1. Is the stock fan that comes with the CPU going to be OK ? It doesn't have to be silent and I'm not overclocking so I am hoping the stock heat-sink and fan will work.
2. Will the PSU support crossfire of two 4870's ? I am not overclocking and only using one hard-drive and one dvd-bay... very minimal power build so I was hoping this 650W could handle two cards if he wants to add another one down the road. NOTE: Only one card will be used initially, just wondering about crossfire potential in 2 years.
3. With only one 4870 will it handle two monitors easily? One 22" the other a 17". There will be no video editing or anything hardcore.
CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ... - Retail
GPU: XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
DVD: LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS50 - OEM
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
That PSU should handle 2 4870s, but the only reason to get 2 is if you plan on doing hardcore gaming. Since your largest monitor is only 22" to begin with, you don't need tons of extra graphics power. If you're willing to pay for 2 4870s, you could just get a 4890 now and leave it at that.
you should have no problem driving 2 monitors with a 4870 for normal computing tasks. I have an ancient 8800 GTX that does just fine with my pair of 24" monitors at 1920x1080 resolution. For gaming I drop the resolution down to 720 since my card is a few generations old now.
If you're not overclocking, then the stock heatsink/fan is fine. The 650w Corsair will power 2- 4870s in crossfire, i usually recommend getting a 750w if you're buying new since the cost difference is $20 and the 750w has more headroom and runs at a very efficient level at 40%-60% of it's rated power. Yes, the 4870 will handle 2 monitors easily.
Since you're not overclocking the stock heatsink is good enough. Your 650w will do the trick, but I would suggest a 750w because that is enough for 2 gtx 285's and you will be needing that power in the future.
A single 4870 is enough for 2 monitors, very nice CPU though =] let us know how it runs in games.
***Can someone recommend a better PSU? I don't think I need all that power for only 1 HDD, 1 Dvd-bay, no overclocking, and it sounds like I'll only need one 4870 for the life of the computer. I want modular cabling since I have so few components.
Also, if I can scale back on the mobo since I won't crossfire please suggest something.
I'm going with the 770 mobo since I'm not crossfiring.
Good call on that combo, I have an Antec and I'm very happy with it... going to get that processor/PSU combo.
I'm a bit hesitant about the SDRAM DDR3 but it looks like it checks out OK with reviews... I'll be running it at stock 1333. I'm going to give it a shot since it's faster and only about $10 more than what I had before.