I'm going to be building my first computer this summer, so any comments or suggestions from the more experienced would be much appreciated. The computer will be used primarily for gaming, and I'm trying to keep it in the $1000 - $1500 range (preferably closer to $1000).
Here's the current components I'm looking at (newegg prices listed in parentheses):
• GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard ($134.99)
• EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card ($209.99)
• Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 ($199.99)
• G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ ($39.99)
• Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card ($75.99)
• PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($124.99)
• LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L ($109.99)
• Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive ($74.99)
• Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($159.99, though I can get it as much as $50 cheaper elsewhere)
Planning to overclock so I'm buying a Thermalright ultra 120 extreme rather than using the processor's stock heatsink.
The sound card may be a bit overkill considering I won't be using a surround sound system (just two speakers or my cheap headset). I just heard that having a dedicated sound card can noticeably improve game performance over using the onboard audio, so if anyone can recommend a cheaper yet functional alternative that'd be great.
I considered running two GTX 260's in SLI but judging from the reviews with a single card playing Crysis on very high with playable frame rates, I thought that may have been overkill as well. And I don't want to push my luck with overheating more than I already am by overclocking a quad-core on air cooling.
And it'll be running Vista x64, if that makes any difference (I've had trouble finding drivers for 64-bit operating systems in the past, but I'd think that should be much less of a problem by now).
So, anywhere I can save money and/or improve performance? Anything I should be aware of? Thanks for the help in advance, and sorry if I messed up any of those links.