I only like Tiger direct so please help me with Tiger Direct items only. (new egg sent me the wrong RAM modules 3 times in a row.)
Should I go with AMD or Intel? Or NVIDIA or ATI? I don't know the latest cards, but I really love my ati 5770 and I thinking about a 6770 with a Phenom/ I3 or I5 if possible. I play Garrys Mod, PCSX2 and there kinda demanding.
Just a quick and dirty run through TigerDirect and not looking too deeply I came up with this build that comes to $720. If you do a little more research and look around you can probably shave it down to your price range, but I honestly think that you'll be able to find some of these things cheaper on Newegg. That's my experience anyhow. You can also shave some off with a cheaper hard drive and going to 4GB of RAM instead of 8. Check out the best GPU and CPU for the money lists here on Tom's. That's where I pulled those options from.
I'd take a Phenom II 965 Black edition over an i3 personally. In my opinion theres too big of a price gap between Intel's quad core and dual cores. And the remaining AMD Phenom IIs fall right in the middle of that gap as they are true quad cores. If you can afford the i5 (starting at 180) those would be the best choice, but a Phenom II at the price point is going to offer you better balance for a system outside of gaming.
I'd use Underhill's build, but I'd make the following changes:
As far as your concern with Newegg, maybe you had a bad experience with them, but honestly, I have ordered from them several times and found them to be incredibly reliable and expedient in their shipping. I'd give them another shot. TigerDirect is equally good. The only online merchant I can say I would avoid would be MicroCenter. They have what seems to be decent prices, but I found the devil is in the details, as they charged me both shipping and sales tax for orders that Newegg or Tiger wouldn't, which made the final price being no cheaper, and the other tradeoff was MicroCenter ships painfully slow. They had my order "processing" for over a week and after 2 phone calls to them and talking to their inept customer support, I cancelled the order. Meanwhile Newegg had my stuff to my door in 2 days.
Yea, but between Tiger and Newegg, both of them I have ordered from several times. (The build in my sig was a mixture of Tiger and Newegg parts), CPU came from newegg obviously since they're the only one that seems to have Phenom II black editions left, but I have nothing but good things to say about both of them. MicroCenter deserves nothing but my contempt. They can take their lower prices and stick em. Seriously, the kind of customer service I got from them, I'd rather pay a little more for the same parts.