Approximate Purchase Date: within the next two weeks
Budget Range: $800 After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: surfing the internet, gaming, watching movies, matlab/homework
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, spreakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'm most comfortable with newegg or amazon, but I'm not opposed to better deals from other sites
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: prefer intel, but open to suggestions
Overclocking: probably not
SLI or Crossfire: maybe in future upgrades
Monitor Resolution: best possible?
Additional Comments: I'm looking to build a cost efficient PC that plays games like the Sims and Spore flawlessly. I'll likely upgrade in a few years after I get my degree and I don't mind if that upgrade has to be a major overhaul. For now I'm looking for a solid PC on a budget.
Striker410, has done a good job for building a system that will fit your needs and budget while still giving you room that you can grow in. I have to echo him on advising you to move up to the Intel® Core™ I3-2100 and an H67 board. If you can squeeze a little bit more out of your budget you can move up the Intel Core I5-2400 and give yourself full quad core support.
A 560 ti will not bottleneck with the i3, as the i3 is pretty much a quad since it has Hyper Threading. Hyper Threading makes it a sort of "virtual quad" since each core can handle 2 threads at a time.
The question is, how hardcore do you intend to game? any of these cards can max games out now, but to do it in a year? likely the 560 ti will be the only one left standing. It's up to you. I personally would go 560ti vs 460, as the 6850 is weaker than both.