I have built several PCs years ago, but I am not up-to-date with any of the current technology.
I'm looking to build a moderate gaming system capable of running games like Warhammer Online and Starcraft II at max settings when they come out. I play MMOs and strategy games. I will NOT be playing any FPS games, so please do not recommend components that are overkill. I will be getting a 19" LCD to use and I will most likely never be using more than one monitor, so I don't need an uber video card, just something that will run one screen at max settings with the most up to date MMOs.
I would prefer to keep running XP Pro, so I don't think I need a quad-core. I think dual-core is necessary with windows gaming, because it is a multiple tasking operating system and I may have a program or two in the background when I have a game running.
I'm thinking a build starting with this motherboard and CPU:
Is this a good start? Next would be the video card, I just need something that will take advantage of both of these products. I don't think I need a SLI capable video card to just play MMOs, especially with only one monitor, but you can feel free to comment on that. I was looking at this for a video card, good choice or no? Either this one or perhaps the 8800GTS 320 ? Or would that be overkill for my needs?
They are the same price... The 2900 pro seems like a better deal? or it might have more bugs? I'm not going to OC the card, so I thought perhaps the 8800GTS would be the better choice... but I don't know much about video cards.
Hmm that's a tough choice, the HD 2900 Pro and the 8800GTS each have their Cons and pros, it really depends on the game, and more than anything if you use AA, because it's hard to get a clear winner if no AA is used, but if you use AA (Even though the HD 2900 Pro and XT can now do it without reaching unplayable levels), the 8800GTS will come on top.
I would go with the 8800GTS for two reasons, one is the power consumption, the GTS will consume maybe 70% of what the HD 2900 pro will consume and the second is what I stated above, the AA, I use it on all my games, so it's important for me. It's a pretty tough choice and depends on your individual needs.