First time posting here, I'm currently running a first generation athlon system using two Viewsonic VP201s monitors, too power the monitors I'm running an ATI fire GL card. I mostly do 3D modeling work and basic business on the computer but also enjoy getting online and fragging, this computers starting to show it's age so it's time for an upgrade. I've got most of everything figured out except the video, here is the current part list:
Motherboard: P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFi-AP
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
Case: LIAN LI PC-V880B Black Aluminum ATX Desktop Computer Case
Memory: 2 Ea - Kingston HyperX 1024MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz LL
HardDrive: Western Digital / RaptorX / 150GB
DVD: Plextor PX-750A
Flash Reader: Atech Pro-Gear XM-4U 11-in-1 Card Reader USB 2.0
Power Supply: ULTRA-QUIET PSU: SILENCER® 750 EPS12V
The reason for the case is that I want the computer to sit right in front me where I can place my monitors on it, since I also do some video work and photography stuff it's easier to just have the USB and 1344 ports right on the desk top. I'll be adding a WD 250gb Sata Caviar from my current setup and using that as the data drive and the raptor as the system drive. The system seems to be pretty well locked in, the MB has SLI support, but they also make a sister board that has Crossfire support, that's why I'm here, I want to settle this last piece before I start chunking down cash.
Where things get weird in the video card, I want to run the dual monitors obviously, I was looking at a crossfire solution but I didn't see the higher end XTX's with dual monitor support, however I did see that the GeForce 7950 GX2 will do two monitors and has SLI already setup and built in.
I don't want to start a war about video cards, I'm pretty agnostic about them and have used both vendors over the years. I think the new ATI cards look better but unless I can do two monitors I'm going to go back to NVidia. So I'm just looking for some advice from the people here to see what works and what people are using. One thing about the FIREGL I hate is that from time to time my monitors will blink to black, it's completely random and both do it at different times. I'd love to stop that from happening, it's annoying as hell.
I'm trying to keep the video option in the $600-700 range and am looking for performance and upgradability to Vista...
I should have clarified that I have been less than impressed with the FIREGL to be honest, it was very expensive and has not performed all that well. I bought it used from a company that does cartography and they bought it for the same reason I did, they thought it would make things faster. I figured for modeling it would be great but it's not been very impressive.
Also I'm not doing what could be considered complicated models, most of the stuff I make is for manufacturing in my shop, so there's no need for the certified drivers that the Fire series offers. So I may just settle on the 750 then and get it over with...
I would recommend buying a decent card now (NVidia 7900 series) or the comparing Radeon and then go balls-out when DX10 arrives. I currently have a 7900GT. It has dual DVI's, and so far haven't had any trouble with high fps games. So I dunno...If DX10 it going to be everything people claim it to be, I wouldn't blow 500-700 on card now...I'd blow 200, and save the rest till DX10