Here's the system i'm thinking of putting together. Does anyone see any problems, or maybe suggest some more cost effective changes. Looking for a long lasting upgrade-able gaming PC and good multi-tasking and processor intensive stuff like photoshop.
GPU: Don't Crossfire cards at the start of the build. You lose a lot of future proofing potential and may not be able to use both in every game. Grab an HD 5850 for a little more. Or if your resolution is less than 1900x, grab a single HD 5770. You won't notice any difference.
Great! thanks for the quick reply. I'll switch the harddrive and RAM to your suggestions. So if i'm not doing crossfire, should i downgrade on the motherboard? or keep it for crossfire as an upgrade later on? Should a 5850 by itself be able to run all the new games that are coming out?
You're not Crossfiring at the start of the build. You're leaving that open for later. Crossfire is best used as an upgrade path, i.e. you always start a build with a single card with plans to add one later when it slows down.
The 5850 should be able to run all the new games at max details at 1900x resolutions, with the exception of Cysis. I would guess that will continue to be true for 2-3 years, after which you can add a second one as a cheap upgrade.
awesome, thank you so much for the advice. I've never had a two slot GFX card before, is there a way to tell if the motherboard will fit 2 of those right in the future? It says it supports crossfire, but from the picture the PCI slots aren't that far apart, but it's hard to tell from pics.
You have enough room. I can't think of a board that supports Crossfire, but doesn't have enough room for the cards. Typically, the bigger cards will have the cooler hang over the slot directly next to them. Since there are two slots between the PCIe 2.0 slots, you have enough room.
Another consideration is the speeds at which the slots operate. The board choosen has 8x/8x, which is about as good as you get with the P55 chipset without spend a lot of money. A better option would technically be 16x/16x, but it's only a 4% peformance gain, and only noticeable with the 5970. Thus, it's not really important or a good idea to spend more for the 16x/16x slots.