Mainly I am going to use it for gaming. In the future I may go with a Crossfire setup. But for now I have an ATI 1600XT that a friend pulled form his system so I am going to use that as it is free. I OC a little on my current system and I plan on doing the same on this system as well.
Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Radeon Xpress 3200 CrossFire $176.99
(Might be overkill if I never go with an Xfire setup but it would be nice to have the option)
AMD Opteron 165 Dual-Core 1.8GHz Processor $327.50
(I hear that it is good at OC'ing)
Corsair TWINX2048-3200C2PT 2GB Kit DDR400 XMS3200 $188.00
(Has a 50$ rebate at ZZF)
***Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB (x2) $307.80
***(RAID 0 setup, will it be too loud?)
*** or should I get
***Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB Serial ATA II ***(x2)$183.98
Zalman CNPS9500 LED CPU Cooler $54.99
(THG rates it well)
Ultra ULT31824 Aluminus Full Tower Case $95.00
(It’s a case. But this is where I have had a hard time doing research. I want some thing classy, plain, well built and not over $100)
Liteon SHM-165H6S 16X Dual Layer DVD±RW $48.00
(With lightscribe, not sure if I’ll use it but it is only 8$ more than the cheapest one)
Hiper Modular Type-R 580W Power Supply $99.00
(I like the modular cabling, really though I want a good PSU with good cabling for a clean finished look!)
Subtract $80 in rebates and it is just over $1200. I already have a copy of XP and I figure that I will wait until vista come out rather buying a new copy of XP 64 for ~$150. Also I think that I will wait until DX10 cards come out before upgrading the GPU.
I don't think raid is worth it unless you are going to go full out and set up a raid 5 or 6 array on a hardware add-on card. The cheapest one I've seen that looks decent is a $350 Promise 8 port raid card as far as that goes. Striping seems like you're just asking for a power surge to come along, fry a sector or two and lose an entire system....
I have my OS on a 1 platter 80gb hard drive and it's nice and fast and have a 120, a 200 and a 250 for storage. It works out pretty well...