The $800 does not count the OS, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The PC will be for everyday use, college, occasional games like L4D and whatnot... I prefer newegg or Fry's electronics, and AMD+ATI if possible. Fry's has the Antec 900 for $100 but I'm open to suggestion about a better case. Thanks guys
Note that it is a VERY powerful gaming system - beyond mainstream with the twin 4850 graphics cards. You might even consider going with just one- and save another $75 - which would be a good mainstream system - or maybe just get one 4870 for more ooomph than a single 4850. Review the graphic charts to see how much you need (note that when FPS exceed 40 you won't notice any difference on screen in your game):
Also, I recommend replacing the graphics cards - either the one or two as you choose, with the faster BFG GTS 250 cards on sale at Frys for only $80 AR - a further savings of about $30 with a faster card. I also prefer the CUDA feature of the nVidia cards - using the graphics card to help the CPU with processing.
As discussed in the article - the computer is a little light in a couple of areas to make the $650 budget and you might want to improve upon:
1. Increase CPU to X3 720 Black Edition - +$20
2. Add CPU HSF - Xigmatek Dark Knight S1283 - +$37
3. Upgrade HD to WD Caviar Black 640GB - +$18
This adds only $75 and greatly improves the system. It should also OC nicely for even better performance should you decide to try OC.
This still leaves about $75 of your $800 budget left -even with both graphics cards - and you might consider if you want to get a different case. The one provided is very serviceable but basic and you might want to upgrade a little - but this is mostly a matter of personal preference. Also note that the case has potentially the longest life of any component - you could be reusing it and installing new systems inside 20 years from now - so consider any money spent here an investment to be used over many years.
Alternatively, you can stick with the system as shown in the article but take out one 4850 card and make the three improvements listed above and have a great system for basic game play and general use and spend only $630. Just depends on your preferences.