"I" put this build together mostly from posts by Batuchka and ScrewySqr so thanks in advance to you two. I did make some minor changes so would like to make sure the part choices are all good decisions.
Approximate Purchase Date: this week (by 10/29)
Budget Range: $1000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Video streaming, MS office and the like, Web browsing/blogging, Audio recording, Gaming (not really a pc gamer now but wouldn't mind playing casually).
Parts Not Required: none! I have a sick (as in dying) laptop atm. Actually, I have a wireless keyboard and mouse but lost the little usb dongle thing so...that's a maybe depending on my locating abilities.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: by brand or type: here's what I spliced together:
Stick with the 955 on an AMD build. You could prob save about $10-$20 on ram going to CAS 9 1333 MHz, without noticing the difference. Give us more details on what you mean by "casual gamer" the 6850 is probably overkill. Something between a 5550 and a 5770 would seem more appropriate for your usage. PSU is second tier(not bad but there are better), but you have enough headroom it shouldn't matter much.
OK - is there any benefit to 1600 MHz vs 1333 MHz? In terms of "casual gamer", right now I have a laptop with integrated graphics so gaming limited. That being the case I'm a console gamer atm (~4 hrs/wk). I would like to have a machine with a capable GPU - I'm not out to have the highest fps or anything but want to be able to see a fun-looking game, pick it up, and come back to play it without issues. I also have mentally committed $1k to this pc so I'm not dreading edging right up to my budget max. Not sure if that clears anything up...at all, but hopefully it'll allow a more accurate assessment.
There is a difference, but it's negligable, and keep in mind that at 1.65 V (1.5 is the "standard") many 1333 ram sticks would clock up that high anyway. This is decent Ram that you should be able to overclock if you want to; you could go cheaper if you don't see overclocking in your future.
The 6850 is prob the sweet spot right now in terms of price/performance, even if it is more than you need, so if you want to spend the full budget on the computer, it's as good a place as any, but you might have a hard time finding a decent one in stock. A 5670 or 5770 should work for you as well, they will run most games on decent settings.