Hi i am helping a friend build a pc based on a budget of around a 1000 uk pounds
(ive been recently reasearching parts for my machine and gave him the "buy new comp bug" )
19 inch monitor
4 gb ram
1x samsung spinpoint F3
2 x 1.5 TB sata II HDD's (for media storage)
I can only buy from scanUK,OverclockersUK or Novatech. Due to financing reasons
1.) My Main Question is what is the cheapest motherboard i can buy without bottlenecking any of the above.
i am hoping around 100 quid, the gtx 260 might be sli in the future.
2.) I have told my friend he should be able to play most games on high if not max settings on all current games ('cept crysis) , is that correct or should he SLI ? or maybe upgrade to 275? the thing with the ATI's is they dont have physX...or else they would have been better.
With that resolution, a GTX260 will be more than adequate. SLI would actually be wasted on it. Even a GTX275 would be overkill.
And the PhysX issue is really a minor thing. Few games such as Batman put the ATi cards back. Everything else is much closer to parity and running a card just for PhysX would be far better served as SLI (unless it's from a different series of card, naturally). But again at that resolution, anything from the HD 4850 and up will run pretty much everything at max settings and 60+ fps.
Being an owner of GTX 260 SLI setup, I'll attest to the fact that it's not that big a deal. Performance gains vary greatly depending on what game you're playing. Some games (Age of Conan for instance) have no gain, or even losses.
At your friend's resolution, the GTX 260 will be PLENTY for any game he wants to play. Frankly however, an ATI 4870 or 4890 would do just as well, and probably cost less. At least that's the case with the 4870.
Personally, I've only played one game where PhysX was really a "big deal" and that was Mirror's Edge. And frankly, I didn't think it was a "big deal".