Wow guys, more help & faster than I expected!
It appears the consensus is definitely an AMD build w/ the Phenom II, so I'll look into that.
Somebody mentioned the CM is constantly attracting dust, anybody used the Antec 900 case before that can say any reason to use one over the other? I rather like the look of the Antec 900, and I hear good things about its cooling capabilities. Both have the power supply mounted at the bottom, but only the CM 690 has the vent hole underneath it to exhaust heat from the PSU, will that cause problems in the Antec? or does it have enough ventilation & cooling to prevent overheating problems?
For those who asked what I planned to run I thought I mentioned it in OP but I run mostly MMORPGs (World of Warcraft atm) at Ultra settings (except shadows) and I want to run at 1680x1050 resolution preferrably.
Looking @ MONITOR:
If I do end up wanting to spend a bit more, what performance differences would I notice picking up the i7 over the P2, with triple channel DDR3 memory? Significant?
edit: Any reason NOT to go with the
I'm not sure I'll need the extra 100W PSU, but after rebates & promo code its only $5 more.
My current set-up is coming out to ~$800 after taxes (before buying monitor, keyboard, OS)
If I wanted to maybe cut down my budget a bit temporarily in a way that would be easily upgradeable in the future, which big powerhouse pieces should I go for now, and what would be the easiest to upgrade in the future without having wasted a lot on a temporary piece?