Should I avoid buying due to 9800 gtx+?

Poor college student here. I've been saving up what I can over the past year and have come up with some funds to spend.

I am looking to spend around $1,000 for a tower. Originally I tried out this tower from Best Buy as I thought it would be good enough for my needs and it's all I could afford at the time:

Long story short, it had some problems and it went back to the store.

Then I saw that BB dropped the price on this tower from $1,250 to $1,099:

But ultimately decided against it, as most of the reviews I looked at seemed to indicate the system had some major unresolved software problems.

I was pretty down after this, thinking there wasn't a system out there for me (I am involved in "IT" at college, but system building isn't for me really). I am currently "gaming" on a 3 year old 17" hp pavillion dv8320us laptop with an nVidia GEFORCE GO 7600 256mb:

It's served me well, but I'm almost to the end of my education and will be looking at permanent residence, so I wanted something bigger and more powerful.

I will confess that pretty much the only PC game I play is World of Warcraft (which I play extremely often) and this is what the machine will primarily play.

However, I've come to wonder if my lack of PC gaming is simply a function of me never having the juice to run even yesterdays games, then alone today's or tomorrows.

Even my laptop has trouble playing WoW anymore. Blizzard juiced up the graphics and requirements for Wrath of the Lich King and what I used to be able to get 50+ fps on medium-high, I can barely play without hitching in a 10-man raid on all low settings.

I think the fan on my card may be going out as some symptoms may indicate that I have a heat issue. When I cap the frames at 30, I can play fine (dipping into the teens quite often), but anything above that and it's single digit city.

Anyway, with these things bouncing around in my head, I happened across this machine at NewEgg:

My eyeballs nearly fell out of their sockets. I know most people here could build twice the machine for half the price, but like I said, I'm really not a system builder.

I was really excited as it was actually much better than the BB Gateway and still cheaper, but then I noticed something that made me stop: It has an nVidia 9800GTX+ instead of a 4850.

I'm totally new to the middle range (or heaven forbid upper range) GPU things, with the GO 7600 in my laptop being the most powerful GPU I've ever owned.

It's actually made me apprehensive about buying it as everything I have read indicates the HD4850 is much better in performance.

I guess my question is: should I really be apprehensive with this machine due to the GPU? I've been looking around for a couple months now and am about to just give up and stick with my dying laptop until I am absolutely forced to switch.

I was planning on pairing this machine:

With this monitor:

I guess I'm just looking for some opinions. This is pretty much the last big purchase I will be able to make for a very long time, and I will be stuck with what I get (lemon or otherwise) and would just like some ideas on what others think (although I realize most won't care at all).

I think some people might say "If you're so concerned about it, just buy the system and put a 4850 in it and sell the 9800."

And this has occurred to me as well, but like I said, I'm really looking to spend as close to $1,000 on the PC as possible, and am not looking to going through trying to find someone to buy the 9800GTX+.

Lazy I know, but I am also busy with school and my part-time job, so I just need a machine that works without too much fuss.

The system appeals to me in many other ways however: the i7 processor should be good for a very long time, an sli/crossfire motherboard along with an 800W PSU should allow me to put in another card if things start getting tough for one and I know it might sound crazy but I acutally like many of the things Vista can do, and enjoy using it.

Also, even though WoW is my biggest concern (I'd like to be able to turn things all the way up, if you know what I mean) I think I would like to try some different PC games if I had the machine to run them. I played zombie game variant in Halo 3 that made me think that Left4Dead would be really fun to try, and I do enjoy FPS's so CoD4 and CoD:WaW would be fun to try, along with some others like Mass Effect and Last Remnant.

I also think I will be a big Diablo II and Starcraft II player, even though those games are a very long ways off.

As I said before however, my main concern is, and will continue to be for a very long time, World of Warcraft.

This has gone far beyond long winded and I believe I have lost most people, so I will wrap it up.

To conclude all of this, I would be greatly appreciative for some opinions on the subject. Should I really be apprehensive about the GTX+? Is it really a deal breaker? Thanks for your time and help!
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More about should avoid buying 9800
  1. Have you considered building the system yourself? You can get higher quality components (better mobo and better PSU) and it's usually cheaper.

    The 9800GTX/GTX+/GTS250 performs almost exactly the same as the ATI 4850 512mb.

    Here's a rudimentary GPU ranking, the higher the better:

    1 8800GT/9800GT 512mb or 4830 = .8
    2x 8800GT/9800GT SLi or 4830 Xfire = 1.4
    1 9800GX2 = 1.45
    1 9800GTX/GTX+/GTS250 or 4850 = 1
    2x 9800GTX/GTX+/GTX250 SLi or 4850 Xfire = 1.8
    1 GTX260 192core = 1.25
    1 GTX260 216core = 1.3
    1 4870 512mb = 1.25
    1 4870 1GB = 1.3

    If you only play WoW, then a 8800GT/9800GT 512mb or a 4830 would be more than enough.
  2. I think you would be way better off building your own machine and getting comfortable around the hardware its really not that much of a trip

    and as dude above me said building your own machine will get you way farther then some posh hacked together from cyber w.e
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