Finally I came to a conclusion with this build. I am going AMD for sure.
My only concern is if I should get a 64 to 128 ssd instead and try and and incorporate this old dell hard drive in the meantime. Also, I have a macbook pro that I keep most of my media and school programs on. I will be using this machine for gaming.
Is it worth it to get a SSD or should I stick with the 500gb hard drive?
You will be miserable with a 64GB drive; don't even bother. 128GB is better, but I still wouldn't like it if it were my machine. I'd see if you can get by with just a regular HDD until you can afford a bigger SSD.
Overall I'd say it's pretty good for a budget build, though if you can scrape up another $75 and move to an Intel Sandy Bridge build, maybe crossfire the graphics cards later, you'll end up with a way better machine in the long run.
By the way: pretty badass deal on Corsair power supplies for another day or so - 600W for $39.99 after rebates and promo.
if you can squeeze in an i5 its would definitely be better than the phenom. i3 is dual core. More and more games are starting use more cores like battlefield 3 mutliplayer, diablo 3 and other newer games. So it depends on what games you play. But a phenom ii x4 965 is a nice little quad core cpu. you can overclock it too.
Thanks for the advice, also that is a great deal on the power supply.
I will probably stick with the 500gb hard drive like you said.
Would the switch to sandy brisge really be worth it?
I would need a different motherboard correct?
Sandy bridge is nice, the best around, but no its not really *that much* better than a Phenom II. My significant other has an i5-2400 with a GTX 460 video card (older but surprisingly superior to my 550 ti) , in both our opinions, theres nothing his computer can do that mine cant.
Yes, you would need a different motherboard for a Sandy Bridge. If you want to spend the money, go with an i5, it would put you over your budget tho.
I agree with the capt'n.. a 64GB SSD is a joke. You'd end up using 20 of it just for windows. Then you figure some games take over 10GB a piece. Doesn't leave you much room for anything.