Here is the hardware I am looking at getting. I plan to run 64bit Vista, mostly used to game. I am wondering, should I go with the Core 2 Duo listed, or spring for a Quad core? And I have read that any ram over ddr2-800 is a waste, but I have seen the new Gigabyte mobo get the FSB up to 600+, so should step up my Ram a bit?
The 4870X2 requires a 6-pin pcie connector, and an 8-pin pci-e connector. The Corsair 1000w unit you selected has three of each. It would power 3 4870X2 cards! Normally a bit of excess psu is not bad, because it lets the unit operate at less than 100% which puts operation in the most efficient range and keeps the psu fan speed down. However, in this case it is way too much. Your psu will operate at such a low level that efficiency will suffer at the opposite end of the curve.
The 650w unit would serve you better, and cost half as much: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The core 2 cpu's are not very sensitive to ram speeds and timings. There is perhaps a difference of 1-2 FPS between DDR2-800 and the fastest ram. Not worth it to me. If you are looking at maximum overclocks, then faster ram is better.
Unless your game is FSX or supreme commander, which can use more than two cores, the E8600 is as good as it gets. If you really want more than two cores, you should wait for the nehalem launch in November.
I'd cut back on the PSU.
650 is fine for the x2, but if you want to add another (maybe a x1 for 3 cores total) you might be better off looking at the 750-800 range.
but I hinestly don't think that would be a worthwile investment.
The dual core you selected should be fine. by the time you can get a whole lot out of a quad, the style chips should have matured, maybe into second generation and hex or octo cores. if you are the type that doesn't like to upgrade, and just sit on it for a few years, get a 9450 or better quad.
Thanks for the feedback. I think I am going to stick with the E8600. I was not sure if the trend towards Quads was father along, but looks like by the time the E8600 is showing age even the Quads might be obselete due to nehalem architecure. Thanks for bringing that to my attention Geofelt.
As to the huge psu, I chose that for a couple reasons. Firstly, I wanted a modular psu and of the brands on Newegg, Corsair is the only brand that I have had experience with before. I also chose a high wattage because I planned to add a second card, but after thinking it over I agree with you Groo that the cost/benefit just is not there.
Seems the next step down in Corsair modulars is 620w. Any recommendations on another solid brand? Sapphire's page on the 4870x2 states 650w+ for the card and Id like a little extra in case I decide to water cool later on.
It has a single 12v rail, which Ive read is good for stability and ocing. All my previous psu's have had multi rails, so is there anything I should know/remember for future upgrades/expansions?
Corsair750 is still a bit strong, but appropriate. The price after rebate is very good.
Single vs. multi rails is really a non-issue. Most psu's only have a single power rail anyway; some just divide it up into multiples so that there is a limit on the power delivered to any single rail.
If you will be using a good case, cable management with a non-modular psu is not a problem. What case did you have in mind?
I already have an Antec 900 from my last build which this will be going into. I just got tired of seeing the unused cables in the bottom of the case, but I have an idea in mind that will take care of that.
As everything seems to be ok with the parts I plan to purchase tomorrow. Once again thank you for the feedback, and if there is anything else please let me know.