I have been using Chrome on my laptop and haven't noticed any severe battery drain. With chrome open, my laptop manages to work for ~4 - 5h from battery which is normal. As for memory management, yeah, it could be better.
I was running a 212 that was left from a previous build with my FX8320 and I could overclock it to 4GHz with no problems. I think that 212 will be much better than what you have right now and it will cool your cpu at stock pretty well.
I suggest to start with C, then move on to C++ to get a concept of object oriented programming and how the objects are stored in the memory and only then move to Java or C#. Also, I recommend "SCJP Sun certified programmer for java 6" book if you want to learn java, it covers the core concepts very well and it is interesting to read. For developing simple console programs in c/c++ I can recommend Dev-C++ IDE, it is lightweight and simple.