Case: Mid or Full Tower? What case material should I pick?
Hard Drive: Should I buy Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 Hard Drive?
Keyboard: What keyboard should I buy?
Motherboard: Intel or NVIDIA?
Mouse: What mouse should I buy?
Operating System: XP or Vista? 32-bit or 64-bit?
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 / Q6700 / Q9300 / Q9450 (after price drop)
Graphics Card: NVIDIA (SLI) or ATI Radeon (Crossfire)?
I did some research and this is what im stuck with:
Motherboard: NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI or 780i SLI
Memory: 2GB (2x1GB) or 4GB (2x2GB)
GPUs: 9600GT SLI or 8800GTS SLI or 8800GT SLI
Processor: Q6700 or Q9450
I want to score very good in benchmarking. I will be overclocking everything and pushing it to the limit.
Go with the Q9450 instead of the Q6700. It's newer technology as it's based on the 45nm process. I think 4GB (2x2) of ram would be more suitable for the Quad and it also gives you the option to upgrade to 8GB in the future. As for the GPU, I think you'll be better off with the 8800GT in SLI as theres not much difference in price between the 9600GT and the 8800GT.
Edit: I just read that you'll be overclocking, So in that case, go with the 8800 GTS (G92) SLI. It has better cooling the both other options leaving more headroom for overclocking.
Actually, Crysis on high resolution and settings isn't as unattainable as it used to be. I ran it at high(but not highest) settings at 40-50fps.
True, but you have, shall we say a bit higher end of a system than most . I was referring to very high (DX10) settings under Vista, which is still impossible for almost every setup (excluding Tri-SLI 8800 GTXs or quad SLI 9800GX2s).
But yes, Crysis is not quite as much of a beast as it appeared to be when it first came out.
Why? Isnt the 750i the same as 780i but without the 3-SLI and less tweaking for overclocking.
780i's "tweaking for overclocking" is not just bios features, but actual higher preformance chipset that runs stable at higher fsb. It's not just window dressing, the hardware is better. It also have much less memory compatibility problems that eariler Nvidia chipsets suffer.