Need some help with my new rig

It has been several years since my last rig, and so i have been spending the last couple weeks acquainting myself with the newer parts that are available.

My main question for you guys is this:

I am looking at either the Radeon 5870 card or the new GTX 480 from Nvidia. To save some money, i was wondering if i could get away with a P55 configuration. This would mean an Intel i5-750 for the CPU and 4gb of RAM. Would this mean the processor/RAM would bottleneck my system, or could they hold their own with the GPU?

I also have a couple other minor questions:

Is it worth upgrading the motherboard to support 1600 speed RAM and a 6.0gb/s HDD?

Windows score will not allow Sata drives to score above 5.9. Is this because they are actually bottlenecking the system, or is it just a ploy to get people to buy SSDs?

And finally, an extremely newby question, can blueray video files be played on a computer without a physical blueray drive?
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  1. 1. If this is mainly for gaming, an i5 750 should hold its ground fine, 4 GB of RAM wouldn't be a bottleneck either.

    2. Technically speaking, most motherboards support 1600 MHz RAM, you'll just need to overclock for it to work, otherwise adjust some settings. The actually performance difference between 1600 MHz and 1333 MHz is minimal, it's not noticeable apart from benchmarks, and even then, you wouldn't see a massive performance difference between the two. Lower latencies, i.e., CL7 instead of CL9 would be better.

    3. Currently 6 Gbps HDDs aren't really worth it, they do not show that much of a performance increase over regular HDDs mainly because of the fact that SATA III doesn't make it faster, it just offers more bandwidth for the HDD, which none can fully use, only SSDs in RAID 0 go near full SATA III bandwidth.

    3. As for the Windows score, it's just a thing with HDDs, they're not bottlenecking the system as such, but they are still considered the slowest part of the system. A SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 or WD Velociraptor 600 GB could most likely beat a cheap SSD with low read/write scores, but I'm pretty sure it would still rate higher because of it's lower access times.

    4. If you're talking about just a Blu-Ray file, like an .avi file or .mpeg, it should work fine.
  2. Thank you, this was very helpful.
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