A couple of comments. First of all, as stated previously, ECS are known to be budget boards so if you have any intention of ever doing any overclocking then you do not want that board. Gigabyte boards are known to be outstanding overclockers. Also, the ECS board does not support true SLI since it is only possible to run the two PCI-E slots at 8x and 4x (as opposed to both running at 8x for true SLI).
Secondly, could you provide the link that shows an X1600 XT crossfire setup outperforming an X1900 XTX? Because I've never seen it. I've seen a review where a HEAVILY OVERCLOCKED X1600 crossfire setup came close to an X1900. Yes, you might save a little money buying 2 X1600's but there are other factors to consider. For you reference, here's a comparison of graphics cards and as you can see, a single 7600GT beats a X1600 CF setup in many cases. The crossfire setup gets SMOKED by the X1900 XTX in every case.http://www23.tomshar...m...5&chart=216
First of all, you are stuck with 2 X1600s. You don't have the option of upgrading later. If you buy 1 X1900, then you have the option to add another one at a later date, which is the point of SLI and Crossfire. Also, as a side note, you would be better off buying 2 7600GTs and running them in SLI then you would 2 X1600s.
Next, when you do go SLI/Crossfire, you have to consider that you'll need stronger PSU and more cooling which more than offset the money you saved on the cards. Also, you now have 2 GPU fans and the noise that comes with them.
I'm not saying don't go SLI/Crossfire, it's just important to take all of these factors into consideration. If you do want the option in the future, then I would look at a better board than the ECS one that supports true SLI and overclocks better.
And yes, the board and CPU in your original post will work excellent for gaming.
Edited by kidnova, 01 December 2006 - 03:10 PM.