New build

So I'm trying to budget build a gaming computer, so far I basically have two options here. My main goal is to spend under 650 dollars. I came here to ask this community which would be better, from a gaming standpoint. I will be playing games as old as World of Warcraft and Half Life to as new as the upcoming Guild wars 2, crysis 2, and other upcoming 2011 games.

So anyways, lets cut to the chase (assuming they both cost right around 650, there is no cheaper option).

option 1 -
CPU - Intel i3 540 (3.0ghz) (114.99)
GPU - GTX 460 (768mb) - 154.99
Mobo - BIOSTAR TH55 HD LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI (74.99)
Ram - 6gb

option 2 -
CPU - Athlon II 260 (3.2ghz) (59.99)
GPU - Radeon 6850 (179.99)
Mobo - BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 (74.99)
Ram - 4gb

Okay so as you can see, through combos and such these options come out to be right around the same price (obviously on option 2, I skimp on everything to get the better gfx card)

so what the real question is whether option 1 or 2 is better for gaming (is 6850 + everything else skimp really that much better than 460 with the i3 540 and everything else decent?)
4 answers Last reply
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  1. Option #2 would be the better choice in my opinion, but upgrade to an Athlon X3. Building an AM3 machine today will give you the option of a CPU upgrade down the road (Phenom II X6 for example).

    Regarding Option #1... There is no need for tripple channel memory. LGA1156 is dual channel just the same as AM3 (install in pairs). Also, consider building a LGA1155 machine (Sandy Bridge) instead of LGA1156 if you are sticking with Intel.
  2. An Athlon II X3 is only $10 away from the X2, and a lot better performer in terms of gaming (Tom's recommendation).

    You can get a cheaper AM3 motherboard around $50-60, but mind you, they only got 2 slots of RAM (8GB DDR3 max)

    A standard dual channel 4GB RAM is only around $50-60.

    The performance difference between the 2 cards are not that far. Might as well go for the cheaper one.

    One thing you forgot to mention is at what resolution you'll be playing. The lower the screen resolution, the more you can maximize the graphic settings.
  3. I am confused - how have you saved $55 on CPU and decreased to 4gb RAM yet only been able to upgrade to a 6850 which is $25 more expensive.

    If you are building your own computer, for $650 you should be able to get at least a tricore AMD CPU for $80 (RANA 450).
    I would not want a gaming computer to be less that 3 cores these days.
  4. a make also a new gaming-computer and i spend 800 CHF (Swiss-Franks / Nearly 820$)

    I buy:
    ASUS P8P67
    Intel Core i5 - 2500k (3,3GHz - 3,6GHz)
    ATI Radeon HD 5870 (GDDR5 - 1GB)
    8GB RAM (4x2GB) 1333
    LG DVD-CD Burner

    I had:
    2x 239GB HDD
    "CoolerMaster" PC-Suite
    2x PnP-Monitor (Standard)
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