Mid-high end system. First build questions.

I have decided to build myself a gaming pc. This is my first home built system so I am completely open to any and all advice available. My goal right now is to be able to play Crysis on very high settings. My maximum budget is $1500 but I would be perfectly happy spending less.

So far the components I have chosen are as follows:

Case: XCLIO A380BK Fully Black High Gloss Finish SECC 1.0mm thickness ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail --$109.99

Power supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail --$99.99

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail -- $136.99

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail -- $187.99

Memory: CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail -- $90.00

Hard drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM -- $229.99

Video card: EVGA 01G-P3-1284-AR GeForce GTX 280 SSC Edition 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail -- $354.99

The total for this setup on newegg.com with Vista and an optical drive is 1,335.92.

How does the GTX 260 compare to the 280. At first I was looking at: XFX GX260NADBF GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition until I realized that the 280 was only $45 more. Why is the price so close? Is there something I'm missing here?

Also, is my power supply large enough?

Do ram speeds make any difference? Would I notice any performance difference if I selected faster ddr2 or ddr3 speeds?

Another issue is that I'm currently on a military deployment. I Don't intend to start building it until I get home in two months. I can order everything while I'm here and have it sent home but how much will technology progress in two months? Would it be better to wait until I get home and get the components cheaper or newer parts?

Thank you for any help you can give me.
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  1. of coruse it is better to wait as the gtx 295 will be released in days and the gtx 280 will get cheaper and everything will be cheaper anyway your build is verygood
  2. I'd skip the velociRaptor and evga card. You can cut the budget for both those items by half. By the time you build, ddr3 and the x58 boards may come down in price, allowing you to build a core i7 system. Fry's had the core i7 920 for $229 in their weekend ad.
  3. Make sure Vista is 64 bit and the optical drive is SATA.

    The 650TX can handle a GTX 280, no worries.

    There's also a PC Power & Cooling 750W at Newegg for $80. Very similar to the 650TX, because it's designed by the same people.

    Stay with DDR2, because DDR3 won't work with the GA-EP45-UD3P. DDR2-800 is the right speed. Faster RAM is only useful to people who buy an after market cooler and know how to overclock a lot.

    Why a Crossfire MB and an Nvidia card? Weird combination. If you have no intention to add a second card ever you can save a few bucks with a GA-EP45-UD3R.

    GTX 260 vs GTX 280: first of all, keep in mind there's an older GTX 260 and a newer "GTX 260 Core 216". You can see both in this chart:
    Crysis, 1920x1200, GTX 280 35.8 fps, newer GTX 260 31.5, older GTX 260 29.7

    BTW, GTX 260 SLI did very well in that chart, with 51.5, but you'd need a SLI motherboard for that, not the GA-EP45-UD3P or GA-EP45-UD3R.
  4. Thank you aevm. That gave me a lot to think about. I had no idea their were two different 260's and I didnt know anything about crossfire or SLI.

    I think I might go the SLI route. Am I going to need a larger power supply?

    Motherboard: EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    Video card x2: EVGA 896-P3-1265-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    But now it seems somewhat out of proportion. The video cards now costing a total of $560 and the cpu only 188.

    I also swtiched the velociraptor out for: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
  5. Looking at the power requirment on Newegg, you need more power. One card uses a 500W minimum PSU. There are power supply calculators around, sorry I don't have a link handy
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