as all the original questions in my last thread were answered.
FYI, this is my first homebuilt computer, I've only ever bought Dells, and I've never overclocked before... :-/
After receiving an Intel x-25 m G2 80 GB SSD and $100 Fry's gift card for Christmas, after all of your help, I went out and bought:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition $119.99 plus tax
MSI 790GX-G65 AM3 socket mobo $124.99 plus tax
Corsair XMS3 DDR3 4GB (2x2GB) (CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 $ 89.99 plus tax
Coolermaster HAF 922 Case plus OCZ700SXS PSU $109.99 after MIR and shipping (thanks newegg!)
Coolermaster Hyper 212+ HSF $ 22.90 plus tax (thanks Microcenter!)
AS Arctic Alumina Thermal compound $ 4.29 plus tax
a 2.5" --> 3.5" bay converter for the SSD $ 4.99 plus tax
So, I ended up spending about $377 plus tax after using the $100 gift card
I'm using my current EVGA Geforce 9800 GT, current TV tuner, DVD-RW, DVD-Rom, WD Raptor 80 GB 10K RPM HDD, all until I can upgrade to, for example, a BD-RW or a better Graphics Card, etc.
1) If I am going to try to unlock the 4th core, does everything I have support that?
2) If I want to try my hand at some slight overclocking, am I all set, if I properly apply the Thermal compound? What about if I want to try some more hardcore OCing? I think considering the case, HSF, thermal, CPU, and mobo, I could kick some butt...what about my RAM? should I get the 790FX mobo instead? any ideas?
3) While I wait for the Case and PSU to arrive, what can I do? It doesn't hurt to install the CPU, Compound, and HSF, right? Also the RAM, right? For this mobo, I know there is an issue with space, so, if anyone had paired it with the HSF I bought, any words of wisdom? I think I'm just a little hesitant to actually unbox everything and tinker, since I'm on a budget and I don't wnat anything to go wrong...
4) I was reading the article about sanding down the HSF and CPU...for my needs as a noobie OCer, that's above where I need to be, right? I can overclock well with just what I have, assuming I put the paste on right, right?
5) Does it make any sense at all to buy a second EVGA GeForce 9800 GT, sine my mobo and PSU will support...what is it, crossfire? Or would it just be smarter to buy a new graphics card?
6) anyone have any suggestions, words of wisdom, etc for me starting out on this new build? Anythijng I forgot? I picked up a wrench tool today for $3, and I have screwdrivers and I think everything else I need....any ideas?
1. Look for ACC in the BIOS and turn it on, if your BIOS code supports it AND you get lucky, you'll see the 4th core. Then test it with prime95
2. You can do slight overclocking on a stock heatsink, the one you have should do better.
3. I usually do go ahead and do that.
4. That's called lapping and tosses your warranty even faster than overclocking. No you don't really need to do it, though I'm sure it would help results.
5. It supports crossfire which is ATI, your card is nvidia which does SLI. You'd have to move up to at least a 4870, 4890, 5770 or a 5850 for there to be a point in doing it. What you have now isn't bad.