New Build Question About Some Key Specs

Alright so I am still trying to decide what board to buy and what will actually perform the best. I have narrowed it down to the following:

The first question I have: e8500 duo or possibly a q9400 or q9550? Which will provide the best performance, not really on a strict budget here and originally I wanted a core2duo, but am leaning a little more towards the core 2 quad now.

1. EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

2. ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard

3. ASUS P5Q Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P45 Intel Motherboard

4. ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

and finally

What graphics card should I pair with said motherboard. I really am not leaning to any of them at the current moment but I did put them in order based on my intial reactions to all of the research I have done over the past month. I have always been a fan of NVIDIA and I have heard that the Radeon cards run a bit hotter, but I do like the 4870. Will be running on a 23 inch monitor.

I know this might not be in the right order, but any help is appreciated.
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  1. There is no reason for you to go with the Rampage if you are using the Nvdia card. The X48 is good for Crossfiring ATI cards. But I have to admit, the Rampage is one heck of a board. I'm currently using it and I'm impressed - Q6600 OC'ed to 3.6 easy!

    Cards are a matter of preference actually. I admit, I prefer ATI cards more as their 3D colors are more vivid.

    I'd say the Asus P45 chipset should be the best bang for the buck if you plan to OC. The nForce chips don't OC well - but if you want to go down the SLI route, then you're limited to the nForce boards.

    on a 23" - SLI and crossfire is an overkill. the 4850 should suit you fine with the res you will be playing. You can go for the rampage and the 4850... and in the future when you plan to upgrade your monitor slap another 4850 crossfire it.

    Crossfire makes an improvement when you start gaming at 1900x1200. Anything below 1680x1050 makes no difference - a 4870 and 4850 crossfire is an overkill.
  2. Out of those mobo selections i would probably go for 3:
    ASUS P5Q Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P45 Intel Motherboard

    But i might add here that I am currently discussing whether to get an asus or a gigabyte board in the motherboard section of these forums and many people have replied saying get gigabyte based on reliability. I always thought asus was pretty good, especially the P5Q series, but others have had problems. Based on that i would suggest this board:

    in any case i suggest thinking about your graphics setup and whether you want ot oc or not. ZeCow is right, the nforce chipsets are poor overclockers but if you want to SLI you will be forced to get one. Its probably better to avoid this all together and go with ATI for graphics and a P45 chipset if you dont want to crossfire or an X48 or the newer X58 chipsets if you want to. This way you can overclock and get too GPU's if you want.
  3. Is there a specific reason why You want to go crossfire? for that price and budget you're on, You could just get a 4870x2, with a asus P5Q mobo, Not the pro or deluxe but the regular P5Q green , which is the same except no crossfire. If you're worried about future proof wise, It shouldn't really matter on that mobo, Since the new i7's will run on different sockets, either way you will have to replace the mobo. Why not save money get a cheaper Mobo that will be eventually replaced.

    and to be honest, I'm not sure if you'll really notice much of a difference of gain in performance with a 23" monitor.
    What is the max resolution ? if it's 1680xetc then You won't notice much difference on a 4870 vs 4870xfire.

    Well I was just wondering why you wanted to xfire on the 23" , Please I didn't mean to offend anyone.
    Just that I was on a 4870 512mb on my 22" max resolution 1680xetc. and
    vs my 4870x2 (single) right now I only noticed maybe 2-6 fps gains. on average of most games
    Maybe my setting was a bit off.
    But on my 57" 1080p HDTV, I noticed a huge gain since it's display is way over 1680xetc.

    So bottom line I'm just saying, depending on your resolution of the game you play, it might be a overkill and might not even use its full potiental.

    Asus P5Q green = about 120 bucks or less shipped
    I got my 4870x2 (single) from visiontek for 453 shipped.

    hope that helps alittle on your choices
    personally for the price you're willing to spend i'd rather just grab 1 4870 1gb or 512mb
    and save up for i7 (If you're into always wanting newiest tech) I'm more into getting my moneys worth of performance than always having top line
  4. As far as the processor goes im leaning towards a core2duo atm with either an e8400 or e8500...I know that most games do not utilize the 4 cores of the quad yet.

    My question is can I get away with the duo core for a year-two until the i7 becomes more mainstream and affordable to the general consumer? Or would it be better to go with something like a q6600 for the next year-two as opposed to the q9550 or 9400
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