Hi All. I decided to build my own gamning PC (my first). My budget is between $3.5k-$4K. The heart of my system will be an Athlon 64 FX-57.
For that money, I'm looking at a moderate Mobo, like the Gigabyte GA-K8N PRO-SLI; and two BFG GeForce 7800GT OC 256MB cards. Alternately, I'm considering the ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 SLI and only one of the above video cards. The ABIT comes with some nice extras like the guru system monitoring panel.
Question I guess is will two 7800GTs in SLI make that much of a difference, or would you go for one 7800GT and the ABIT Fatil1ty?
Other performance affecting components:
Corsair TWINX2048-3200C2 2GB memory
Two Western Digital Raptor WD740GD SATA 10k drives (in RAID0)
Gigabyte 3D Rocket Pro cooler (don't want to try liquid on my first build)
Thermaltake Armor VS8000BWS case
Thermaltake TWV500 500W PSU
For that money you can spec a phenomenal system. You can actually do it for significantly less money than that. Unless you want to game at ultra high res with high details enabled, you should drop the SLI. If you go tha route, then get the Abit AN8 Ultra which still has the uGuru utility. If you want to keep a dual card setup as an option, then look at the DFi RDX200 or Asus A8R-MVP. Pop in a Sapphire X1800XT 512MB - it should outperform the GT SLI setup. And display it onto a Dell 2405FPW - there are rebates all the time - check out bensbargains.net for them to pop up. Use the stock HSF from AMD unless you want to do some serious OCing.
Decided to go with an ASUS A8N-SLI Premium and one video card for now. I'll stick with a 256MB nVidia-based card, though. I can upgrade to a 2nd card later if needed.
I had thought of just using my exising display (a Sony 4:3, 19" Flat panel, can't remember the exact model), but I've seen this Dell monitor mentione just about everywhere. Might give it a serious look. There's a computer show in my area (Norther VA) in mid January and I'll see if anyone there is selling. If not, I've bookmarked bensbargins. THANKS!!
You do realize that the boards I recommended support Crossfire - ATI's version of SLi...don't you?
Good luck with the build...
Yeah, I know. Guess I have an nVidia bias (plus I own a few shares of nVidia stock). Hey , it took a lot for me to drop Intel and go with AMD. One step at a time
Thanks for all the help.
PS - for other first time builders, I found a nice anti-static mat at Radio Shack (part #276-2370). Comes with a wrist strp that attaches to it, and a 10ft cord which can either be attached to something grounded with an alligator clip, or plugged into the ground hole of a three pronged outlet.