Since I got so much advice on my first thread, I ended up with a rig that shares zero parts with the original. It seemed to make more sense to just start a new thread, so here it is. (My laptop is my only real source of reference for these things, so I mention it a lot.)
Approximate Purchase Date: Late June/Early July
Budget Range: $800-$1200
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies
Parts Not Required: Mouse, monitor, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg
Country of Origin: United States
Parts Preferences: No preference
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, but not in the foreseeable future
Monitor Resolution: 1600x1200
Additional Comments: I'm looking for gaming rig that will allow to play everything comfortably. I'm not expecting max graphics on the newest games, but I'd still like to run them well.
Motherboard: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) - $159.99
Comments: Came highly recommended. Seems to get everything I need, while leaving the potential for SLI or Crossfire if I decide to do it.
Video Card: Radeon HD 6950 - $249.99 ($20 rebate)
Comments: Considering I'm running a Radeon HD 3870 in this laptop, and I haven't had problems running anything until just last month, I have a feeling this should suit me fine.
Trade case for Cooler Master HAF 922...great cooling and is $99. If you want to OC then you will need to find a cpu cooler. Look at Corsair, Scythe(whatever/however u spell it) and Coolermaster...oh Zalman to I guess. Case should pretty much hold any one you like.
I also should go for a higher res monitor for my new build but as you go up frame rates drop and I am perfectly fine on playing 1920x1080. If I'm wrong about this call me an idiot and correct me!
Well, you're not going to get much higher resolution than 1080p unless you go to a multimonitor setup. For now, the defacto standard for hi def gaming is 1920X1080. Nobody seems to be selling monitors with a higher resolution than that currently, although it was popular to sell the 1920X1200 last year I think. I just think that 1600 by 900 is not that great for current software titles. Again, usage would determine what is best.
Well, there are 30 inch monitors that run in the $1000 range with higher resolutions, (2560X1600) but those aren't for everyone..
Frame rates will drop at higher resolutions, particularly if the video card has a small frame buffer. But with a card like the HD6950 2GB, it should have no problem playing anything at 1080p. Refer to the "Best Videocards..."