Upgrading PC system. Suggestions needed

I am looking to upgrade my computer, I think of myself as pretty tech savvy but have never upgrading anything besides my video card. So this is a major upgrade and I plan as best I can and get the most for my money.
I’m looking to spend about $200, 250 max. Im looking to get a new CPU, Motherboard, Sata hard drive and at least 2gb of ram.

After some searching here’s what I got so far as my possibilities.
Processor:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Brisbane 2.7GHz 65W Dual-Core Processor $56.99
MD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz 95W Quad-Core Processor $99.99

Motherboard:
Foxconn A7VMX-K AM2+/AM2 AMD 780V Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $54.99
MSI K9A2VM-FD AM2+/AM2 AMD 780V Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $69.99

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB SATA HD $39.99

Ram:
I haven’t picked a specific memory yet but I’m expecting to pay less than $30 for 2gigs of DDR 1066.

So how’s the setup looking in your guys opinion? Everything looks compatible and the final price depending on the setup is $180-235.

I would not get that 9600, its got the TLB bug, and the patch for it zapps some ~15%. Turning it off doesn’t seem to be guranteed.

Either get the dual core or get the 8450 Toliman 2.1GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Triple-Core for $77

As for the MB, the foxconn board seems a lot better than the MSI, the layout is better, better reviews and it looks like the power supply is better.

Consider getting a 320GB HDD that is single platter, the 250GB drive you picked should be single platter, but the 320 is newer. If you don’t need the space then stick with the 250. 320GB 7200 RPM SATA

edit: make sure you update the BIOS before installing the OS, there is a good chance the BIOS won’t fully recognize the CPU.

That’s exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I would have never knew of that bug, Thanks so much for the suggestion to. I’m like that one and it has great reviews.
So a question about all the different level of “cores”. So does a triple core that is a 2.1ghz run at the equivelent of a 6.3 single? Im guessing not but can someone explain somewhat briefly how it works. Mainly what kind of performance I can expect going with a quad core over a dual.

I think I will stick with the hard drive selected, 250gb is more than enough for what I need. With that particular component I’m trying to get away as cheaply as possible.

Multiple cores allow for better multitasking. Most newer software has compatibility with 2 cores, some for more. Some are still single threaded, so it will take better advantage of a higher clocked dual than a lower clocked quad.

From the reviews I’ve seen, I’d go with the 7750BE. It has decent overclocking headroom if you plan to do so, but it’s still a relatively high clocked dual-core @ stock. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300

Here’s the highest rated board in a budget price range http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131330

Here’s some higher performance RAM that a hair over $30. You may need to adjust your RAM divider in the BIOS and raise the RAM voltage for them to run at advertised speeds…most will originally be read @ 800mhz which is due to lazy JEDEC standards. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144241

Good luck with your new/upgraded build.

Most people will never really utilize a quad core, you could get the dual core and OC it to 3.0Ghz easily and all you would need is DDR2-800 not 1066. Frys.com has some insane deals on ram from time to time, newegg as well.