I read Proximon's jbakerlent's and skora's guides... all great, but I am having a tough time putting it all together. Where is money best spent for performance now versus upgrading options later? I have pushed my XPS 400 too far... (with 7950 GT then 9800 GT and now 4 gb RAM even though computer only using 3.25)
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week/soon unless good reason to hold off a bit
BUDGET RANGE: 1300 - 1500 after rebates (might be able to push it to 1750 but wife already "concerned")
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, home video editing
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com sounds good open to suggestions though
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: open to any and all suggestions
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - sounds like not OCing an i7 is silly
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe but prefer to keep it simple now, maybe next upgrade a second card?
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200 - have 24" samsung currently
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Does not have to be pretty or super quiet, pushing for performance and value
Thanks for all of your help in advance, pretty awesome community here
P6T will run the i7 fine. Older versions had some QPI issues, but it's been 7-8 months now and the newer boards all ship with updated bios.
Normally I'd say 6gb is more than enough, but video editing is one of the small arenas that take advantage of more ram. That being said fitting 12gb into your budget really isn't an option. You'd want 3x4gb kits, and they aren't cheap at all. Using 6x2gb kits isn't recommended. You'll be fine.
Only you can answer the 5870 question. 5850 can be oc'd to 5870 speeds, but 5870 can be oc'd too. You're looking at the same micro architecture on both boards, one is just better binned with more shaders. For single monitor solutions 5850 is plenty. If you plan on running multiple however I'd say it's worth the investment.