Second Build - AMD build this time

In this arena I need a lot of help as I haven't ever been in the market for AMD so I need assistance on a $700-$1000 AMD build;

Preferably a X4 build unless a X6 is reasonably better and to keep the trend AMD it would include a RADEON.

If you have any type of gaming requirement that is a recent title, the X4 setup would be the way to go...

MB - ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $100

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz AM3 125W Quad-Core - $120

MEM - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 CL9 1.5v - $34

GPU - XFX HD 6770 - $120 - $20 MIR = $100

HD - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 2TB - $80

OPTICAL - LG Black 12X BD-R 4MB Cache LightScribe Support - $70

PSU - XFX Core Edition PRO550W - $70 - $20 MIR = $50

CASE - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $70 - $10 MIR = $60

Just a few questions on AMD X 4

1] Why in particular a 955 when a 965 is not much more expensive?

2] Does it use Corsair Vengeance RAM or is it only XMS3?

3] In a gaming environment or multimedia environment will it compete or beat the sandy bridge processors.

4] I was going to put either a 6870 or possibly a 6950 in, would it be a competent performing build.

I don't need a 2500k performing beast, all it needs to be able at very least to do, is play everything maxed out on resolutions not exceeding 1600 * 900 resolutions.
1.) The 955 and 965 are the same chip with the multiplier from the factory being the only difference. Both are Black Editions (unlocked) which means you can go into your BIOS and set the multiplier of the 955 to the 965 settings, or higher, for less cost.

2.) Not following this question.

3.) The i3 dual core series, but no way will it touch the processing power of a Sandy Bridge i5 or i7. Overclock the X4 to 4.0~ GHz and that gap narrows, but Sandy Bridge is still a faster processor.

4.) Either of those GPUs are a good choice. The HD 6870 is the better "bang for the buck".

Well this build is quintessentially a second rig so my budget is a lot less than my I5 2500k build, as it stands I have either of two choices.

1] Intel Build

Core i3 2100
Asus P8Z68 V or V Pro (it appears as the only diff is the number of SATA connections which is irrrelevent so the slightly cheaper V is prefered)
Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB)
Corsair TX 650
GTX 560 TI
Coolermaster CM 690 II

2] AMD Build

P2 X 4 955 or 965 BE

if the RAM is supported then I will use the same as above or the XMS3 range by Corsair.


same case and PSU as I already have them from my older rig which is striped down.

Which is legitimately stronger in performance?