I'm mainly an AMD customer and fanboy, but as of late I've been pondering, and planning on buying something from Intel's line, something I can go SLI or Crossfire with in the next few months as I get more money, I want some that can mutli-tasking along with medium gaming, coz I sometimes have a dozen Mozilla windows open while in full screen gaming, and my current dual core is getting kind of sluggish as of late.
I have $350 that's my spending budget, most I can spend on parts is around $400 if I pull some strings, here are a list of parts I already have, but won't need to upgrade, 2Gb's of Kingston HyperX DDR2 800 (If new mobo is DDR2 supported), Two 160GB Sata2's, SIIG Soundwave 4, Nvidia 8400 GS <-- can upgrade later, and last but not least a 650 Watt SLI/Crossfire-Ready PSU.
if you wanna do that, get a i5-2500K ($225) and an H67 board ($110), and 4 GB of DDR3-1333 ($40). (total about $375)
the Intel 3000 built into the 2500K is much better than the 8400, but only works wuth the H-series motherboard. You can't overclock on the H-series, so that part is wasted. But the Intel 2000 on then non-K-series chips stinks.
Well a Phenom II X3 is not the same as an Athlon X2. The Phenom's beat Athlons and a Phenom II beats a Phenom.
If you have a Microcenter nearby (check their website), you should go with the Phenom II x2 560BE with free MSI 785GM-P45 mobo. I just built two computers with this. One unlocked to an x4 and OC'd to 3.7GHz. The other didn't unlock, but OC'd to 4.0GHz no problem.
$99-Phenom II x2 w/mobo
$50-4GB DDR3 (2x2GB) on Newegg (get the Corsair Vengeance)
$65-Brand Name 650W PSU (Corsair, Antec, Seasonic to name a few--check guides online & johnnyguru).
$150-Radeon HD 5850
Use your old case and DVD burner. Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 when you can afford it.