APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I am getting most of the parts in a week (excluding screen and case)
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, working (nothing performance intensive), watching movies.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers and headphones
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon.com for most of the parts, but I will have to get the rest in South Africa, where I live (more expensive).
PARTS PREFERENCES: I have decided on going for Intel and ATI
OVERCLOCKING: Not at first.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I will be getting some of the parts in America, however 20% duty is charged on them to take them back to South Africa, so that means that parts prices will be increased significantly.
I will have to order the parts from Amazon this week (as the person I know is going to the USA on the 2nd of November), so there are two options I am interested in:
XFX Radeon HD 5870
$480 (the cheapest you can get it in South Africa is $575!)
If it comes back in stock this week.
If not then: MSI Radeon 4890 Cyclone OC in crossfire
One thing that I haven't been able to find out is whether the included crossfire bridges are double-spaced; does anyone now if they would fit in the EVGA X58 micro?
MOUSE AND KEYBOARD: Logitech MX518
Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 keyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium retail (I don't need any of Professional's features, but do Professional and Ultimate have better performance?)
Since this system could play any game available on max settings at full resolution, I don't see why it would be necessary to overclock since it would not improve my gaming experience at all. I would greatly appreciate any advice, especially about the graphics card, which is my main concern. I unfortunately can't get parts from NewEgg and Tiger Direct because they do not allow the billing address to be in South Africa, so Amazon is the only option. HD 5870's are selling like wildfire and ATI can't keep with the demand, so it is probably unlikely that the Sapphire or XFX versions of the card will come back in stock this week on Amazon, but I check daily in case I get lucky. Otherwise I think a MSI 4890 Cyclone crossfire would be the next best option, although it is annoying to have the same performance but with much worse power consumption.
Shipping takes 1-3 weeks, which is too long to be viable (he will be leaving the USA on the 12th of November and it would be a serious problem if it didn't arrive in time). I will ask Amazon if there is anyway to pay more to have it shipped faster. 5770's in crossfire give performance that is between the 5850 and 5870, so I it is not exactly a big difference.