APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ready to order now
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Adobe CS3, maybe some RPGs and MMOs
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, optical, monitors
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, but flexible
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: n/a
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: if helpful
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 primary, 1280x1024 secondary
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Built my current PC back in 2003 to about 'enthusiast'-level specs, so I plan to get at least 5 years out of this one. I run dual monitors: one widescreen, one an old standard box LCD.
I have consoles for gaming, so my only real gaming usage would be for MMO's and moddable RPGs where I don't care about running at full effects/max resi. I work with large Photoshop files on a fairly regular basis, which represents the biggest system resource load on my build.
The 2x Radeon 5850's seem like severe overkill for my usage, so my inclination is to trade down to a 47xx or a 48xx (( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... looks good )) and use the savings to push up the memory to 8 gigs and go i7-860 instead of i5-750. I am open to changing the mobo but don't want to introduce a bottleneck into the timings somewhere.
Budget-wise I am comfortable with anywhere from $1000 to $1300. If the benefits are fairly marginal, I don't have to sink /all/ the savings from trading down the video cards back into the build.
I do place a lot of value on future expandability. For instance, when DDR3 becomes dirt cheap in the future I will max out the system RAM, I might get myself a top-flight video card for my birthday in 2011 so it would be nice to keep the old one in and Crossfire link it, etc etc.
Will be running Win 7 Ultimate as the primary OS if that makes any difference.
If I am going way off with this I would welcome all advice and suggestions for a more optimal solution. Thanks!
* I'm pretty sure that CS3 (at least Photoshop) does not utilize the GPU (graphics card) for harware acceleration. CS4 however does support GPU hardware acceleration so if you decide to upgrade to CS4 you might want to pick up a more powerful GPU at the same time, especially if your going to be running dual monitors.
if ram is important you might think about going the i7 920 as they use tripple channel memory and so have 6 slots for ram instead of 4. since there is a huge difference in price between 2gb dimms and 4gb ones you could get to 12gb much cheaper that way or just stick with 6gb and later throw in 3 4gb dimms. also id go with an ati 5 series card. eye-finity is awesome and a single 5770 will play anything at close to max specs or even a 5750 at medium settings