$740 - €520 shipped budget AMD gamer

Hey there,

I'm planning to build this machine. It wont be the first PC i build myself, but i haven't done it since '6 when i switched to notebooks for work reasons. Maybe i'm missing something or there are some notoriously bad parts here i don't know about. Any constructive or destructive input welcome.

Parts: (links to european online store)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition C3 - $141 / €99

MOBO: ASRock M3A770DE - $73 / €51

Notes on architecture choice:
I've considered taking a more expensive AM3+ board with USB 3 and such in order to save on the next upgrade, but since it's uncertain that the current AM3+ boards will run bulldozer cpus, if they are even any good, i chose a low-cost board with a good history. tomshardware used it on many tests and it seems to have a good reputation. I know that the i3-2100 would give me slightly higher gaming performance at similar price point, but the 955 can be overclocked well from what i gather and i'd rather have 4 cores for better multitasking. The downside of these parts is that offer little upgrade options, except for a second GPU.

GRAPHICS: MSI R6850 Cyclone 1GD5 Power Edition/OC - $209 / €146

Notes on GPU:
Based on The benchmarks this card can compete with 6870s at a lower price poiint. Yes, it's a bit more expensive than other 6850s, but it would take roughly $50 more to get into a better performance class of 6870s and i'm looking to cut it at $700 / €500. Nvidia can't compete well at this price point i think?

RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1333 CL9 - $61 - €43

PSU: Corsair TX 650W ATX 2.2 aktiv PFC - $104 - €73

CASE: LC-Power Midi Tower Pro-916B Gridder - $50 / €35
-> It's cheap and has two 12cm fans, also doesn't look too bad.

OPTICAL: Sony AD-7260 24x DVD±R 12x DVD±R DL Bulk SATA - $26 / €18
-> cheap

HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB 7200 - $64 / € 45
-> cheap and popular?

Shipped total: $740 - €520
I originally wanted to make it 700/500 but am willing to pay a little extra on PSU and ram to save on the next upgrade. This is really important to me, because i could probably just cheap out on all secondary parts and get this done for $570 / €400ish. My budget is flexible in that i could also spend some more money, but it would have to be well justified.

Further Notes and Thoughts:
The PSU is chosen because i don't want to buy i new one for a long time, even if i go with a Crossfire/SLI solution someday. It ain't modular, but has been around for a long time and is still popular, that's a good thing on a PSU i believe. I really have no clue about current power requirements and considerations. If it won't be compatible with next-years standards though i would be a little ..frustrated. Any thoughts?

I have my doubts about the RAM. Should i go with 1600 in the hopes of using it on the next upgrade? They are more expensive though. Do i really need 8gb right now? 2x2gb are exactly half the cost, but use of the modules will expire sooner.

Upgradeability is really important to me. The graphics card will be available for $80 on ebay in a while, in case i feel like going Crossfire with them. The CPU and Mainboard are dead ends, but in exchange should give me ample bang for the buck. I'm hoping to reuse the RAM, Case, PSU und Graphics (maybe as crossfire) for cost-effective upgrades, but at the earliest in a year.

Anything missing? I guess some cables. I have a power chord and all peripherals.

Is this good/best bang for the buck?
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  1. so it could be well worth the money. any particular board in mind?
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