Anyone? I really need some help...
Ok, I'm planning on starting my very first pc build! Unfortunately, I am rather lost in some areas...
First off, I would like to say that this is mainly a gaming rig. I am planning on running such games as Crysis and Far Cry 2, and I am planning on running them EXTREMELY WELL. Secondly, (And what is my 2nd most prevailing problem) is that I am stuck on deciding whether to go with NVidia or ATI (was thinking ATI due to smaller price tag), SLI vs CrossfireX, etc.
Now I realize that ATI is a bit behind NVidia at the moment with it's Radeon HD 3870/50 vs the Geforce 8800 series. So my main question about that is do you think ATI will ever catch up? And will 4 CrossfireX 3870/50's out perform 2 SLI 8800's? Finally, when a game box says "Runs best on NVidia/ATI" does that REALLY mean anything? I was thinking more along the lines of no, but I could be wrong.
Now for CPU's. If I choose to go with NVidia, I will choose a Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600. But the AMD processors are where I am having problems. I am stuck between the AMD Athalon FX-74 Windsor 3.0GHz Dual Core Processor and the Phenom Quad Core series. The highest speed of the best Phenom CPU is 2.3GHz vs the 3.0GHz of the FX-74. This is where my big question comes in: Is the slower quad core CPU better than the faster dual core CPU?
Next is the motherboard which I have picked out for both setups. The XFX nForce 680i LT SLI and the MSI K9A2 Platinum AM2+/AM2 AMD 790 FX ATX which is CrossfireX compatible with 4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots.
RAM isn't really an issue.
As far as a DVD-ROM drive, this is what I have picked out: ASUS Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM ATAPI/E-IDE. How will that work?
Next up is the power supply. I am thinking I will probobly need to run a 1000 watt PSU for either setup, but they are so expensive! $200(!)... (This brings up my main issue, price, but I'll get into that later.)
Finally we have the GPU. For ATI I am thinking of starting with dual Radeon Visiontek Radeon HD 3850 OC Edition 512MB cards. For NVidia I will probobly go with a single KFA2 GeForce 8600 GT Video Card 512MB for starters.
Then on top of all this, I have a $350 monitor that I will buy. It's a 24" Sceptre 1080p, 2ms DVI Widescreen with a 4000:1 contrast ratio and built in speakers. Now this is WAY excessive as far as I am concerned, but it is the only monitor I can find with a 1900x1200 resolution and all the above features. If anyone can suggest me a cheaper monitor with those general specs (Will compromise on the contrast ratio, but absolutely not on the resolution.) at around 19" would be great.
Finally, the above rig (excluding monitor) runs me about $1100, which is a bit rich for my blood especially with that monitor looming overhead. I would like to lower the price by about $200 and would also appreciate any help/answers regarding my above questions.
Thanks a ton.