Need Advice on Tuner PC Build


I'm building a low- to mid-end PC in order to see just how much performance I can squeeze out of it. Below is a list of inexpensive components I've chosen based on reviews here and on newegg which suggest these are prime candidates for overclocking. I'm not opposed to using more expensive parts than the ones I have listed below in order to break bottlenecks or somehow achieve better results for the money spent. However, I prefer to use primarily less expensive components as I've only build a system once before (not recently) and I've never dabbled in overclocking. Plus, tuning a PC to achieve better performance than the individual components suggests seems much cooler when the system isn't already a high performer.

At this point I'm trying to identify a set of components which works together well. In other words, I'd like to ask you to help me identify bottlenecks and ways in which the system can be improved as a whole.

AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz

MSI 870-G45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

SAPPHIRE 100296HDMI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s


ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler

Approximate Purchase Date:
Within the next 2-4 weeks

Budget Range:
About $400-500 USD for the parts I need (the above list comes to about $390 USD after shipping)

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1) Test bed for overclocking
2) Watching movies
3) Gaming
4) Web browsing, Microsoft office, light photo editing, solitaire, etc, etc, etc

Parts Not Required:
Keyboard, mouse, and monitor are all good. I've also already got an ATX mid-tower case with ample ventilation(3x 120mm fans already in it with space for 3 more) and a brand newish 500w Power Supply

Preferred Website for Parts: all the way.

Country of Origin:
United States

Parts Preferences:
I have no preference for any specific brand or company


SLI or Crossfire:
This also interests me

Monitor Resolution:

Additional Comments:
I think that about says it all.

Edit: Changes made
4 answers Last reply
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  1. *deleted*

  2. Hey Mosox, thanks for the input.

    A question for you, though:

    Is there a reason you're pointing me toward the AMD Athlon II X3 440 above the Phenom II X2 555?

    I chose the Phenom II X2 555 for the potential to unlock the dormant cores (I'm a gambling man). Plus I like the idea of an L3 cache even if I can't articulate for you the exact performance hit one would expect without one.
  3. I bought the 555 and unlocked it but I had some other CPU to spare in case it doesn't work. You can get the 555 and try unlocking.
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