Mobo / proc / RAM - $500 or less?

(This is an update from an earlier thread of mine - I need some additional advice).

I'm building a new gaming machine for myself. I want it to able to handle games like Fallout 3 at least at "good", and have some room to grow later on...

Components I already have:
Monitors: Dual 22" LCDs (not matched - not planning on dual-monitor gaming, I game on one, run websites on the other)
HDD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM -
Case: Antec Nine Hundred -
PSU: PC P&C 750W -
Video Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870X2 2GB (GDDR5) -

Things I want:
Processor: Thinking I'll go Quad core - that way I get a couple of years before I feel like I need to upgrade. Perhaps this one?
Motherboard: Asus P5Q has gotten some good reviews, and I liked what I read about it on Tom's comparison.
RAM: 4MB . I still know next to nothing about RAM, so all recommendations are welcomed.

I'd like to get the remainder for under $500 (any leftover money goes to a new optical drive). I also want to make sure that I can upgrade things later, like the video and RAM if needed and possibly add a separate sound card. I don't overclock, but I am considering a watercooled system in the future, so hopefully this will be an option as well.

Thanks for any advice!
4 answers Last reply
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  1. The thing to look for in RAM is tight timings and low voltage. Here's a couple high-quality kits for a reasonable price:

    mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $49.99 - $20.00 MIR

    G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $49.99
  2. I have no idea what tight timings mean, but hey, if no one else counters, I think that G.Skill has been getting good reviews lately. Thanks for the input!
  3. I'll spare you a full lesson on how RAM timings work. The simple way to look at it is that the lower the number, the better when it comes to RAM timings. 4-4-4-12 is better (faster) than 5-5-5-18. The standard voltage for DDR2 RAM is 1.8v. Anything above that is factory overvolted/overclocked. The best sign of quality RAM is tight timings and 1.8v. That's why I recommended the above kits.
  4. Timings have to do with the delay between various operations in the RAM. Lower timings mean less time, which means higher speed. A lot of people say that fast timings are important in a few applications (including gaming), but I am skeptical. Of course, there's nothing wrong with faster.

    There is nothing wrong with either kit that is mentioned.
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