SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, music, movies, everyday use
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Hard Drive, Case, cd drive, peripherals
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, I guess
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI eventually
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 currently, but probably much higher in the future
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: So I've gotten tired of gaming on my laptop and figured it would be a good idea to rebuild my old alienware (bought in Jan 06). I've never build a computer before, so I was just hoping for a little advice on the stuff I picked out to rebuild it with - mostly if all the stuff will work together, and with the case I have (big a$$ alienware tower). Hopefully I'll also be able to salvage the cd drive and the hard drive. Here's what I've got so far:
The motherboard will probably fit in the case, but you haven't given a clue as to what the case is, so can't say for sure. I am assuming since you said it was big then its a mid/full tower and will fit an ATX MB.
If you want to save money, try just using Win 7 RC for now until March of 2010, its free and many people say its better than Vista. In March you will have to buy a license for it.
Maybe think about going with SLI GTX 260's...They will save you a lot of money and one will be total overkill for your current monitor, two should handle any game up to 19x12 res. Unless you are looking at a 30" monitor at 25x16 res, I think GTX 260's would be a better investment...Or perhaps getting 1 HD 4770 now and then two more later in 3-way crossfire...that is probably even more cost effective, as 4770's are supposed to scale very well and end up costing around the same amount as 2 GTX 260's. I am not sure how much running the last PCIe slot at x4 mode (one limitation of the P6T MB) would bottleneck a 4770, as x8 mode seems to be enough for even the 4890 at this point without a bottleneck. The GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P has the last slot running at x8 mode and may be a better option if you went that route.
So your going for that kind of top noch gaming rig for currently 1280x1024. If your going to stay with that monitor for here to six months best change the video card for a HD4770 . If changing before six months go for a GTX 260 216 core or a HD4870 1gb (great for any resolutions on most games). But even then the HD4770 WILL be able to play most games in max settings on 1650x1059 resolutions.
Hey, thanks for the advice - I really appreciate it.
Recommendations on the cooler, HDD, and psu dually noted.
So about the monitor - I was thinking of getting a nice HD tv to use as the monitor sometime soon. As the resolutions on those things are only 1920x1080 though, I'll take the 260 recommendation and save a couple hundred bucks. Staying with nVidia simply because its what I already know and love.
Finally about windows 7 - never really been on the bleeding edge of things, but from what I read it sounds like a pretty good idea right about now.
Best part - total w/ all that stuff added in is less than before. Thanks again.