1) Get the AMD Phenom II X4 955 CS version (X4 965 is basically an OC'd version)
2) I would get on ATI 5870 2GB instead of getting two 5850's from the get go (without knowing your resolution all might be overkill). This will give you the ability to upgrade later to a second card as you start to have issue within games. The only upgrade path with two 5850's is basically buying a complete set of new cards.
I actually planned on getting one 5850 and then getting a second on down the line. As much as i'd like to get the 5870, i can't justify spending $500 on one card. I dont know. I don't want to spend more than like 1200 up front, not including case, on this build. Maybe you can give me some insight - here is what I planned on:
AMD Phenom II X4 955
Crossfire capable AM3 motherboard (looking at: )
2x2G GSkill Trident ()
2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 in raid 0 ()
XFX Black Edition XPS-850W Power Supple()
This puts me at $779.94 without videocard or case.
I chose to set my budget independent of case, because I want a really expensive case (Silverstone ft02) and a case won't necessarily have to be replaced in a couple of years.
I plan to get one videocard now and a second matching one in 4-5 months.
Any feedback on this build? Still think I should go with the 5870 - 2gb?