I need some opinions of what should I get, 2 ATI Radeon HD 4890 Crossfired or 1 Nvidia GTX 295. I don't know which ones are better, though I have been using Nvidia for a long time since I started with computers, and now i'm thinking of getting radeons. This is my specs:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 4 GHz
MSI P45 Neo2 FR (PCI-E single @ x16, Dual @ x8 - x8)
4 GB Corsair Gaming Memory DDR2 800
Corsair HX 1000w PSU
Cooler Master V10
Cooler Master Haf 932
LG 22" Wide HD LCD 1920x1080 max resolution (this is the current resolution I am using)
My vote is two 4890's in CF. You'll love the performance. Hell, I love the performance from my single 4890 lol. My resolution is 1920x1080 as well.... dual 24'' monitors. I play all games without a hitch. I'll be picking up another 4890 for CF when they come down in price more... and I upgrade my PSU.
ok, the price range of the GTX 295 is $500.00 (give or take)
the price of 2 X 4890's is $380.00 (give or take)
you can OC the 4890's to near-GTX 295 performance and thus you have spent less money...
However! In my opinion, i would go with the new 5870 (if you can find one) for right around the same price as the 2 X 4890's. it's on par with the 4870x2 and just below the GTX 295 for a MUCH better price, not to mention newer technology and you can crossfire it when the prices drop a little...
for now, yes, but the difference will be minimal... don't forget that ATI division will come out with new drivers for the 5870 to scale better as well, so it only gets better for 5870... 2 x 4890 is a great choice, but i think the 5870 is better choice.
as for the x8 - x8 scaling, you neednet worry, the performance hit will be minimal.
In regards to the Brand of ATI card, i would go with Sapphire. Every ATI card i have owned has been Sapphire and i have not had one issue. Sapphire is to ATI as EVGA is to Nvidia.
Personally i would start with just 1 5870 and see if you will need/want to add another at a later date. It may turn out that just one 5870 will fulfill your needs... especially over a GTX 285, i feel that this will be the case.
I am going the exact same route you are going, i'm upgrading my Core 2 Duo from e4500 to a Core 2 Quad Q9550 soon, then after the holidays i'm going to get a 5870. So i would like to know how it works out for you.