I have set aside about $1500 for a new gaming computer.
Here are a couple of factors that may influence parts:
My monitor’s native resolution is 1440 X 900.
I already have the OS. WinXP SP2
I live in the High Desert of California so ambient temps are high
I do not plan on OCing any part of the system.
SLI is not an upgrade path
I have read the latest Toms reviews to include their suggested $1250 build but I find there are a lot of varied opinions on these and other boards so I thought I would ask for assistance before I purchase.
I would like to use newegg to purchase the pieces if possible so links would really help.
Since you do not intend to overclock, E6850 @3.0Ghz will be the best choice for you. P35C-DS3R is a great, stable board with the latest P35 chipset, which supports both DDR2 and DDR3 for the future. 2GB of fast, quality ram. 8800 GTX so you'd enjoy all the current and upcoming DX10 games in full. Corsair 520HX is a great PSU, very reliable and queit, will power everything you have in your system with ease.
Personally I would go with the Quad Core and the board that does not support DDR3.
1) The board only supports 4gb of DDR3 memory, In suspect in a couple years after Vista-64 is a bit more popular games may actually start to make use of large amounts of memory. This means you expand the DDR2 memory or go with a new board that supports more DDR3. Secondly, The current chips do not seem limited by the current memory chips even when serverely OC'd. This is seen in tests where widely varied FSBs gave similar results when the speed of the highly OC'd chips were normalized.
2) Why Quad Core? Well, I'm not a gamer and I do lots of stuff that really pushes my C2D@3.0Ghz. Give me more cores. For you, at the present time the Dual Core would likely be better. By the time there are games that hit all 4cores, you may want to upgrade to the 45nm Penryn anyway.
If you're not gonna overclock, Amd is the way to go. However top of the line X2 model is too cheap for your budget, so I guess intel is the way to go. E6850 sounds nice, since you just game. I don't suggest you to get the quad since many games don't support it. Besides getting a Q6600 is point less if you're not gonna overclock. I'll suggest a bigger power supply, like the OCZ gamerXtreme 700watt. As for vidcard, 8800GTX isn't bad, however if you want top notch performance on Dx10 games, get a 8800GTS 320mb for cheap and wait till the 9 series come out. This is because the 8 series aren't good enough, or so it was said. Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R mobo is great future proof mobo, as I have one myself.
I'll let the others give you advice on the rest of the stuff.
If you don't mind getting your stuff a bit slower, clubit.com is a great place to shop, at a price sometimes lower than newegg.
Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R- $159.99 (free shipping)
OCZ GameXStream 700watt- $92.98