I'll use the PC for converting DVD's and .TS files, some programming, and gaming. I play C&C, WIC type games so no Crysis requirement. Since I tend to keep my PC for some time (still running a Athlon) I think that Crossfire is the way to go since the video cards do not need to be the same. The hard drives will be in RAID 1. I choose this m/b since it has 2 x16 buses. I plan a mild overclock. Will run XP-Pro.
Antec Neopower 650W Modular PSU
Gigabyte Radeon HD 3850 Pro 512MB DDR3 Dual DVI HDMI HDCP PCI-E Graphics Card
Thanks for the feedback mihirkula. AFAIK the 8800GS is an Nvidia chip so Crossfire isn't an option? Maybe I'm being a (or proving that I am) n00b but I'm thinking that the Q with a mild OC should be as good as an E <--- but it does appear to be the debate of the season. Maybe I just want a quad¿
As far as the power supply goes - I'll have a look-see.
Your choices look solid. For Crossfire you'll need the ATI card.
Your PSU isn't overkill for a multiple GPU machine. Depending on how long you want it to last, you might look into a PC P&C Silencer 750W. It will give you the headroom for bigger video cards in the future.
If you aren't going to change the processor any time soon, sticking with the quad might be a good idea. More and more programs (especially heavy duty multimedia ones) are going to full utilization of more cores. In the short term, the faster E8400 will beat it out, but that might not be the case in a year or two.
What kind of case are you getting / do you have? The build above lists one 250GB HDD, and you mentioned RAID1. Are you getting two of them, or is the RAID a future upgrade? Either way, if your budget allows, think about the WD 640GB drive, or the Seagate 7200.11 500GB. Both are good performers with a lot of room.
Finally, stick with the 4gb. Having the two matching sticks will allow dual channel, and while XP 32bit doesn't support all 4 GB, it will see about 3.5 of them.
I'll put the kit into my current case, a Lian-Li PC-V1100. I'm going to get a Antec P182 to put my existing kit and hard drives from my file server. This will end up as an Athlon 3200XP, 2.5Gb, 4 X 250, 2 X 160 running Windoze Server 2003.
The build above lists one 250GB HDD, and you mentioned RAID1. Are you getting two of them, or is the RAID a future upgrade? Either way, if your budget allows, think about the WD 640GB drive, or the Seagate 7200.11 500GB. Both are good performers with a lot of room.
I was trying to keep everything below £700 - but an extra £40 for the two 500s should be a no brainer!