Originally Posted by Drain
Thanks Soloz, thats exactly the kind of help I was looking for!
Few more questions.. I heard that the DFI mobo was significantly harder to setup compared to the ASUS mobo. I've tinkered with computers before but never have I built one from scratch.. is setting up the BIOS going to be way over my head with the DFI?
Second.. how much more difficult is it to configure 2 gpu's over just one? Is it just a matter of popping them both in, installing the drivers, and voila?
Third.. my current heatsink+fan for my cpu is pretty generic.. just a series of vertical aluminum plates with a ~2x2' fan ontop. Its worked just fine with my current cpu.. very quiet and its always cool. Will the be sufficient to cool the cpu you suggested however?
first... yes the DFI will be a bit more complecated to get setup than the Asus board will. That's why I suggested both. I used an Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe board in my first ever build (now in my HTPC) and when I upgraded I went to the DFI. I still don't know everything about the DFI BIOS, but I did learn enough w/ the Asus board to know that I wanted more
The Asus board would be a good place to start. it is fairly easy to set up and you can also get some pretty decent overclocking w/ it.
that is also why I suggested DDR500 RAM. most 3700 sd's will get to 2.75Ghz very easily (250x11) and that would keep DDR500 at it's rated speed, so you don't have to worry about messing w/ RAM timings when you're starting off
now, for SLI. it is very easy. You can install both right away or just install one and add the second one after you get the build up and running (which would probably be the better choice) Basically once you have the build up all you do is pop the card in, the drivers should automatically detect a second card and tell you to activate SLI in the drivers, then just reboot and you're all set. of course you may want to make different profiles for individual games, but that's later on.
your new cpu will come w/ a new hsf... if you buy a retail box which is what I pointed out. the cpu I linked is the newer revision so you'll want to stick w/ that one instead of the older E4 (which is about 20 less) If you want to OC I would suggest you get a better hsf, something like the big typhoon, but that would depend on your current case.
Also, depending on what your current psu is you may want to get a new one.
another thing... since you are basically starting over, you may want to just get a new case and psu too that way you can keep your old computer intact. sell it or keep it as a back up, get an old monitor and set it up as a file server or whatever you want to use it for.