I'm going to order this Phenom 2 X4 945 build almost entirely dedicated to gaming, my main point of interest however is longevity of up to 5 years with viable upgrade paths and system wide compatibility, also keep in mind that although I look forward to playing direct X11 games my focus will be on upcoming titles such as Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, and also old titles such as Diablo 2 Starcraft 1 and Counter Strike Source, I appreciate any advice and suggestions, here goes.
Total Cost: (Including Tax and Shipping)= $1734.15
Well that about covers it all I think, I realize it is quite an exhaustive list but that's just a product of my personality, the Keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, thermal compound and heatsink/fan are added purely for the opinions and experiences of those who have owned them and used them in the past.
Thanks in advance for all your technical advice and thoughts in helping me with my build.
If you want long-term use then you should consider an ATI HD5850 1GB.
I would wait for the NVidia DX11 cards and see what they have (which will also lower HD5850 prices).
DX11 offers (among other things):
It will take a while but DX11 is going to be a really big deal. I'd read up on it. A lot of applications will use DirectCompute but not for a while.
Having said that, prices on graphics cards drop fast and you can easily swap out your HD4890 later on, whereas your CPU and other components will be just fine.
Gaming with your current design is very good.
*Definitely get a Crossfire/SLI setup. In the future you should keep an eye on Intel's Larrabee. Options may include adding it as a second card, the only card or along with a newer DX11 card. Performance is uncertain but I think this card will be a success though it may serve better as a secondary card to enhance the Graphics or CPU when needed (it does both through a software layer).
Please don't jump past photonboy's comments.
A 58xx card is the way to go.
Larrabee is not a gamer's world. It is untested and without drivers for DX11 or Open GL not to mention it's unobtanium. It may be an improvement on an AMD 785 in due time...
I use the 22 inch version of that monitor (looks identical, just mine is smaller) and have been quite impressed with it for the price. I kind of went out on a limb, as Asus certainly isn't a normal LCD maker, but it turned out excellent as well as I can tell.
You pay a very significant premium for the i5's performance increases. The difference in processor cost is negligible; it's the board where you end up spending big with Intel. Unless you're going to SLI/Crossfire, a 790X will do just fine. Those can be had at about half the price of the sort of Intel board you need to O/C an i5 to realize its full potential.
My advice would be to either go whole hog and put an i7 in there, or go AM3 with an X4 955. The 125W (NOT the 140W) 965 is also a good choice.
I would buy a 5850 rather than a 4890 for the long term, unless you're willing to Crossfire your 4890 as the price comes down and risk DirectX 11 becoming the standard. If adding another 4890 is the plan, you need a 790FX board to go AMD...and that means you should stay Intel.