I have ordered some corsair ddr2 800 ram that is probably the middle of the road for performance, and I also have allready bought an 7900gs gfx card. I am thinking about going with an E6420 c2d.
Basically I am upgrading from an nforce2 athlon fx 2100+ system, so its going to be a huge leap either way.
Basically I am a somewhat casual gamer, and I may overclock a bit but nothing mad. I just want a system that will handle the new round of games decently. I am not too worried about dx10 at this time, and one game that I am playing (runs poorly on current system) is incompatable with vista anyway.
So which board should I get? Or should I just say screw it and get an amd system because I am not planning to overclock much?
Oh yeah... if I get the less costly board I may be able to afford a sata dvd burner.
SLi is a waste of time, and the P5N-e has no heatsink in the SB and that alone would make worried. Plus I think the SLi selector card is ugly, but that's just personal preference.
The DS3 has been getting rave reviews ever since the BIOS revisions allowed to overclock to its full potential. Anyone know how it works with Quads though? How well does it overclock Kentsfield, and will it accept Penryn?
If you must go SLi, I'd choose the p5n32-e sli plus - it's a nice board, same as the stryke actually with a few less heatpipes, and the combo of the 570 + 650i chipsets allow you to have full 16x 16x SLI which should allow you to squeeze the most performance out of SLI with the only really viable option that it's useful for - dual 8800GTXs for 25x16 resolution in the latest games.
-- EDIT --
In order to give you info on a graphics card that can handle the new round of games, we need to know the resolution of your monitor, that is a huge determining factor. Right now, with say a typical 19 inch the 1950pro does very well, but if you're planning to game above that at 16x10 or 19x12, I would suggest an 8800GTS to be perpared for newer games.
In this respect your choice of motherboard and even processor matters very little if at all - if you don't overclock, AMD and INTEL are very close now on the price/performance curve with AMD even winning out by a small amount now due to lower CPU and MOBO prices.
As long as you get a reasonable dual-core, your graphics card will overwhelmingly determing your game experience.
First of all, the DS3 is not made by Intel, but Gigabyte.
Second, if you look closely, the only "features" that the DS3 is lacking are:
1) Sli - which is ENTIRELY useless unless you plan on running 2xthe best graphics card on the market - in the future, you will be better off buying a single card to outperform your possible sli setup by leaps and bounds
2) Firewire - a misstep, but not really so common anymore now that USB2.0 has taken over, and can be added for less than $10
3) E-Sata - if you're into that, you can still jury-rig it
The boards in a dell don't allow you to overclock anywhere in the same ballpark, and that along with the quality of construction make the DS3 such a popular enthusiast choice.
If I may be so bold, I'l suggest looking beyond the marketing hype and at the "features" that are actually of use to you.
Unless money is no option, in which case all bets are off
drr de drrrrr derrrrrr... I can't believe myself that I said that. What I ment was that manufacturers in general do not put much effort into dressing up their boards with intel chipsets. They all look plain. I suppose if I am unhappy with the asus board I get for some reason or another I can always "downgrade" to the d3s for not much $$$.
If money were no option I would probably be getting a stryker extreme or another of the mega high end boards, but unfortunately I do have a budget. The board I actually want is the MSI Diamond, but that is seemingly vaporware.
Now I wish I would have waited to get my gfx card instead of buying one for an excelent deal around xmas. The card I have will do, and im sure smack the pants off my gf5700...