Building (mostly) new Gamer system. Need advice on CPU/mobo/RAM

Okay so... I have been out of the game a LONG time. Christ last I was in it, the GTX295 was god. Now there's like GTX400 series! Anyways, as a result, I'm once again blown over by the amount of choices I have.

Now my plan is to build a semi-new rig. I will be keeping:
-Hardrive(s): (1TB Caviar Black) + 250GB WD piece of *** for backup
-Video card: (EVGA GTX275)
-and MAYBE my case: Antec 300 Gamer

Now, case room aside (I'll figure that out myself later) here's my few questions:

1. I've been doing some looking around and it seems that there's a few CPUs out there that caught my eye. In terms of perf/price.
-Core i7 920 (for under $300)
-Phenom II X6 1090T (for a bit over $300)
-The Phenom II X4 965 (around $200)
But my real question is what would you personally recommend? Is i7 better than X6? What's the difference between the AMD and Intel i7 and X6? Looking to spend under or around $300 on CPU

2. A decent, solid motherboard to go with the rig that isn't too fancy on features, but does support OCing a bit? Obviously, pick one that's compatible with the CPu and RAM you recommend. Looking to spend around or under $200

3. It seems to me RAM has had some ridiculous price drops. Whats a good speed RAM for gaming? I heard 1600 is alright and pretty cheap. Looking to spend under $200 here

In terms of power supplies and all the other little nicknacks I can figure that out myself, but I'm honestly blown away with how much new tech is on the market and I really don't know where to turn. Tom's charts seem to show that for the price you pay, the i7 I was talking about had better perf/price. But all my friends recommended AMD.

But honestly, I'm just spitballing here, I really don't know what's what anymore lol. So feel free to tell me what parts YOU recommend and why.

PS: If I get a new rig do you think the GTX275 could bottleneck the whole thing?

Thanks Tom's, you guys are ALWAYS helpful :D
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  1. go with the phenom 965. don't even fathom the other CPU's; ur just wasting money. the x4 phenoms do an excellent job for gaming and has pleeeenty of headroom for overclocking if you ever even need it. (i've played every game as hard as crysis and never have to overclock to get the results i want). the 965 will drive any graphics card you throw in ur PC so don't waste the money! :)

    RAM speeds, most mobo's can't overclock to 1600, so 1300 is a great speed and is all the plenty you will need. most people live off DDR2 with 1066 speed anyways. get 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 955 or 965 phenom. (I use 955 with 4GB of DDR3 1600)

    the motherboard is a Asus m7a.... not sure the exact model, but came with great overclocking software for my 955 (can overclock to 4.0GHZ)

    I would actually pick a better video card than a GTX275. A radeon 5850 would be a much better choice, and basically the same price.
  2. Okay... Cause yeah I asked my friends and they too said that going full i7 is a waste because it has a lot of features that I will never use. i5 or X6 they told me... Why would an X6 be a waste in your opinion?
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