I will follow the "How To Ask For New Build Advice"
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week BUDGET RANGE: Around 700-800
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 80% Research/Work (Dual Monitors), surfing, music and movies. 15% Gaming(Left for death2, Wow)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse Keyboard, Speakers, CD drive.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: New-egg, Micro center, Frys (I live in CA Orange county)
PARTS PREFERENCES: Last time I built a computer was 8 tears ago
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like to have usb slots in the front on top.
I kinda followed the build from the front page the best gaming for $750. Dunno if this is going to work. Also what is the difficulty of putting the computer together? I am pretty comfortable with the hardware. I have never done any overclock type of work.
And is there any coupon codes for Newegg? I am in college so I don't have that much money. Thanks a lot for reading this. Hopefully I can get some positive feedback.
To tell you the truth, Tom's SBM builds aren't a good place to start unless you're completely out of the loop. They buy their parts quite a bit before they write those articles. From the list of links you provided, I would only keep the case/PSU combo.
For HDDs, go with a Samsung Spinpoint F3 (500GB or 1TB) if they're in stock; if not, a Seagate 7200.12 (again, 500GB or 1TB) would perform similarly. These models use a 500GB/platter design, unlike the WD you linked (which uses two 320GB platters). This means that the single-platter, 500GB Spinpoint F3 and 7200.12 will both run faster and more efficiently than the 640GB WD. The 1TB 7200.12 can be had for $80 ATM, only $5 more than that WD, for an extra 360GB. The 1TB F3 and 7200.12 models obviously use 2 500GB platters, so they won't be any slower (most 1TB WD models use 3 platters, with the exception of the SATA III model, which does not perform up to par, from what I hear).
Keeping the case/PSU combo, this leaves you with ~$100-200 to spend on CPU + cooler, yes? IMO, the best-value AM3 CPUs are the AII X4 630 and the PII X4 955. You could also get a dual- or tri-core and try your luck at unlocking it, but it takes a bit more trouble than it's worth (picking a mobo with a 710 or 750 SB, or an ASUS/ASRock SB850; possibly having to overvolt; possibly no unlockable cores, etc.). My suggestion would be the 955. And finally, for the HSF, I recommend the CM Hyper 212+ at $30 with free shipping from Amazon or in-store at MicroCenter.
This should keep you under the budget while providing a mid-range gaming PC with the option of upgrading to CrossFire 5770s, equivalent to a 5870. Quite a potent build, I think.