My recommendation: A Sandy Bridge i3, its a dual core with hyper-threading, still beats Phenom and Bulldozer.
A Z68 or Z77 motherboard so you can later upgrade to i5 or i7 later but it looks like an i3 is all you need.
Stick with the Caviar Black you chose because an SSD would be pushing it for budget.
Radeon 6850 or 6870. Or GTX 560. If you want to stretch it . 560ti is great and 6950s are getting frequent sales. I think 6950s are getting phased out, there's so few of them and no restocking so some nice deals at a lower price than 560ti sometimes.
If you want to stick with AMD go with Phenom II and not bulldozer. Bulldozer's core for core doesn't match up to Phenom. But at the same price an i3's still better than Phenom II.
Haha, I was actually looking for the falcon guide, but I just didn't know the name of it. As I said before I can really take out the HDD and get an SSD because I could use an older HDD. I could try getting the 560ti, but at this point I'm really aiming for about the 600 dollar price range.
Alright here's a quick one I threw together. Don't know if you need OS or optical drive. Sale on mobo is sweet right now.
This is what I was looking at before. Now I'm just trying to compile all of these opinions together. It's getting a bit confusing. I don't need the OS though so that can probably drastically reduce price.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card looks good and I may incorporate that or the 6950 (http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-video-card-hd695xcdfc) if the one I'm looking at is reliable. I am considering staying with the CPU I chose.
That would save cost, but I think the point of the Z77 was to keep open the possibility of easily upgrading to a 2500k or 3570k in the future without requiring a new mobo.
I'm not so sure if I'll be upgrading in the future, but I can definitely keep that possibility available. I'm just looking for something to run the latest things and that's about it. I'm not looking for ultra high definition or anything, I just want to be able to somewhat keep up and preferably low price. I don't really want to go in the 700 dollar range unless I really need to.
Do yourself a favor and don't get a AMD FX cpu. They are terrible for gaming.
get the i3
Can you guys tell me why? I've tried finding benchmarks and it seems like the FX does better. Is there something specific about FXs that make them worse for gaming? I did supply a link to the benchmark test, that I thought would be reliable...
This isn't a perfect comparison, but it shows the point well enough. It's an i3 2100 vs the 955 BE which actually performs better than the fx 4100. So you have a weaker intel and a stronger AMD than a straight up i3 2120 vs fx4100 and the i3 still pulls ahead when it comes to gaming and most tasks that aren't multi-threaded. An i3 on a Z77 board would allow you to upgrade to a 2500k or 3570k in the future both of which laugh at anything AMD fields now and in the forseeable future.
You need to look at actual ingame benchmarks, not synthetic passmark scores. The reason why fx processors are bad for gaming is because they have terrible performance per core, which is very apparent in game benchmarks.