Firstly, as it is for gaming, then Vista 64 bit is probably the best solution. As for getting two Raptors in RAID 0. Do you understand that buying Raptors will NOT improve gaming performance and frame rates, only loading times. Also there are many issues and problems that come with a RAID setup. TBH I think the money would be better spent elsewhere. I'll start. These parts are from Scan.co.uk and Ebuyer.com as I think they are the cheapest sites:
- This is one of Intel's new 45nm CPUs. It can overclock up to 4GHz!! I chose a dual over a quad because most games aren't threaded for quads so high end dual cores often outperform them. If you are going to be using the PC for other things such as video editing etc, then I would recommend the Q6600: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=702631
-Motherboard. This supports Crossfire, DDR3 and PCI-E 2.0. These boards and the P35s are much better for overclocking than any other Nvidia chipset. However if you want SLI support...
- If you're going to spend £1500 on a gaming rig, then you might as well go with DDR3. Get 4GB if you feel you need it.
- TBH, I really do not recommend you waste £300 pounds on dual raptors. A nice 7200RPM drive is quite sufficient.
- Now I recommend you buy either this card, or like you said the HD 3870X2 http://www.ebuyer.com/product/140437
which costs more but offers around 15% higher peformance. The other option would be to SLI two 8800GTshttp://www.ebuyer.com/product/134393
which would give the best performance and would cost around £300 for the two cards. These benchmarks should help you decide: http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html
And this one for SLI and Crossfire comparisons: http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_sli2007.html
- OS. Like I said earlier, 64 bit so that all 4GB can be utilized.
- Perfect gamer's case, but if you're going to go with SLI or Crossfire, you may want something like this: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/108604
-And lots of people seem to recommend these for the CPU cooler.
And last but most certainly not least, the PSU: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/133812
- Modular design so that you can leave out the cables you don't need which improves airflow.
Here is an article with the 3870X2 benchmarks: