Hello! Thanks in advance for takin the time to look over what I have planned for my first building experience. I'm gettin a bit of money back from my tax returns and decided that I would try my hand at this. I have already purchased a gtx 460 video card that I am currently using, and i also have a 550 watt power supply. I had orginally planned on gettin the i5 sandy bridge but due to the recall ive decided to go another route as I dont wanna wait til theyre available again. My budget is roughly 450 bucks and with what i'm goin to list i'm at around 480 which is fine.
case - Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower
mobo - ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD
cpu - AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W
all that plus a copy of windows 7 64bit will be a grand total of $487, which is a little more than I want to spend but im ok with it. I was also intending on re-using my old hard drive. any tips or suggestions would be most appreciated!
Not bad choices, but I'd highly recommend waiting for Sandy Bridge. It's a good 50-75% (maybe higher) more powerful than anything AMD offers. Plus, you'd have the option to SLI the 460 later with Intel. It's worth the wait.
If you absolutely can't wait, I still have some changes to make.
Mobo: Not a bad choice, but I like the ASRock 770 Extreme3 better. It's $35 cheaper, and you don't really lose anything. Of course, if you wanted to eventually Crossfire an ATI GPU, step up to the ASRock 870 Extreme3 for $15 more and get a second PCIe 2.0 slot at a useful speed.
CPU: Drop down to the X4 955 and save some money. The 955 and 965 are the same CPU, just the 965 has a slight factory overclock. If you changed the multiplier in the BIOS, the 955 would be the exact same as the 965. You wouldn't even need an aftermarket heatsink.
If you get the ASRock 770 and the 955, you'd save a good $50-60.