Case: suggestions wanted. It should be a full tower to allow good cooling.
Cooling: help needed here. What would be better today, water or air cooling?
I currently have a Samsung SyncMaster 223BW widescreen and am thinking about keeping it for this new build. I will be mainly using this build for games, watching movies, photoshopping, listening to music etc.
GA-X48-DS4 is usually cheaper and still very good.
Check out the WD 640GB (WD6400AAKS), very good disk.
The sound card is good, but you can always add it later. Try onboard audio first. You might even decide not to buy the sound card.
Case: Cooler Master RC-690 (or sometimes it's called CM690) or Antec 900 or NZXT tempest.
GPU: if you get the expensive X48 motherboard, you can use it with two HD 4870 cards. If you prefer a GTX 280 or a HD 4870X2, your PSU (and budget) will prevent you from adding a second card, so you don't need 2 PCI-E x16 slots. In that case you can downsize the X48 to something much cheaper like GA-EP45-DS3L (or GA-EP45-DS3R, or P5Q or P5Q Pro).
Here's the part applying to 1680x1050:
STALKER: HD 4870X2 gets 40% more fps
Call of Juarez: HD 4870X2 gets 65% more fps
World in Conflict: HD 4870X2 gets 18% more fps
Crysis: this is a tie between the two cards. With AA/AF, the HD 4870X2 is a bit better. Without them the GTX 280 is a bit better.
Company of Heroes: the GTX 280 wins by 40%. (I bet this is because in this game Crossfire is not supported yet and only half of the 4870X2 is used.)
Devil May Cry: HD 4870X2 gets 26% more fps
+1 to deferring the sound card until you see how you like onboard. that is one area that has really improved recently.
+1 to the wd 640gb. depending on how much space you need and your budge you can get two or get a different drive for windows.
+1 to AEVM on your mobo. x48 is great for crossfire. if only plan on ever having one card then you can downgrade. if not then for sure keep it. and strongly consier the 4870x2. looking real good at your res and can always add another down the road on the x48 if you want.
case - i like the antec 900.
also what is your budget? that would help with suggestions?
Or a smaller case (mid-tower) with ample room (although not sure if the real long video cards will fit if you stay with one of those) and nice clean lines and a special removable HD slot (my case) the Silverstone Kublai KL01B - $135
Unless you will be trying to use old and obsolete devices for which driver support has not been updated, you should not have any problems with drivers in Vista, either 32 bit or 64 bit.
My suggestion is to keep it simple, and install what you hope to run without any dual boot complications. In the event that you encounter something that Absolutely needs to run on XP, then use the second hard drive to boot XP.
Right, let's get real. That would cost around 4000€, but it is nice to dream of
Another reason why I was thinking about having two separate hard drives is that every now and then I run into old games and programs that work better with XP than with Vista. I may change my mind however.
Right, cheers for the suggestions! I will keep these in mind. I know Nehalem is coming out soon, but it will be too expensive for me. Besides, when it comes out, the parts mentioned now will be cheaper!
Have you guys got any good links to sites which show how to build an own computer? I found one from Corsair, which is pretty good, but I would like to look at others as well.
If your original vga card is Nvidia, you need the Nvidia chipset(like 780) to implement SLI.
If your original vga card is ATI, you need an Intel chipset(like X48) to implement crossfire.
For a balanced good system, go for a high end single card like the GTX280, or 4870X2 and the lowest priced motherboard from a reputable manufacturer. When it comes time to upgrade, sell the old parts and get the new technology. You save up front, and the new stuff will always be faster and cheaper.
For a very good system with bragging rights, go for a sli/crossfire setup and a pair of high end vga cards. It will cost you double, and be the best for about 6 months.
Unless you are looking for the last notch of overclocking, then the motherboard's chipset is of negligible importance in performance, given the same CPU. We are talking about a 1-3% difference in real application results, not synthetic metrics.
At the level of the E8500 or Q9450, the vga card is much more important for gaming than the cpu.
At that level, overclocking is good for bragging, but it will not net you as much increase
in FPS as a better vga card will. Today, very few games can make use of more than two cores.
Flight simulator X is an exception. It is not a trivial matter to code multi threaded programs,
and game vendors will not sell too many games that require quads to run.
I don't see this changing in the next couple of years.
Net: Since you are interested in gaming, go for a E8500 or E8600 for the increased clock speed.
If you have some money to burn, I would suggest spending it on a good 24" or 30" monitor. It is about the only PC purchase that is truly "future friendly".
You might also consider the WD velociraptor. The speed DOES make a difference. This advantage will not last too long, though, the new SSD's will soon be down in price, and up in performance.
The Striker II Formula at $311 (Newegg, including shipping) is not worth it, IMO. The eVGA 750i at $180 is a better deal. I don't know how prices are in Germany, but I'm guessing the Striker is overpriced there too.