~950 dollar first time gaming build

Hmm so $1261 with a 20" LCD and GTX260 so my suggestion:
12XXDR.jpg
 
Because for the $$ a GTX 260 is only on par to a HD4870 and for the best gaming experience a great monitor and a GPU that really drives games smooth on it which in this case is at 1920 x 1280 resolution will be crucial :p Edit: changed to multi GPU capable mobo in my original config
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
3,871
1
22,790
AMD tends to get you more for your money for the midrange systems, I think it would also be a good choice for your build. Whatever you do, do not get an nvidia 7series chipset, they are flaky and have lots of problems, if you go for an Intel build, then I would suggest going for a P45 chipset and using crossfire.