Reading this site has helped me a lot in the last few months getting up to date with computer technology (haven't had a new computer since 2001). So, thanks to everyone on this site for making it an invaluable resource.
My total budget is about $1000, but I'm spending about $400 between the case, power supply, ram, hdd and optical drive. What I'm really concerned with is the combination of mobo/cpu/gpu. It seems to basically come down to a question of amd or intel... and I just don't feel like I know enough to make a decisive answer.
Purchase date: Within a week or so.
Budget: 600 USD. Can't go much over, but doesn't have to be that high.
System Usage: Mostly multitasking (most commonly music software like pro tools, math/statistics/engineering programs, word processors, and a lot of internet tabs and windows), but I would like to game a little as well (mostly CoD MW2 and StarCraft II).
Parts not required: I just need a processor, graphics card, and motherboard. Everything else is accounted for.
Preferred website for parts: Tiger Direct, Newegg, Amazon. I live in California so Newegg charges sales tax.
Overclocking: Yes. I've never done it before, but more than willing to learn.
SLI or Crossfire: With the cards I have selected I would probably crossfire at some point down the road. I know that lga 1156 (i5) motherboards only have x8/x8 crossfire but it doesn't seem like the difference is significant enough to push me much toward amd.
Monitor Resolution: I have two 23 inch monitors. Resolution at either 1920x1080 or 1680x1050. For gaming I'm fine just using one monitor though I I'm not sure about the visual difference for gaming in 1920x1080 vs. 1680x1050, but I'm guessing I'd be ok with playing at 1680x1050.
In case you would like to take my other components into consideration:
PSU: Corsair 750W TX
RAM: G. Skill 2x2GB DDR3 1600
HDD: Western Digital 500GB (not too concerned with/will upgrade to ssd later)
CASE: Cooler Master Storm Sniper Mid-Tower
Not really considering nvidia because the only intel solution I have now (i5 w/ asus e-pro) has a max budget of $200 for the graphics card and it seems like the ati 5770 has the best price/performance in that range.
For amd I'm leaning most toward the x6 1055T not considering the x4 965 that seriously...
The obvious advantage of my amd cpu choices is that having 6 cores is nice for multitasking and someone who will have this build for many years (me), but I don't have any idea how much or little those extra two cores would help me with multitasking.
More importantly I should add that I'm kind of partial to an intel solution... not for any factual reason.. it's just a gut feeling that I'd be happier with the i5, maybe just because I have more familiarity with intel cpus. Not that I think amd is some hole in the wall company. I know an amd solution would be much cheaper and might make a cpu like the 1090T or a gpu like the 5850 affordable for me, but since I have this weird bias/lack of knowledge about amd cpus, I'd appreciate anyone suggesting an amd cpu to give me a little more explanation. Thanks.
Sorry for such a long post... just tried to be thorough about what I wanted.