First build here. My brother and roomate have built a couple computers each so I will have some decent help. I am willing to extend the budget for a significant performance increase or future upgradability costs extra.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Over Next 3 weeks as deals pop up on newegg
BUDGET RANGE: $1,000 or under
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming is the only intensive use this comp will have.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None, need everything OS, keyboard, mouse, etc.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US
PARTS PREFERENCES: Going AMD for price
OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but not much research yet.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not to start, but I would like everything to be ready to be Crossfire ready for future.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like a quiet computer where possible.
If you are thinking $50 for your case. Then get the Antec 300. It has excellent ventilation and 2 big fans built in. I wouldn't say it's fancy but it will definitely keep your system cool.
(Personally I have an Antec 300 as my case)
I suggest a OCZ, Antec, Corsair or PC Power and Cooling power supplies (I think Thermaltake and CoolerMaster would work fine too). This is one area you SHOULD NOT buy generic!
(Personally I have a PC Power and Cooling 680w power supply.)
Since you mentioned possibly doing a crossfire setup in the future then the board you choose needs to have at least 2 PCI express X8 or faster slots. This is one aspect you need to be careful about. Some boards have 2 PCIe slots but one will run at the full X16 and the other one may only be a X4 which isn't fast enough to bother doing a crossfire setup. Click on "Specifications" to see what the motherboard has. You can save a lot of money if you are willing to pass on a few things. 1st - having that second X8 or better PCIe slot will increase the price quite a bit. 2nd - Having USB 3.0 will increase the price. 3rd - Having SATA III (6 Gb/s) will increase the price. I sacrificed the above items and only paid $59.99 for my mohterboard. Why? Becuase I will add USB 3.0 and SATA III using an expansion card when I feel the need to add those. Also I only plan on running 1 video card. I feel that if your 1 card can't do it, then you are better off getting a new one than adding a second older technology card to your PC. But that is just my opinion.
I think you would get more for your money if you bought a 955 Black. But if money is too tight then the 720 is still a good CPU.
The 955 and the 965 CPUs come with an new design CPU cooler with heat pipes and actually works quite well. My 955 is overclocked to 3.6GHz and my temps are VERY low even at full load. (But part of that is that I have that Antec 300 case with all of the available fan slots (3) filled with 120mm fans) That means my computer has 4 120mm fans and 1 140mm fan and those are just case fans. My computer also has fans on the CPU, Power supply and video card. All of those fans ensure my temps stay low. BUT!! with the 720 I don't think they ship the new design heatsync/fan so for a quiet and cool PC I suggest Schythe. I am still considering the Mugen-2, but not sure if I really need it. There may be better coolers out there not not ones that will be as quiet. http://www.scythe-usa.com/
The 5770 is a good choice. I personally don't like saphirre but some people swear they are the best.
The CL (aka CAS Latency) is 9. I would reccomend CL 8 or lower. If you can get CL 7 that is pretty good. It won't make a HUGE difference but it will be a speed increase. (Personally I am using the same speed memory with CL 8 by OCZ)
Check these out for a good, quiet CPU cooler: http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
Bear in mind that some of them are quite large and will not fit automatically into a 'smaller' case. The Antec 300 is a good suggestion as it is large enough to fit plenty of tower heatsinks. It also has speed adjustable fans, can provide good cooling, is relatively cheap and is likely to come in good combos.
If you're thinking about crossfiring two 5770s then a good 550W PSU is all you will need. dark_lord has a good point about having the option to replace your graphics card rather than buy another one. So a 650W PSU is the sweet spot for that imo. XFX make a very good 650W PSU for ~$100 as well. To check whether a PSU is worthy of being used, try and look for professional reviews of it, or ask in a forum like this or in this thread. Seasonic is another good brand if you can find one of theirs for a good price.
The advantage to the RAM you listed is the cheapness at $97 and low voltage so you would be able to OC it easily to CAS7 or a higher frequency.
For quiet you will want a 5770 with as large a fan as possible. The Vapor-X gives out ~30dBA on idle and load, so is going to be one of the quiestest available, up to you if you're prepared to pay that much and you might be able to find others for cheaper that do have a large fan.
Thanks everyone that provided input. I'm sticking with the 5770 unless someone can really convince me otherwise. I'll probably mainly play FPS games and Diablo III if it ever comes out. I think i'll be happy turning the setting off of max if necessary. This isn't final just yet, I'll probably do some OC'ing research which may change some things.
The price is pretty close to banthracis with a 5850 instead of my 5770. Most of the difference was on that insane case/HD deal which I can't use because I already ordered my HD and the different moniter I selected.