No, I would stay with the 2GB. Games like BF2 and FEAR (IIRC) do make use of the extra gig, along with other apps.
I would recommend waiting until July to choose a system, but if you have to get something now, I would go with:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ - $135
ASUS A8N5X - $79
G. Skill 2x1GB DDR400 SDRAM - $149
Sapphire X1800XT 512MB PCI-e - $300
Enhance ENP-5150G - $63
Antec SLK3000B - $29
Ever Case E4252BB - $37
Yate Loon D12SL-12 120mm fan - $6 (the SLK3000B comes with a decent fan, the E4252BB does not)
Zalmn ZM-NB47J passive chipset cooler - $6
Another Yate Loon D12SL-12 120mm fan - $6 - put in the front, assuming you get the SLK3000B, or you cut the E4252BB a bit
What kind of speakers do you have?
I will explain my choices: any CPU (for games) is sufficient as long as the video card is the limiting factor, or vice versa. But, in order to put more of a load on the CPU, we need to move up to the next fastest video card, and with a $1000 budget, you can’t afford that. So I think this pairing-up of the 3200+ - which, incidentally, is faster than the Intel offerings at the same price - and the X1800XT is the fastest possible for $1000. In Oblivion, the X1800XT puts out the highest minimum and average frame rates except for the 7900GTX, the X1900XT, and the X1900XTX. He can’t afford those cards. On a related note, the 3200+ might limit the video card, but it will not (at least in Oblivion at 1280x1024) when overclocked to ~2.4GHz, which almost all 3200+ CPUs can hit.
// NO LONGER APPLICABLE // The Samsung 250GB drive is pretty cheap and is the quietest 3.5" drive out there at the moment. With all the other fans in the system (I didn’t pick for quietness), this may not be appreciable, but he may, in the future, want to quiet things down a little bit, and this way he won’t have to get another drive if he replaces everything else.
The Enhance ENP-5150G PSU is a hidden gem. For $63, it’s only $13 more than the popular Fortron AX450-PN (which does provide a lot of power for its price), but the Enhance should last much longer because it uses higher quality parts - capacitors, in specific. Don’t get me wrong; Fortron makes some very high quality PSUs - just not their AX line.
Both the SLK3000B and the E4252BB are easy to work with and are sturdy, save for the SLK’s door, which some people find to be flimsy. The E4252BB has no such door. The SLK has 120mm fan mounts front and rear for better cooling, while the E4252BB has a 120mm fan mount at the rear and a 80mm/92mm mount at the bottom front. However, if you don’t mind cutting into the steel, you can easily put a 120mm fan there. FWIW, I would buy an E4252BB BUT both are high-quality cases (in fact the SLK3000B is a variant of the E4252BB). At those price points, they’re literally a steal.