I'm very out of the loop on the performance parts available now and could use some help regarding building a PC to support my Final Fantasy addiction. Would like to keep it under 1k so that the wife doesn't completely kill me when I tell her I'm buying a PC to play a game. Been using a Mac for the past 5 years or so, thus the reason I'm a bit lost on many of the components and what is best to choose:
The 965 isn't a great CPU. It's a factory overclocked X4 955, which you can do yourself by adding 1 to the multiplier in the BIOS. You don't even need an aftermarket cooler for it.
Asus and Gigabyte are the two main board brands. The reason Asus is picked for the i5 is that Gigabyte's P55 boards will only allow you to use either USB 3/SATA III or Crossfire/SLI, but not both. Asus allows you to use both.
6 GB of RAM is pretty much exclusive to the LGA1366 chipset (i7-930). That's way our of budget and unnecessary. You should be looking at 4 GB. G.Skill tends to get the most recommendations because it's high quality and currently the cheapest for what you get.
Are you needing to get the OS (Windows all the way) with the $1,000? It'll cost $100...
Here's the best gaming build you can get for $1,000, without the OS:
Thanks so much for the replies. I'm not tied under 1k specifically, just trying to keep it in that range. Yes, I still have to buy the OS but I'm liking the X4 vs the X3 for long-term value.
Think I'm going to go with the pricier build suggested with the 5870 unless you think I'm significantly better served by going with an Intel chip. Never owned an AMD but I can't imagine I'm going to notice that much one way or the other.