SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
-Dual monitor setup (webcam on one monitor while I game or watch HD videos on another)
-Only game I'm interested in right now is Starcraft 2
-I do like to play try out recent releases, but I don't need the extreme eyecandy like 4xAA etc.
-NO photo-editing, decoding/encoding, or any other extremely processor intensive applications
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: First off, I'd like some suggestions on the processor, or rather, I'd like to confirm that my reasoning is correct.
AMD Phenom II x4 965BE vs Intel Core i5-750
-the AMD is approximately $15-20CDN cheaper
-motherboards for the AMD are generally cheaper
-for video games the two are pretty much on par
-the AMD should be easily sufficient for webcaming on one monitor while gaming on a second monitor right?
-Socket AM3 allows me to upgrade to another processor (such as a hexacore) in the future
-the money saved on the processor and mobo will go towards a better graphics card (I'll likely buy a HD5830/5850/Nvidia-equivalent if I go the AMD route, whereas if I go the Intel route I'll most likely get the 5770/Nvidia-equivalent)
I am leaning towards the AMD for the reasons above. If you have anymore input in this matter please do share.
Now, the main focus for my debate is the motherboard/graphics upgrading route. I am looking for the most bang for the buck. With Nvidia's Fermi finally announced/soon to be released I feel like this is a terrible time to purchase a video card. I think prices for ATI cards are likely to drop by June when Nvidia releases the lower end cards to compete with the 5770/5830/5850.
Having said that, I am sort of leaning towards getting an AM3 mobo with a 785G chipset while I wait for Nvidia to make its move in June. This should be more than sufficient for watching HD videos while still staying on webcam/doing other things on my second monitor.
My primary concern is gaming, the only game of interest to me currently is Starcraft 2; I've got it running on my EXTREMELY outdated rig and it runs fine at minimum settings (AMD Sempron 2800+, Geforce 7600GT AGP, and 2GB PC3200 ram). Will the IGP on the 785G be able to do this? I know that's a tough question considering Starcraft 2 is still in beta, but I must say SC2 is EXTREMELY well optimized for a game in beta (I think the focus of this beta is more on balancing and testing the new Bnet).
What are your thoughts on the likelihood of a price war when Nvidia releases their mainstream Fermi cards?
This is just if it were *MY* rig .... I'll put some reasons in there ...
First, I would go with the very latest Asus Core-Unlocker mobo (hex-ready) and I (personally) would go with a Phenom-II x3-Core at 3.2GHz with a Hyper-212 cooler and a G.Skill RipJaws 2x2GB DDR3 1600 CAS7 Dual Channel RAM kit ...
I would DEFINATELY START (First and Foremost) with a 5850 or 5870 ...
... I'm not gonna say why ... but I would not have a 5830 ... rather a 5770 (for me).
a SINGLE (ONE ONLY) 5870 is "the absolute" (cost/performance/longevity/upgrade) SWEET SPOT ...
The onboard graphics which come with that mobo have HDMI out and HDCP and are totally BluRay 1080P ready. So, I think with a 5870 in the 16X slot, you could run something like 5 monitors (depending on rez) ... pretty sure you "might-could".