Planning on building a new gaming rig soon. What's decent these days? I'm looking at the Ivy Bridge 3570 (~$250) and a Radeon 6950 2gb (~$269). Rest of the parts are pretty stock. Basically just trying to keep the box under a grand if I can, but shooting for decent performance on Steam stuff, BF3, EVE, Tribes, etc.
In my opinion, you can get decent performance (40-60 FPS) on most games for less money than that. Reddit has a nice forum for this that I highly recommend: http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc
If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't worry so much about having the latest Ivy Bridge. From what I've seen so far, the biggest improvements there are from power efficiency. For gaming, it doesn't much matter. If you want to future-proof your build, I'd just grab the highest -K part that you can afford (these have unlocked multipliers), spend money on a really nice heatsink
, and then overclock the CPU in a year or two. For example, the Core i5-2500K is still seeing a lot of love in gaming builds, and can be had for under $170 when you find a sale.
I'd dump more money towards the nicest single graphics card you can afford. I'm partial to ATI cards, myself, if for no other reason than to help keep AMD in business and preserve market competition. The 6950 is probably a good call. I wouldn't mess around with SLI or Crossfire - the performance benefits aren't worth the cost.
I'd also spend money on the largest SSD you can - at least 128GB, but 256GB is better. The Crucial M4 series is nice, so long as you make sure to update the firmware on them. Newegg has a 128GB
on sale today for $125, which is less than a dollar per gig. Pair that with a 500GB or 1TB HDD, and you're good to go.
Power supplies are important, too. Antec's are typically pretty good. I really like Corsair's TX (non-modular) and HX (modular) series, too. The Corsairs are usually OEM'd by Seasonic or CWT, so if you find a good Seasonic on sale, grab it because their stuff is really high-quality.
For reference, my current gaming system is a Core i5-750 with 4GB of RAM and a Radeon 4850 that I built back in 2009. I'll check my quality settings later, but I play most current games (BF3, Tribes, and Borderlands mostly) around Medium and get 40-60FPS, depending on the engine. I probably won't be upgrading it until around this time next year.