I'm trying to keep within budget but splurging on a couple things. I'm interested in feedback about compatibility problems... is the 500w PSU adequate?...can I cool without water if I stay away from really extreme OC settings? I'm thinking Matrix Orbital too but that can wait for now.
I should add, I picked up a 7900 GS cheap and plan to use it until the next generation of graphics cards become so fast and inexpensive I can't help upgrading ( about 90 days ! ).
Everything looks good, though I have a suggestion for a different video card. The 7900GS is overpriced for the performance level. Check out my little analysis here.
I haven't updated it lately but all you have to do is get the current prices and used the average FPS that I came up with to get a new price/perf ratio.
Personally, I'd wait another 3 weeks. The X1950Pro is suppose to be available as well as the DX10 cards from NVidia. Now, I don't say to get a DX10 card, I just think that some of the current prices might come down a little. If the X1950Pro comes in at $199 like some sites have speculated, that card will be the best bang for the buck.
Otherwise, if you want a card now, the X1900GT is a better card on average than the 7900GS. Check out some benchmarks and see which video card is better for the games you intend to play.
Purdueguy: I liked your graphic card analysis. I'm still going with the 7900 gs, however. Mainly because I already bought it, much cheaper than price you used however. (probably they've all gone down) But, it's p/fps ratio is 3.56 for comparison's sake.
I wanted something cheap to hold me over about a year until DX10 cards have arrived and come down in price, but not too cheap. Essensially, I want a fast gaming system but I'm not paying the extra
$1,500 to get that last 25 fps with faster everything on the market at this moment.
Regarding the PSU. If I plan to run one R600 card sometime in the future and it bumps my power needs up by 125 watts do I really need an 800W PSU? I really don't see myself buying 2 DX10 cards @$300 a each or more. I calculated my current needs to be 475 for the system I'm building. I could bump up to a 600 watt PS without breaking the budget. Am I too focused on the Seasonic S12's? Or should I get a less expensive, less efficient PSU in the 750W range?