CPU choice; new build question


I'm finally putting together a new build after using a P4 system for forever.

My main hangup is deciding between an Athlon x3 445 and a Phenom x2 5xx and trying to get lucky on unlocking a core or two. I'll be gaming on it, along with some running some schooling applications.

Does anyone have a strong opinion either way? I'm pretty much just going to pull from a hat at this point, though the athlon would be a little easier on my budget.

Rest of the build, I'm open to any suggestions:
-G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 2x4GB
-Asus M4A87TD Evo (or possibly an ASRock mobo)
-Cooler Master RC-310-BWN1-GP
-Antec BP550
-A couple WD Cav black HDDs for a RAID 0 setup
-Reusing an HD 4650 that I'll upgrade sometime in the next few months.

Also, I'm going to try out Win7, is the XPMode in the professional worth the extra $40? It seems more like a corporate-minded emulator, and I haven't heard many people use it for gaming, but I'm a scant bit afraid to switch from 32-bit.

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  1. Really is no difference from 32 to 64 bit. Just install 64 bit versions of drivers as opposed to 32 bit version. Software wise, really no change outside a select few such as antivirus. In these cases just install 64 bit versions.

    Pro version is really there for networking needs. XP mode is in all versions of win 7. If you mean the virtual XP, then it can't be used in gaming since no way to emulate directx in virtual environment.

    Fill out the form in the sticky, link in my sig for build advice.
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