Newbie needing advice on a 2560x1600 gaming card

I'm getting the 30" LCD from either Apple or Dell. I need a card that supports it, but I also want something that can run shooters (FEAR) & RTS games at 2560x1600 - clocking well above 30fps with high quality options (maybe not best quality). For non-gaming I'd also like to have the option of adding a second 30" inch in the future. Yeah, I'd be expecting the same 2560x1600 on the second one, so I know I'm looking for a dual dual-link DVI.

Box specs: P4 3.2GHz, 1GB RAM (will be going to 4GB soon). ASUS P5AD2-E board, one PCIe x16 slot and a couple of PCI, PCIe x1 slots.

Price range: Not set - I'd like to see what's available.

What cards do you recommend? I can research on my own, but some pointers would help.
Second, any pitfalls I should know about?

Forgive any obvious stupidity / pipe dreams :)
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  1. First your CPU is weak. I know it sounds lame but it is. You should go for Core 2 Duo and then look into Quad-SLI. Tomshardware had a good article on Quad-SLI recently.

    You will need the horsepower to back it up though, such as the Core 2 Duo! FX-60/62 is a good choice too but the prices still are a tad too high.

    Of course that means a new mobo, ram, PSU too. You'd be able to sell your old stuff for a good price IMO though.
  2. From Toms hardware:

    You will have to go with Quad-GPU solution (two Geforce GX2) to support that kind of setup. But even this setup is not "invincible", Oblivion's outdoor settings can still drop that under 20 FPS at this resolution. Moreover, this setup won't be DX10 compatible, so if you cough-up ~1200$ worth of graphic cards, you might have to do so again in 6-12 months IF you want DX10. I would also check some reviews of the 30" LCDs for first person shooters as it has a "rather high" response time (14 ms) that can lead to "shadow effects" if the image move too quickly.

    As for adding a 2nd 30" display, if you were planning on using BOTH in full resolution in first person shooters, maybe even the Quad-GPU setup might not be enough (and I'm not even sure the GX2 series support dual display ... does it?).

    To be honest, as much as this system might look cool, I think that it might be a waste of money for gaming (mostly for the DX10 thing, but also in general). Such a setup would make a bit more sense for a computer graphic artist doing a lot of 3D. I think I would rather spend the money difference in a high-end 15K RPM RAID SCSI setup, at least such a setup might worth the investment of a couple of years.

    I suggest you go check the following 2 articles on Toms Hardware: Nvidia's Response to Early DIY Quad-SLI and Get Quad SLI Before It Is Hatched
  3. Thanks folks. Didn't realize SLI and the whole kit was going to be so critical. I'll keep this as my work box and look for a new box when I have more time.
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