I have wavered between a "high-end" laptop and a desktop for almost a year. (If only AMD sold high-end mobile CPUs.) My total budget is $1900, and the laptop I'm considering sells for $1600 with a decent warranty, GTX 680m and i7-3630qm. I'm not sure if I will buy it, but I move between my home and residence hall often. I don't know where I would keep a rig.
Anyway, what can I get for $1000 in a desktop? The $1000 excludes the Operating System, keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
I have heard that the HD 7950 is a good-value GPU.
You're right, the HD7950 offers great value compared to it's competition GTX660ti, GTX670/680 or even the HD7970 especially when overclocking is taken into account. Comparing it to the 7870 though will show that the 7870 has better value.
Important question OP is do you live close enough to a Micro center to buy the 3570k for cheap?
Minor modifications to get a smaller case (its not as tall and its slimmer)
Changed the cooler as it cannot fit the 212 EVO/+
The 7870XT performs 2% slower than the 7950 but costs quite a bit cheaper
MLC SSD (AFAIK) over a TLC SSD
Some modifications but kept Lian Li for lighter weight and the Gemini to fit the case
3570k chnaged to Amazon
I left about $123 for mouse + keyboard + speakers + anything I left out
Added OS + Monitor
The cooler should be about same noise level as the 212+ according to Frsotytech
(EzioAs has a case that can fit the 212+/EVO for better cooling if you are worried about OC temps on the CPU but is a bit bulkier/heavier case)
I upgraded the PSU a bit so Crossfire power draw of 2x OC 7870XT + OC 3570k should be not be a problem
It is also a semi-modular one to facilitate the smaller case cable management (Original $70 PSU will be fine if you don't want extra power, $80 for 650W Modular and $90 for 750 non-modular)
The 7870XT is a better price/perf part right now