lol here I am
First of all our tax changed to 13%. Federal tax went from 7% to 6% last July I believe, better check you receipts if people are still charging you that extra percentage at the stores and pocketing the money, yes there were many issues like this for the first month or two after the price cut, but it shouldn't be the case anymore.
Anyways back to the build
Your going to have to change either the memory or the motherbaord, Asus motherboard + OCz memory = BSoD......not something anyone wants. Also you can get better latencies for that price.
Graphics cards - Take a look at this benchmark
. As you can see the x1950 pro outperforms the 8600GTS, but your giving up DX10 support. Since it's overall pretty close, I'd go with the 8600GTS, yes I understand it runs slower, but not enough to suggest going back to DX9 when DX10 is available to you. Now catelest 7.4 was released yesterday (ATI's driver) and it's said to increase performance by up to 15% on the cards, making these 3 days old benchmarks kinda off. It's up to you in the end.
I want to add one thing amongst all this stuff, I'd recommend you wait till the end of the month. On April 22nd Intel will do some major price cuts. What does this have to do with you, well the E6600 is an extremely good over clocking processor and it should drop 100$ making it an extremely attractive buy and maybe even cheaper then the 5400+. If your heart is really with AMD, because of these price cuts, we'll see less demand for AMD processors and more pressure on AMD to drive their prices even lower. It won't drop significantly like it did on the 7th, but even if it does drop 20$, it pays for the shipping.
Another thing, on the 23rd ATI/AMD will release benchmarks and a date for the 2x00 cards from their graphics devision. They are expected to be better budget cards then what Nvidia has to offer and good prices as well. While I can't confirm that this is true, ATI will be giving out benchmarks on the 23rd of April as well which will guide you on what route you should or should not take. If you have the time to wait, I really urge you to do so since you'll get much more performance for your money.
Edit: Do you even have Vista?
Edited by james_8970, 19 April 2007 - 09:34 PM.