I was looking at building a new system around an E6850 and had a couple of questions.
As this chip is 1333, is it worth while to jump to a MLB with DDR3 or would it be more worth while to just stick with 1066 DDR2? I don't tend to upgrade more than every 2 or so years, so should I jump in at the tail end of DDR2 or go with obscenely expensive DDR3? IE- is the performance difference great enough to warrant more than twice the cost?
Secondly, is it time to make 4GB standard? This system will be primarily for gaming. Would it just be wiser to go with 2GB and then see if 4 is warranted at a later date when its also cheaper?
Lastly, SLi on my 7800GTXs really did nothing for me. I'm glad I got them both for free as I was sadly disappointed by their (under)performance and lack of dual monitor support. As I recollect, the GF8 line does support dual monitors while in SLi, but is SLi supported to the point of being worth while or is it still just an expensive 5% of bragging rights? This new PC would also be running one 7800GTX until the 8xxx come down a little. What is the forecast on 10.1 cards? Would it be prudent to just push off this whole mess until that point?
if you are going with a E6850 then you better go with a newer chipset board G31,G33 or P35 and they have DDR2 and DDR3 support depending on the board and maker.
there is no benifits for DDR3 with current setups yet till intel releases Pernyn Cores and go with a higher FSB witch they will and starting with 1333 and then a 1600FSB will roll out with 6MB and 12MB L2s with them .45nm CPUs.
a P35 Chipset board
E6X50 series CPU
will kick ass enough for anything you have and comming out in the next year
also with ram in a 32BIT Operating system having 4 Gigs will not be addressed since the OS is limited to 3325 MAX addressable ram even if the system sees it , need to go 64BIT to go beyond that limitation.
hell my system is more then enough for anything now and later and considered odd LOL
You have a lot of questions. First of all as yap wrote there are P35 boards, Gigabyte is the first to come to mind, which support both DDR2 and 3 on the same board. P35 is a good board to choose at this point and also the X38 boards should become available within the next few weeks. Both will support 45nm CPU's and should be upgradeable for the next couple years. At this point there is very little performance difference between DDR2 and 3 so the best option would be to go with the cheapest.
As for SLI the Intel chipsets (P35 and X38) don't support it although I have seen articles which state it's possible the X38 might. Your best option is always to go with the single fastest card that you can afford. If you can afford 2 GTX's and have a very large screen then go for it but I've seen people with 2 8500's or 8600's and you would be much better off with a single GTS or GTX rather than something like this.
The reason for the DDR2 800 is that a 1333 CPU only needs DDR2 667 to run at the optimal 1:1 ratio and if you do some overclocking you can go up to FSB1600 before you'll have to start overclocking your RAM. Most 1066 RAM is just factory overclocked 800 anyway so save the money and overclock yourself.