Need some advice

Hi everyone, new to the forums and have been reading lots of interesting and informative posts and got to say, ace :) (Shame the search feature isn't working :( )

Well in short, I have decided to upgrade my computer and have put together a few parts and would be great if you could offer opinions and/or suggestions.
Basically at the moment I play MMOs the most with the occasional rpg/fps game thrown in the mix and have a budget of €1000 (that would be around $1460, £793) and as great newegg prices might be, they don’t ship to Malta so I’m stuck with either local suppliers or if anyone knows of reliable suppliers who ship throughout Europe, please do give names :).

May as well also mention that at the moment I have no intention of over-clocking anything and I’m very certain that until the majority of the parts would still be under warranty, definitely not going to happen.

Asus P5QC S755/IP45/PCI-E 2.0/DDR3/SATA RAID full ATX MB €135 ($197, £107)

Intel Core2Duo E8400 3.0Ghz 1333Mhz FSB CPU or Intel Core2Quad Q9550 2.83GHz 1333MHz FSB CPU €179 ($261, £142) /€345 ($503, £273)

Zalman CNPS9500A-LED Aero Flower €44.50 ($65, £35)

2Gb (1GBx2) XMS2 Corsair PC800 DDR2 or 4Gb (2X2Gb) Corsair XMS2 PC800 DDR2 €45.9 ($67, £35)/€84 ($122, £66)

Coolermaster RC-1100 Cosmos Black Case €249 ($363, £197)

2 x 320Gb 7200rpm - Western Digital SATA2 Hard Drive (For raid 0) €59.90 ($87, $47) each

Pioneer DVR-216DBK Black 20x SATA Dual Layer DVD Writer €26.90 ($39, £21)

Windows Vista

Will keep my old:
600W Thermaltake PSU W0129RU with 120mm fan
Saphire Radeon x1950XTX

On the forum I read that at the moment the quad isn’t all that much better (considering the price differance), in many cases you get the same results as the duo, so would it be wiser to just go for the duo now and wait for applications to make better use of the technology before investing in the much more expensive core or get it now for a more “future-proof” system?

As far as the memory goes, I will buy DDR2 for now and later move onto DDR3 and as for 4GB vs 2GB (or just give it 4GB even though it would use only 3?) I would say it will depend on what version of vista ultimate I have. I’ve got a copy (still sealed in it's original packing) but I have no idea if it is a 32 or a 64 bit version, with no clear indication on the disc as to what version it is (my assumption being 32bit). Definitely can’t afford a spanking new Vista Ultimate at the moment so I’m stuck with what ever I already have.

So in other words, if I go with the core duo and the 2GB RAM the system would cost around €800, that’s €200 ($292, £158) under my budget while if I went with the quad core and 4GB RAM it would be €1004 ($1466, £796). Going with the lower specs could mean that further down the line an sli/crossfire might be possible (I'm guessing 2 cards in sli/crossfire would give me a much larger performance boost over the cores).

So you wonderful people, please offer any suggestions/opinions you might have :).
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  1. If you're not overclocking, get the cheaper pc6400 memory and skip the zalman for now, using the stock heatsink. I would ditch your old video card and get a 4850, or save some more for the 4870. With the 4870, you won't need sli, so a cheaper p45 board will work fine.
  2. o1die said:
    With the 4870, you won't need sli, so a cheaper p45 board will work fine.

    If you're going with AMD/ATI cards, it'll be crossfire rather than SLI, which is supported by the P45 anyway.
  3. Thanks for the reply. So I should go for the lower cpu and ram and rather invest in a 4870?
  4. ^Yes. Games will benefit more from the GPU. But still try to get 4GB of memory and Vista 64. Vista rund much better with at least 4GB of memory (even 32bit) than 2GB.
  5. I would be ditching the DDR2 and 3 compatible board, it will limit your ram capacity and DDR3 with a penryn will have little to no improvement. Combo boards in the past have proved to by somewhat more less reliable. Stick with the P5Q or P5Q-SE they are a bit cheaper on newegg as well so might be cheaper local for you as well

    RAM agree with the 667mhz stuff, however 800mhz isnt usually that much more expensive so it may not matter all that much.

    Zalman isnt really needed if your not overclocking as mentioned.

    an E7200 would be a nice step down for some money saving so you can grab the HD4850 as mentioned but if you have the cash to do so id stay with the E8400

    Why 2x320gb hard drives? are you looking at RAID? if not youll probably find a 500gb or 640gb faster and more than likely cheaper than the 2x320s you want now.

    You should be able to find a much cheaper case than that somethink like an Antec 900, or NZXT Tempest.
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