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New budget build - advice and critique welcome

Last response: in Systems
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March 22, 2011 11:12:45 PM

Hail you, community!
I have been planning to build a budget PC for basic use and likely gaming.

Components in mind:

Already bought:
Zalman ZM-500RS 500W PSU - $29.99
Blitz ATX case - $29.99
Have Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200rpm lying around (will likely upgrade to SSD later)

Considering to buy:
RAM - CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $29.99
CPU - AMD Phenom™ II X4 840- $99
VS
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - $149
Motherboard - ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 - $50 when bought as CPU + MB combo
Videocard - MSI R5770-PMD1G Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 - $80

Questions:
1. What is better - faster CPU + current (or cheaper) videocard or cheaper CPU + more expensive videocard? This is from gaming perspective.
2. There are few more motherboards that can be purchased as combo from Microcenter website (http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...). I think the one I chose is relatively future-proof (USB3, DDR3). If you see something that is a better bung for a buck, would appreciate your opinion.
3. But will it run Crysis? :) 
March 23, 2011 7:20:51 AM

Maybe get the X4 840T than you can try and unlock the 2 disabled ones to make a 6 core processor. 1x4Gb RAM would be better than 2x2Gb, because it will be better when you want to add more RAM.
March 23, 2011 10:48:34 AM

Martin9630 said:
Maybe get the X4 840T than you can try and unlock the 2 disabled ones to make a 6 core processor. 1x4Gb RAM would be better than 2x2Gb, because it will be better when you want to add more RAM.

No 1x4gb would not be better, it would force the memory to run in single channel mode, you want dual channel.

For gaming the idea is to put as much muscle into the gpu as possible. The 5770 is a good performing card for anything under 1080p, once you get there it shows its weakness.
March 23, 2011 2:32:05 PM

Now is an awkward time to build AMD, because socket AM3+ is just around the corner. Without that, no Bulldozer upgrade for you. Still, if you're going to build now, is the 955BE available? It can be overclocked easily enough to 965 levels, so it's not worth any price difference.
In any case, I would not buy a "Phenom II" 840; it's really an Athlon II, as it has no L3 cache.
Otherwise, I agree with zooted. You want dual-channel RAM.
!