New to Overclock.net
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Citrus Heights, CA
Well... hmm. You could save a lot of money by buying a phenom II cpu and taking it to 3.8ghz. I own a 940BE, and it is nothing special, and I can get 3.7ghz 8 hrs prime 95 stable at around 1.55v. Hits load at around 63c at its peak lapped with a TRUE. A 955 will clock 100-200mhz higher on a good chip, so you can see the math. You motherboard could absolutely support a AM3 or AM2+ phenom II.
The phenom II though is about 5% slower clock for clock then the core2quads, although damn even in gaming. If you want to put all 1300 dollars to use, then you should go i7. A D0 stepping will hit 4.0ghz easy on air, and run circles around the competition in professional apps. As far as gaming goes though, there is only a handful of titles (less then five) that show any benefit to it over a core2quad for phenom II.
As far as video cards go, I have the top end HD 4890 and I love it to pieces. It can play crysis warhead enthusiasts settings with 2XAA without dropping below 21fps, and tending to hover around 26-30fps. Good enough for me. It is dead even with the GTX 275 from nvidia. If you want anything that is marketable better you need to get the GTX 285, which is as much as 10-15% faster then the 4890, both overclocked. A 4890 overclocked to 1000mhz core is about equal to the GTX 285 at stock.
If I were you, I would get a pair of 4890's, a 1080i monitor, a phenom II 955 CPU, and that is it. If you do professional stuff then you should take a hard look at i7. The money you save can be put towards cool stuff, like life, a fancy case, or maybe even a water cooling kit. Get one with a universal mount and it can last you a long time. With two or three 4890s (three prevides slightly more stable framerates) and a Phenom II at 3.6ghz+ there really isn't to many games you couldn't max out, and if you shop smart you could upgrade for much less then 1000 dollars. That is my recommendation.