I must agree that Intel has some very competitive prices at the moment.
You might as well start with Intel as the core, with the motherboard you are looking at. I then recommend a Pentium D 805
. It has reached amazing overclocks on stock cooling, with nice results
. 3.9 GHz on stock v-core is not bad at all. It costs only $130. With good cooling, I am sure it will go very far.
If you have not expected to buy a processor this cheap, then you may have more money to spend. If not, no problem. I highly recommend the X1900 CF
only. Yes, you cannot start off a CrossFire system, but it leaves you with the option to upgrade later, and the X1900 has more than enough raw horsepower
to meet your needs. You can always upgrade to a full CrossFire system later. It will also probably be easier to get a X1900XT
later than the CrossFire master card. The total cost for the X1900 CrossFire system is $925. If you were expecting to buy a $450 processor, the 805 and the CrossFire system will do very nicely.
If you do choose to go with a single X1900 CF, please buy the Pentium D 950
. It will do much better than the 805, due to the fact that is is 65nm versus 90 nm (lower power consumption, higher overclocks), and it has 2 x 2mb L2 cache, versus 2 x 1mb L2 cache on the 805. It also will do slightly better than the 930
at overclocking, becasue chances are it will have a slightly better core in terms of sheer speed. That is why it is a 3.4 GHz factory part versus a 3.0 GHz part for the 930.