Time to make a new rig

I have been planning on building a new system for a while now, and was going to wait till September or october to build a nice gaming rig to get the best performance out of Unreal Tournament 3 - But a couple nights ago my computer totaly died on me, so my timeframe has changed, and im building it ASAP.

I am looking to spend up to about $2k on a fairly high end system, and I have a list of items on newegg that i came up with pretty quick last night, so i thought i would run it by you guys - and i have a few basic questions.

First the list:

And a quick summary:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express
EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel
ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT ATX12V 500W Power Supply

Any comments, or suggestions on the build would be much apreciated - as I said, I put that list together in a hurry. I don't plan on doing any over clocking, btw.

Now for a few questions.

First, the onboard audio. If you looked at the list, you may have noticed a little $32 Creative Sound Blaster Audigy... But im wondering if i even need that. The motherboard has Realtek ALC883 onboard audio, and sound is one place that i dont worry too much about... i usually just use a pair of decent headphones, so a high quality sound card seems a bit pointless - but how would that onboard compare with a low end creative?

Second, I'm at a loss as for what to do for my cooling. Right now im planning on just stickign with all the regular fans that come with the case, and the retail heatsink + fan with the CPU (though i will be using some Arctic Silver Ceramique instead of the pad). Will that all cut it, without being ungodly loud?

Finally, if I go with a mobo that supports SLI instead, shoudl it be pretty easy add the second GPU in a year or two down the line when prices have dropped and games demand more power? Does it require the exact same model in both slots, and is it realistic to beleive i will be able to buy a second of the exact same model years down the road? Also, would that PSU handle a couple 8800's alright?
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  1. You might wanna consider E6850 instead if you aren't overclocking, it will give you higher fps even though Crysis and UT3 will utilize all 4 cores, the FPS difference between 2.4 and 3.0 is noticeable.
    Do not go with SLI. In 2 years getting another 8800 GTS for SLI would be like getting another 6600GT right now, which is pointless. Go with a quality single card board like Gigabyte ga-P35c-ds3r, both DDR2 & DDR3 support, very stable board. There's a $45 rebate on 2GB Crucial DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 kit right now, I'd recommend getting it intead:
    Get Corsair 520HX from buy.com instead of that Enermax, $20 less and the quality is outstanding, you will not find a better PSU in that price range.
    And lastly, put the cash you saved into your video card and get MSI 8800 GTX. Quite a jump in fps compared to 640MB GTS.
    Audio, well, any creative card would be a very noticeable improvement in sound over onboard, that $33 Audigy is well worth it in my opinion.
    Stock cooler will do the job fine if you are not overclocking, however, I can't comment on the loudness since I haven't used one in years (I always replace them with aftermarket cooling before booting for the first time)
    Hope that helped a little.
    Good luck.
  2. Also, if you wanted, you could stick with the GTS and save the money you would have spend on another one in SLI and just use it to buy a new video card later. It all depends if you want a GTX, that will probably last a little longer, or a better eventual replacement for the GTS. Either way, like Dior said, SLI's probalby not a great choice.
  3. Agreed on everything with Dior except on the sound, but that is simply because I'm not an audiophile, I can't really tell a big difference between an X-Fi, that audigy, or onboard sound to be honest (Big enough to make me even spend $10). Oh and the other thing, I don't dislike MSI, but I'd go with eVGA for nvidia cards, they have the best customer support and if something (God forbid) goes wrong, they'll help you out. As far as MSI customer support goes.... who knows.. haven't heard anything bad or good.
  4. Thanks for the comments guys... I think I will make a few changes.
  5. MSI comes with a guaranteed overclock (200mhz higher on the memory than evga) and imo, as long as you buy one from newegg, you won't have any problems exchanging it if anything's wrong with the card. MSI 8800 GTX reviews are also top notch.

    Np Blaaguuu, show us your final build list when you are done.
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