Diagonal Size 20.1 in - Widescreen .Viewable Size 20 in .Dot Pitch / Pixel Pitch 0.258 mm .Max Resolution 1680 x 1050 / 60 Hz .Color Support 24-bit (16.7 million colors) .Max Sync Rate (V x H) 76 Hz x 81 KHz .Response Time 16 ms .
1. Yes it should be enough for gaming.Unless you plan to play at 1900*1200, then you need a upgrade. Which would probably need a GPU upgrade too.
2. If you have the budget, you can get a benefit from upgrading to something like a 4770/4870.
3. Only load times are affected from a fast 10k rpm drive.
For gaming, what you have should be good. If you plan to do any upgrades, you should look at a good LCD with good specs (for example, your 800:1 contrast just only a bit better than average. For gaming this shouldn't matter, but if editing vids/images then a good LCD is a must, so if you do a lot of editing, get LCD first.) Else, for pure gaming, a better GPU should be first.
1. Try it. Your system should be decent for gaming. If something is lacking, then address it. I find a second monitor to be incredibly useful.
2. If your 8800GTS is noisy, then a second card will be even noisier. If you want/need more fps, then sell the 8800GTS and use the proceeds towards a newer card with 55nm or better technology. It will run faster and quieter. The reason prices are dropping now is because of competition, the economy, and a desire to get rid of inventory before the new cards hit the market at the end of the year.
3. The raptor is very good, particularly as an OS drive. There is little to be gained by replacing it with any conventional hard drive. A SSD might be good, but they are very expensive, and the price/performance is advancing rapidly. Better to wait on a SSD for a while. For gaming, the hard drive is not that important.
1. I agree, WD Blacks are great. I have a 300GB Velociraptor and was surprised when my games (including STEAM) maxed out my drive. Considering the size/price if I was to do it over I'd go with two WD 1TB Black drives in RAID0. The seek times would be normal but average read speed would be up to about 200MB/sec.
2. Graphics cards are hard to recommend. It depends on the games too. An HD3870 may max out Half-Life 2 but is not enough for Crysis. I can say that the X2-4800+ S939 CPU can't take advantage of anything above an HD4770 if that helps.
DX11 cards are going to be a while. Nobody really know. Supposedly the new NVidia DX11 (Q1 or Q2 2010?) will have the ability to run code normally only run on the CPU. Larrabee is looking really fascinating. I can see Intel even targeting Larrabee PCIe cards not just as regular graphics cards but as Physics accelerators. For Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 (Havok physics) a 2nd Larrabee card might do wonders.
3. Monitors. I'm still using a 19" CRT. I refuse to get an LCD as I consider the contrast and viewing angle too poor for gaming. There's not a single one on the market I like. Dark scenes in particular look better on a CRT.
Unless my CRT breaks I'll wait and replace it with one with these specs:
-1920x1080 (ideally 3840x2160 aka 4x1080p)
Change has been slow in the PC LCD monitor area. Nobody wants to spend too much money on research because they know OLED is coming and blow it away. I'm hoping to see a $500 23" for Q4 2011. As well, nobody will pay the higher prices for HDTV quality. For LCD monitors, get 1000:1 contrast (1000:1 is the max for True Contrast. Dynamic is a different number but often used and usually is 2500:1 or higher but a useless spec) and 1920x1080 (or 1920x1200) but really read reviews.