I am going though a small Dilemma right now. As you know the new Nvidia and AMD GPUs will be coming out early next year. I was planning on building a brand new rig right around Black Friday to take advantage of the sales. I plan on purchasing a 30" HP30zw monitor and spening about $2000 on the rig itself to play games at 2560x1600 resolution. I would normally just wait until early next year and then build the rig but SWTOR is coming out in December. I don't think I can wait whole month since I've been looking forward to that game for a long time now.
If I buy a GTX 460 (around $100) will I be able to play the game at the high resolution until I upgrade my GPU(s) next year? I could then use the gtx460 as a physicx slave or something.
The 460 will run any game at 2560x1600 resolution, but you will not be able to run most games at maximum settings. Some of the more demanding titles like Crysis or BF3 you might have to run at medium settings in order to maintain an acceptable framerate. With less demanding titles you might be able to pull off high settings, though not necessarily ultra. The 460 is a more appropriate card for 1080p resolution. When you get up to the ultra high res displays like 2560x1600 you have to look at the really high end cards, or possibly SLI/Crossfire if you want to run at ultra settings.
$100 is a really good price on a GTX 460 1GB. Are you sure it's the regular 460 or the 460 SE? The SE is considerably weaker than the normal 460, and would struggle a lot more at 2560x1600 than the regular 460. If you must buy a placeholder card now, a $100 460 1GB would be an okay choice, and should handle TOR well, even at the really high resolution you propose.
Thank you, that makes me feel better. I don't want to blow $1000 on two gtx 580s when 1 month later better cards are coming out. I don't know much about Nvidia Kepler but I am hearing great things about the AMD 7000 series. Making some preparations now, you think a z68 mobo and a 1000w PSU will be sufficient for the next gen cards(sli/xfire) Probably going to stick with Intel 2600k, I hear they have better oc capabilities.
If the 1000 Watt is a good quality PSU that will be more than enough for SLI or Crossfire, it would probably be sufficient for most 3 card configurations even. The 2600k is not necessary for gaming even with high end SLI/Crossfire setups, games don't use hyperthreading, and I don't believe the 2600k really overclocks that much better than the 2500k. I believe you might be able to squeeze out an extra 100MHz on air with the 2600k, but that really isn't worth the extra $100.
Z68 is a fine chipset. Look for a board with PCI-E 3.0 capabilities if you plan on keeping the system for a very long time. PCI-E 3.0 is not an immediate need, I doubt even the next gen cards will come close to saturating PCI-E 2.0, but it might help to have 3.0 later on, especially if you plan to run that system for quite some time.
You're right, $100 more are not worth the minor MHz increase. However, I read somewhere that future games may/will take advantage of hyperthreading. Since I am planning on keeping the rig for 3-4 years do you think the 2600k may be worth it...
/sigh I am starting to realize just how much I am trying to build a future proof system...that's really impossible with pc technology. 2 years from now everything will be different. Hell, when I built my last rig, there was no such thing as sli/xfire and dual core was just coming out.
Just to throw my two cents in, I purchased a gateway xhd3000 about three years ago when the gtx 280 came out and I built a new rig with it, just like you sound like you are planning to do when the new round of nvidia cards comes out. I love the 2560x1600 resolution (just purchased two 2gb Sapphire Toxic 6950's, an M4 ssd and windows 7-64 for BF3 and Star Wars). At lan parties (yes I bring it along) I always get comments from other players about how the games at 2560x1600 show detail they don't see when they play.
Can I sneak in and ask if my 1000w Zalman psu should be fine for my two new cards?
For the extra $100, the i7 2600k really isn't worth it. The Z68 boards will be compatible with Ivy Bridge, you could upgrade to an 8 thread CPU in the future if you really need it. Right now, it simply isn't needed, we're only now starting to see lots of games use more than 2 threads, it is going to be quite some time before we really see lots of titles use more than 4.