Midrange Gaming Rig in progress, any input?

I'm planning on throwing together a rig soon with a budget of about 1000-1100$ and the more I look around for what parts to use the crazier I become.. Too many choices!

I'm looking for something that can handle the current high-end games with ease, and will continue to do so for a considerable amount of time. ie crysis playable at 16xx-10xx with high or very high settings. Not a necessity, because I know some cards play crysis poorly and other games very well.. bad engine? meh.

CPU I'm leaning towards E8500 (or maybe Q6600?)

Memory: ocz platinum 4gb 1066 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227298

HD: 250gb seagate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262

Case: undecided. I'm pretty impressed with the NZXT Tempest, but for what I'm going for, is that much airflow really necessary? Raidmax smilodon caught my eye also. (due to price)

PSU: I'm pretty sure that the corsair 650w will be sufficient, if not please tell me lol

This leaves me with my two toughest choices.. Which mobo and which graphics card..

I only want to do a single card setup, as sli/CF seems like a bit too much cost/hassle for what its worth.

The two motherboards that have caught my eye are the typical P5Q Pro, and this newcomer to newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128359 (one of my main questions is, is this mobo reliable/fast/compatible with my setup, as there is an extreme lack of reviews for it so far) if I should go with something completely different in my price range, let me know.. nvidia chipsets? other intel chipset? I know the main difference with p45 is CF.

and last but not least, I'm having trouble deciding on the video card.. I know this is an eternal question but I want something that just works with as few hitches as possible. bioshock/crysis/spore and the like are a must at the moment.

GTX 260 / HD4870? What brand etc? or is the price drop for 9800gtx+ / 4850 worth the reduction in performance?

Any recommendations on alternate components would be greatly appreciated.. but keep in mind my budget is somewhat limited. Thanks to everyone in advance for input =)
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  1. CPU - get the Q6600. I was originally a staunch supporter fo the E8400/8500 - and they are still excellent cpu's - but after reading some of the advantages etc I would recommend the quad core. Why? even if this is strictly for gaming (most games can only use 2 cores) the quad core can run the game on 2 cores and OS operations on 2 cores. Plus the Q6600 can be OC'd to 3-3.2ghz very easily. Lastly, when comparing frames per minute the E8400 @ stock speeds (3ghz) is = to a Q6600 (2.4ghz).

    Your monitor should determine your GPU. If you are running 1600x1080 then get the 4850 1gb version. There are no real major advantages to the 1gb version over the 512mb version but there are a couple of games that will give you 10-15% better performance. If you are running 1900x1200 or higher then get the 4870 or GTX260. Again, i would personally chose the 1gb version but there is no real advantage to doing so.

    HDD - pay a little extra and get the Seagate or Western Digital 640gb HDD. It's fast and will give you another 390gb for about $15-$20 more.

    RAM-save some money and get a "performance" DDR2 800. In order to truly utilize the DDR2 1066 you would need to OC past a 1600mhz FSB. I would ususally recommend the Mushkin 2 x 2 DDR2 800 @ 1.8v kit here but since they are not sending me a commission check I would recommend the kit below. I have it and love it.
    OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

    There are valid arguments for each MOBO you have listed. I prefer the Gigabyte board but that is what I am used to. There are others who will post who will recommend the Asus but either way you will be getting a great MOBO.
  2. Thanks a ton for your input, and quick response also =p

    I had a feeling I wouldn't see much of a difference with the 1066/800, but the ocz platinum kit just looked like a good deal.

    also was leaning towards the e8500 because of the easily attainable 4+ ghz, and also the fact that its 45nm, which honestly. i still dont quite understand the difference lol ><

    And I dont think I will be going over 1600x1080, as the monitor I'm looking at uses that res natively.. so I'm glad to see the price cut on the video card wont make much of a difference.

    I'm seeing way too many people getting 3 doa's on the asus p5q which scares me, I dont want to get all excited with my new system and have to wait for an RMA over and over. =/ but still, that's life.

    I wanted the p5q+e8500 combo mainly for the combo deal newegg has atm.
  3. BTW, the memory I posted above has already changed price (not to your advantage) so I would look at any "performance/gaming" memory that is DDR2 800. Corsair, OCZ, Mushkin, gskill are all good brands and you should be able to pick up a set for $60-$75.
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