APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This weekend, but can take longer
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Most: Gaming, I mostly play EverquestII which does not do a good job at using system resources and is very memory intensive. I tend to have 2 sessions of the game running. I also play through the bigger titles as they come out.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers - Current monitor is 1680x1050.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: none
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I'm open to it
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need windows 7. Would like the option of an SSD for the OS.
Thanks for the help. I've built my last two systems and it's usually a clear choice but I've been away from component specifics for awhile and seem to be having a tough time catching up. I also seem to be doing better pricing a system through iBuyPower.com then with individual components so I'm doing something wrong =p
2x 5770 will probably be better for games that recognize CrossFire (which is a lot of them now, not so awesome a couple of years back), but it does remove an upgrade path if you decide that 2x 5770 isn't cutting it in a year or two. I'm not a fan of going with Crossfire/SLI at the start of a build, I prefer to start out with 1 card, and then when the graphics start to go downhill, either get another one and CrossFire at that point, or buy a newer, better graphics card at that point.
A 30 GB drive will hold Windows, but not much more. I don't like recommending an SSD smaller than 80 GB, as it's not really worth the investment if you can't at least put a few programs on there. If you're unsure about the SSD, cut it for now, and consider getting one as an upgrade when prices drop a little, maybe in a year or so.
Mobo is missing USB3 & SATA 6 Gb/s, unsure if that's a big deal to you or not. USB3 will probably start hitting mainstream next year.
I think with either Intel or AMD, you'd be happy with your purchase. The AMD option has more features and might allow a processor upgrade in a year or two, but obviously that is more subject to your personal shopping habits & tech lust than anything else. I went AMD with my new build, because I think there's a good chance I'll go for a new processor next year...obviously many people will not feel the need.
There are a number of combo deals, if you're still trying to shave the price. Phenom II X4 955 & $40 off a Thermaltake Element G, $40 off a 5870, $25 off a 5850. I didn't look for combo deals at all, it's a little time-consuming when I'm not shopping for myself.