PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, microcenter (in orange county), frys
PARTS PREFERENCES: i would like a i5 750 or x4 955 because i figure it's easier to upgrade a gpu than a cpu + motherboard
OVERCLOCKING: maybe, but it will be only slightly
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: not yet, perhaps in the future
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: although i said that didn't need a monitor my current one has a broken power button so if you guys could suggest me one for around $100-200 that would be great (off budget) at 1280x1024 minimum
Go with an AMD build if you plan on upgrading the system in the future. Upgrading a P55 system would require a new CPU + mobo and possibly RAM, because P55 will be EOL within 3-4 years. AM3, on the other hand, has a long predicted lifespan (will see hexacores in the future) and offers a much better upgrade path. Both systems (PII and i5) would cost and perform about the same, so an AM3 build would be better IMO.
If you do get a PII 955, I suggest this board if you don't plan on CF and this one if you do.
Both PSUs are fine; go with the 650W if you plan on CF (though the most it'll probably be able to handle is two 5770s). However, if you do get a 5670, the 550W OCZ will be fine even if you get a second for CF later.
Both cases are also good choices. I would personally get the Scout due to aesthetics (depends on your taste, of course), portability (the handles ), and functionality (larger, better cable management, eSata, tool-less).
This monitor should fit in your budget just fine, and you'll manage moderate gaming at mid-quality with the 5670.
im still unsure about the the whole phenom vs i5 thing partly I dont know if it is worth it to have more upgradability or just better processing power
my reasoning is that even though your mobo is compatible with future cpu's there may be better chipsets/mobos with the same socket design
also for the boards you reccomended will there be any performance difference between the 2 chipsets?
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surf web/play videos, light/moderate gaming at low/mid quality, encoding(?), basically needs to last thru college
Unless you plan on doing a lot of encoding and such, the 955 is a better buy for you. You won't be able to tell the difference for the other uses you listed. Gaming is nearly identical because both are relatively high-clocked quadcores with four threads and the weight falls on the graphics card. You could put the money toward a better graphics card (512MB 5750s start at $120, 512MB 5770s at ~$140, ...) or just save some money.
I doubt future chipsets will provide enough incentive to upgrade your mobo in a few years, whether you buy AMD or Intel. USB 3.0 and SATA III have just been released and there won't be much new tech for a while. Nor will there be a significant performance boost from upgrading to a new chipset, from what I can tell.
There shouldn't be much of a performance difference between the 2 chipsets because the new 890GX chipset was primarily focused on integrating USB3.0 and SATA III with lesser limitations (it's the first chipset to sport a native 6Gb/s SATA controller with 6 ports). The 890GX board is sold out right now though.
I have been seting a build also and AMD is the way to go esp. if your going
the Radeon Route, cause they make good MoBo's for them.
I have looked through so much forums, and anywhere you go, if you don't plan on
spending much and want it to last more than a couple of years AMD and Radeon(GDDR5 cards esp.) I am spending about 1000 and its going to be a beast.