Alrighty guys, my mail goal here is gaming. I'm hooked on Battlefield Bad Company 2 right nao, and am determined that I need at least 3 monitors to play this game. My existing setup does amazingly well with max draw distance, at medium graphics on a single monitor, but I need some advice on what to upgrade here to get awesome 3 monitor performance, hopefully without breaking the bank. First upgrade is going to be windows 7 (I'm still using 32 bit xp) but the rest is dependant upon the advice I recieve here. Here's the existing box:
1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
You're pretty much going to have to replace all of that. You've got a lot of older components that you're not going to be able to find replacements for soon, like a LGA775 CPU (an older one at that), DDR2 and the 8800 GT. You've also got some poor quality parts that wouldn't be good to move to a new build like the Seagate 7200.10 and the 500W POS PSU. What you're looking at for a new build, capable of gaming with Eyefinity, is spending $1,500, with the OS, not including the ~$600 for three monitors.
If you're still interested in trying to do Eyefinity, here's what you need:
I can't thank you enough for your advice. Ironically, I was piecing together a new system, and had made it as far as narrowing down to that motherboard; I'm a gigabyte fanboy. As it stands I'm doing my homework on your suggested build up there, for the three monitor system; It looks great offhand! Out of curiosity, what do you think of the new x6 core processor from amd?
Generally worthless, unless you're on a very strict budget for a productivity build. They perform just like the X4 955 in gaming, so for games they're absolutely worthless. For productivity, they perform worse than the i7-930 in several apps, so if you absolutely need to save $175 (the board and RAM), then it's an alright choice. So basically if you've got $800-900 for a productivity build, you're not looking at AMD.
While I mostly agree with MadAdmiral, especially about the need to replace pretty much everything, I suspect the lesser of those systems would be quite capable of running three 19" monitors; you'd get to keep the one you have and just add two more of the same resolution, which would save a LOT of money.
You might consider going to a HD5870 and/or Athlon II X4, but even those would not add too much to the cost.