Help with a Build for FFXIV (under $1k if possible)

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:

Initial thoughts (really no tilt either way, read reviews and many go either way):
AMD Phenom II X4 965 (
Intel i5 750 (

Not really sure at all on MB though it looks like the Asus is the way most people are going with the Intel chip
Likely go with 6GB RAM - sounds like the G.Skill is the best thing out there now.

Not sure on NVidia vs ATI for the GPU and no specific preference either way

Plain old case/DVD/PSU, etc, don't need anything fancy. Also as a Mac user I'll have to buy the OS.

Already have a 19" monitor. I'm sure I'll upgrade at some point but it's a decent display for the time being.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. I'll start by clearing some things up.

    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:

    CPU/Mobo: X4 955 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $285 after rebate (with free game)
    GPU/PSU: HD 5870 and XFX 750W $430 after rebate
    RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $105
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
    Case/Optical: Coolermaster 690 and cheap SATA DVD burner $73

    Total: $968

    Here's a great gaming build for $1,000 with the OS:

    CPU/Mobo: X3 440 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $183 after rebate
    RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $105
    GPU/PSU: HD 5870 and XFX 750W $430 after rebate
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
    Case/Optical: Coolermaster 690 and cheap SATA DVD burner $73
    OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

    Total: $966

    If you want to do some overclocking, grab a Sychte SCMG-2100 for $35.
  2. 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.
  3. You're not that much better off with Intel. They do have more powerful CPUs, but the upgrade path is non-existent.

    I'd say the X4/5870 is a very balanced build.
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