I want for less than $1,000 to build a gaming desktop. Nothing extreme, but I'd like to be able to play games like Crysis (obviously with graphics turned way down). Where do I start?
You must be careful because sometimes parts don't work together. You have to check the voltage, and all sorts.
Having Crysis on the lowest setting won't take *that* much.
I'd start by checking out Ars Technica's System Build guides. They update their guides a few times a year. The just updated for September. Their "Budget" box would run you about $800 before tax or shipping, and with an NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT-based video card that they recommend, you could easily do Crysis.
Putting it all together is the tricky part. If you've never built a PC before on your own, you might use the last 200$ in your budget to take a class on PC Configuration and Repair at your local Community College - you would learn everything you need to know, and more, to build and troubleshoot your own PCs. You would learn the dos and don'ts of putting it all together. If your teacher is cool enough, he might even help you out.