DDR2-800 RAM should be sufficient and save some pocket change.
A sound card is probably not worth the money, but that's coming from a guy who's deaf in one ear.
Nice case, that's what I have, and I like it. I added a top fan to mine just because.
(I do have pretty good hearing, myself, but still I don't see much difference between my X-Fi XTreme Music/Z-5500 and my Dad's onboard Realtek/Z-2300, except when listening to certain music CDs. The sound card is mostly wasted if your music is in mp3 or other lossy formats.)
Get a single WD6400AAKS disk for $90/640GB instead of two Seagates for $160/500GB total. Save some cash from the sound card and RAM too. Use the savings to upgrade to P5E Deluxe x48 and 750TX. This way you'll be ready later if you want a second video card.
i already have the sound card so it won't cost me any extra $$. the crystallizer does make mp3s sound better, so i will reuse the sound card if at all possible [barring some potential compatibility problems with vista]
i want to keep my operating systems on separate disks, hence the 2x250gb.
Use the savings to upgrade to P5E Deluxe x48 and 750TX. This way you'll be ready later if you want a second video card.
the mobo i selected supports crossfire? is it that 8x isn't good enough? i'm really not familiar with multiple gpu setups so please enlighten me.
hey thanks for the help everyone, this forum never fails.
ok, i will take the suggestion to upgrade to 2 x WD6400AAKS 640 gb. it's more storage than i need but i know a good deal when i see one.
as for the mobo, i'm not sure. i definitely won't be getting a second videocard any time soon, if at all. here's my question: two gpus in crossfire at 16x/8x is still better than one at 16x, right? or do they both drop down to 8x and could actually be slower? the hd 4870 is a pretty beastly card and really ought to be sufficient for most purposes, so i'm not sold on crossfire yet.
as for overclocking i may do some mild tweaking but nothing heavy, for the sake of stability exactly as you mentioned.
P5Q Pro means two GPUs in Crossfire at 8x/8x, not 16x/8x. Yes, it's still better than one at 16x. A lot better, in games like CoD4. Somewhat better, in others like Crysis. Games made by competent developers will scale better, I guess. Crysis looks good but from a programming point of view I'm a lot more impressed with CoD. OK, I write other kinds of programs, not games, so maybe my opinion here is totally useless
But, for mild overclocking, I'd stick with the Freezer. It's only $27 at newegg and a lot easier to install than these other two. Those are high-performance coolers perfect for enthusiasts who go for the highest clocks. Not necessarily what you personally need.
instead of the Q6600, i'd go for the E8400 or E8500, they're better for gaming currently, the Q6600 may be better for gaming in the future, but i feel by the time that's established, nehalem will have arrived...
i think i'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of gaming performance for the 'cool' factor of having quad core. it might be a stupid reason, but i sort of want quad core just for the sake of holding 4 cpus on one die in my hand.