SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing the Internet, Watching Movies
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Motherboard, CPU, and Speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've been using newegg.com, tigerdirect.com and frozencpu.com for a bit.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US
PARTS PREFERENCES: I prefer Radeon for my GPU. Asus is another I like, and my CPU is Intel.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, but probably will add in the second card at a later date.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200 or 1920x1200)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I like my current Antec 900. I won't be reusing it, but I state this just to say that I want a window. I also think I'd like to go with Red LED's and Cold Cathode lights this time around.
Also, I will be overclocking and want to water-cool my CPU at minimum to start. May cool the vid-card(s) later but not at first. Will probably go with Win7 Pro 64bit.
Solid-State Drive: Intel 40GB - $114.99
Not sure if you know any of this so I'll say it anyway. This is a solid-state drive which means it is about 3x faster than a hard drive. However, SSDs are too expensive to be used as the primary means of storage so instead you can install Windows on here and use it for stuff that you use a lot or stuff which you want the fastest access to. Everything else goes on the 1TB hard drive.
EDIT: DAMNIT. I forgot about the watercooling. To allow moneyspace for it I've stepped down the graphics card a bit. It obviosuly depends how much you want to spend on the water cooling though. I know nothing about water cooling so I'd wait for someone else to post about that.
Comes to 519W with the CPU overclocked at 3.6GHz @ 1.56v and a "CoolIt Systems Freezone Elite" water cooling system. Like I said, no idea about water cooling so I don't know if that's a super mega kit or some puny little thing. Anyway, add on the 100W buffer and you're still alright with a 650W.
Isn't the RAM you listed worse off due to the timings? I mean the latency jump isn't astronomical, but going from 7 to 9 is a bit. That being said, does the frequency jump to 2000MHz make up for it?
Your definitely right about the SSD. One thing about them has me a little confused though. Say I splurged for a 10000RPM traditional drive live a WD Velociraptor. Is the transfer rate comparable? I'm wondering as I don't know if any bottle-necking occurs with a SSD that is using say a SATA II instead of a SATA III.
I definitely plan on going with a 5858 after reading a review (I believe it was on here?) that showed a single 5850 a better choice then two 5770 in Xfire. I did use the PSU Calculator (thanks guys for the link) and while I no longer think I need a 1KW PSU I think 750W is the way to go. I came to a little over 600W with my calculations (CPU OC'ed to 4.0GHz, X-Fired 5850's, and a beefier Water-cooling System)
The RAM is probably going to be faster than your RAM. Go either way, you can't really go wrong with either of the kits. Have a read through the DDR3-1333 Speed and Latency Shootout to help you. It's a couple of years old but should still apply (I haven't read it myself). Basically, the latency is the time it takes the RAM to respond to any given command. The speed is the rate at which it can perform that command.
A 10k RPM drive will be loads slower than an SSD. In fact, a lot of people have said that modern 7200rpm drives (even just WD Caviar Blues and Seagate Barracudas etc) are faster than Velociraptors. No bottlenecking will occur with an SSD which is only using SATA II apart from I think 1 or 2 drives which are past the $1k range.
I'm surprised that the 5850 was shown as being better than 2 5770s. I could swear I had read that two 5770s just about beat the 5870. Going for 750w is fair enough. You could take a look at the Corsair TX750, or the HX750 if you're looking for a modular PSU to keep your case tidy.
As for the case, I'd stick with the younger brother; the HAF 922. It's classed as a mid-tower case but is only a tiny bit smaller than the 932. I think the height is about 22".
Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate don't give you the ability to dual boot with XP, they give you the ability to run it in a virtual machine using Virtual PC (you're basically running XP as a program INSIDE Windows 7). I've tried it myself and it does work very well but I didn't feel the need for it in the end so I uninstalled it. In order to dual-boot XP and 7 (get and option when you switch on your computer) you would have to buy a copy of both, install 7 and then install XP on a separate partition or hard drive. That would work with any version of 7 and XP.
So after reading everything you've offered up, I decided on the HAF 932 w/window. I know it's not much of a difference, but I checked youtube for some vids on water-cooling with the two towers and I think I'll appreciate the little extra room of the 932.
I see what you mean about win7. I cbf with the extra for just a shell OS inside Win7. I'll just use a copy of XP if I need the dualboot option.
That being said, I think I'll stick with the flashier Crucial set of RAM (ooooh! Lights!). I maybe getting suckered, and if anyone knows of any faster, lower latency ram sticks, I'd be much indebted. I also could just add aftermarket LEDs or Cold-Cathodes to a different RAM kit I suppose?
I see what you mean about the 10k RPM drives. I think it would be best for me if I went with 2-3 Samsung Spinpoint F3's or WD Caviar's in a RAID 0 setup for storage and a SSD for boot. Is this ideal? Or am I totally off-base?