I'm thinking of buying the following spec PC from a company called Computer Planet here in the UK. I only have a budget of around £700 roughly (this system built for me comes in at £713) and I'll mainly be using it for gaming.
Computer Case NZXT - Lexa Blackline Red
CPU Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (4 x 2.40 GHZ) G0 1066FSB - 8 MB
Motherboard ASUS P5KPL/1600 1333FSB (Intel G31)
Memory Corsair XMS2 4GB PC-6400 800 MHZ (2 x 2 GB) - Lifetime Warranty (DDR2)
Graphics Card ATI Radeon HD 4870 - 1 GB - 2xDVI/VGA (Palit) - OverClocked
Power Supply OCZ 600W Stealth XStream - Low Noise
Hard Drive 1 320 GB SATA-II HDD UDMA 300 7200 8MB
Optical Drive 1 Samsung (SH-D162D) 16x DVD-ROM Black (IDE)
Sound Card Motherboard Integrated 5.1 Sound
Networking Motherboard Integrated Ethernet Lan (Broadband Ready)
USB Ports 4 X USB 2.0 Ports
CPU Heatsink Speeze QuadroFlow VIII - Low Noise
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-BIT (Genuine DVD & COA Included)
There'a a couple of things that I need advice on and the first one is the Motherboard. It's a cheap motherboard as far as I can tell, but want to know if it's any good i.e. will it cope ? (I won't be doing much overclocking as I don't know how, but might want to learn one day in the future) and secondly if I did go for a more expensive motherboard would it improve the overall performace ? The other options are :
ASUS P5N-D S/L 1333FSB (NVIDIA 750i) or
ASUS P5Q 1600FSB (Intel P45)
but they would cost me another £37.50 to have one of these instead .... is it worth it ? I could "downgrade" and get a Antec 300 case instead which would save me £25, but I prefer the look of the Lexa Blackline (even though both have got good reviews)
Also, I have an old CRT monitor (iiyama 454 Vision Master Pro) which plays resolutions up to 1920x1440 apparently, will the above rig system be able to cope with Crysis with all the bells and whistles turned on, or will it struggle ?
I would upgrade to P5Q Pro. It's a better chipset, it has more features, and it also allows you to add a second card in Crossfire later when needed.
Get a SATA DVD-burner instead of an IDE read-only drive.
You can drop that Speeze QuadroFlow thing since you're not into overclocking. Just make sure you get a Q6600 retail, or an E8500 retail.
This system will play Crysis very nicely at 1280x1024. If you want to play at a higher resolution lower the eye candy level a bit so that the frames per second don't drop too much. Just experiment. I think you'll be happy with it