I'm looking to build a mid range system between $1000-1400, including monitor but probably not HD or case. It will be used primarily for gaming.
I guess one of my biggest questions is if Vista is here to stay. I seem to remember that there were a few MS OS's that only lasted 1-2 yrs.. what a HUGE waste of money those were. Namely Windows ME and 2000. Then XP came and seemed to last forever. Is Vista another XP or another ME? I totally do not want to waste $170 on an OEM Vista if it's an ME.
Another question about Vista. I'll be getting a Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale probably. Should i get Vista 64 or 32. Are there actual benefits to the 64 platform? I've heard there are but that it's also one of the buggiest Vista versions around. Should i got with Vista 64?
Alright now, about this new fangled SLI, how cool! parallel graphics processing. I'm thinking 2x 8800GT's. So my question here is will the processing actually be 2 times 8000GT's.. or what? that would be nuts. I dont want to be getting 2 8000GT's if it will only equal 1.5 8800GT's in processing power.
Do SLI or CrossFire always improve performance ?
Not Always , there are some games that dont take advantage of SLI or CrossFire , so you wont see a difference between 2 cards and 1 card in those games , but in games that take advantage of SLI or CrossFire , 2 cards will perform better than one.
Ya if your getting Vista might as well get the 64 bit version.I see you show $169 for the oem version so you must be looking at ultimate,why throw money away on that when it offers nothing useful over home premium?
Ok, if you SLI right now you are making a HUGE mistake. It is not "how cool" its a marketing trap designed to prey on the under informed.
The new 2xx series nVidia cards will be here by July which will beat your dual card setup with just 1 card. So SLI is avery bad idea. We won't even get into how it is waste most of the time anyway, but right now it's VERY bad.
For motherboard look at P35(budget) x38/x48(Performance) Intel chipset motherboard. Much higher quality chipsets anyway.
EDIT: Let's actually answer your SLI questions.
At resolutions below 1920x1200 in most cases, the 2nd card makes ZERO difference. The game can already one maxed with one card, so the 2nd one does nothing but waste power. If the ideal setup of an SLI optimized game running at a high resolution the 2nd card maxes at about a 30% performance gain. It is NOT double or even 50%. The most useful option with SLI is to crank up the resolution. The one place SLI *IS* useful is playing maxed games on a 30" LCD at 2560x1600.