If you want the option of Crossfire/SLI in the future, you should buy the necessary parts now to save you the trouble of having to upgrade a few things later on. You'd want a mobo that will run both cards at x8/x8 and also a PSU with 4 PCI-E connectors since each 5850 requires 2.
Good point about the connector's, didn't even think to check that. That is a decent price increase for having the option to crossfire in the future, so that puts me on the fence a little bit. I've read that crossfire's gains mostly occur in higher resolutions. Obviously you can't tell the future, but would you anticipate needing to add a 2nd 5850 for performance increases at 1680x1050 in the future, or would the gains be pretty minimal? Adding a 2nd 5850 certainly would simplify my upgrade path, but if the performance gains are pretty minimal I might opt to upgrade to a better single card in the future (although that might need extra power from the PSU...)
Apologies if I seem to be rambling, I'm just trying to figure out what the best upgrade path would be (adding a 2nd card vs replacing single card)
I'll probably stick with the 550W PSU then, if I can find it. I don't anticipate upgrading my monitor anytime soon, and would probably build a new computer before then. I'll probably switch to the RAM build recommended, since it's only $5 more.
Anyone else have thoughts on the build, or should I start buying the parts that are in-stock?
Ok, due to the shortage of 5850s, I'm thinking of going with a 5770 instead. However, I'm not sure that I'll be completely satisfied with its performance, and would like to re-open the possibility of crossfire. Would the 550W powersupply listed above be enough to crossfire 2 5770s? I'll probably switch to the motherboard build recommended above (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131405)