Building a new pc with 2x gfx cards, need GFX card advice... 8800gt vs

Sup everyone,
I am building a new computer, looking for a little advice.... so far... I've got a ASUS P5N-E SLI Plus motherboard, 2x 16x pci-e that both perform at true x16 in SLI mode.

4gb ddr2 800 ram
1x 750gb hitatchi sata3.0 hd with 32mb cache

1x intel core 2 qaud q6600

now I need my gfx cards selection.

CURRENTLY, I am running 3x 19" monitors at 1280x1024 resolution on each. I have 2x REALLY crappy gfx card on this 3 year old pc, something like radeon equivalent of a 6800gt nvidia.

I run ultramon to have a smooth background across my platform and it works GREAT for my WORKSTATION.

NOW, I want a NEW pc that I can use as my WORKSTATION and my GAMING MACHINE. Halflife 2 episode 2 just came out recently and I bought it last week, I want to get a new gaming machine to experience this.

I have given SERIOUS thought to getting 2x nvidia 8800GT with 512 mb gddr3 ram, or 8600gt with 512mb gddr3, or even 2x ati radeon HD 3850.

I have never setup a SLI or Crossfire setup, so I am lost if I go with ATI, I believe that is crossfire and do you have to have ONE normal ati radeon HD 3850 and then one CROSSFIRE ati radeon HD 3850 ???

As far as the nvidia, I thought it was pretty simple, it says SLI compatible or not, then I guess there is an SLI cable to connect the two cards and voila right?

Any advice/HELPFUL opinions would be much appreciated, my eyes are killing me, i've been online for the past 10 hours searchin the net for info and learning! lol....

Does anyone know if it's EVEN POSSIBLE I can have halflife 2 displayed across my 3 screens? lol, that would be SOOO gnarly if I could run it at 3840x1024 resolution, I'd be like the ultimate widescreen you know???

I'm ready to take the plunge and buy 2x 8800 GT with 512mb gddr3 if I need to..... and if it's worth it... but if I can't run at that resolution, what is the ABSOLUTE max resolution I can get and would it be better to just get ONE 8800GT 512mb gddr3ram and then get some crappy 8600gt as a second gfx card NOT in SLI (but just so I can have 3840x1024 resolution for my work station? I cannot LIVE without 3840x1024 now, I've had this rig/setup for over a year now (work station ONLY) and it has been so nice, drag open browsers and folders across 3 monitors, LOL... you can't imagine how much I multi task... I have been considering getting a FOURTH monitor and going 5120x1024 after I get this new pc, that would be so sweet, lol...... 5 monitors is my absolute max, I won't pass that since my stand/base for the 3 monitors can only handle upto 5 with expansion.
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More about building cards card advice 8800gt
  1. 8800GTS 512mb is the only card to buy
    if your water cooling then the 8800GT is better
  2. wait, multimonitor solutions do not work corrently with sli or crossfire unless you use a secondary device to split your one dvi out into 3 for your monitors, because sli and crossfire canonly be active on a single monitor. by waiting for the ultra high end cards you shouldn't have these problems as you would be able to survive off 1 card.
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