Need advice/help with gaming system please!

I'm going to be making up my first computer system more or less from scratch, granted I'll be going to a local dealer, but I want to be more or less specified down to the wire about what I'm going to be putting into my system to assure I get the best bang for my buck and know exactly what is going to be going into my gaming machine.

My current budget is around $2500. I've been trying to keep up to date with all the hype and news that is going around and more or less what will be coming around in the month when I actually go to build my new machine, but I'm still in the dark and relatively inexperienced and don't want to waiste or blow my money on something that isn't going to be top of the line or worth it, as this will probably be my last major rebuild for a year or two.

So far about the only thing I know for sure is I'm going to start out with a single ASUS EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M GeForce 8800GTX 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP video card, as from what I hear it is the best out there. I do plan on doubling up on this a few months after my build, but want to get my major components built up and fill in with the extra tid bits later on down the road. No use doubling up the dough for another video card and sacrificing my main power in my machine when I can just toss another one in there when I can afford it later on down the road.

As from what I've read, Intel's dual core's are ahead of AMD atm, even though I rather prefer AMD over Intel, it doesn't look like AMD is going to have their main answer to Intel's latest processor until after I build my machine. So the question is what processor should I look into? I want raw power and speed with relative ease at possibly doing some slight OC'ing on my system. Also, is the quad core worth it? I could also sac about 2 Gig of RAM, to be put in a month down the road, to get even more horsepower out of my MOBO and processor, but is that going to be worth it?

Based on the processor, what would be the best MOBO to go with the processor and with my video card, still allowing me to double up my video cards and having plenty of room to get everything that I'll need.

With my GeForce 8000GTX and my processor, especially if I plan on doubling up on my video cards, I figure I'd need a 1k watt power supply, but I'm rather clueless as to the amperage and rail stuff I hear so much talk about.

I also hear problems with the GeForce 8800GTX and size issues with some cases. What's going to be a good case that will be big enough and not having heating issues with my processor and graphics card?

I was figuring with possibly going on a Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive for speed for my gaming, does that sound like a good option?

And what's the best option for RAM out there?

I won't have to worry about mouse, keyboard, or monitor, as I have already replaced those here recently.

More or less, can you guys give me some help in stearing me in the right direction? I don't necessarily want the best thing out there, but I want dang close and I'm still out in the dark as it's been a couple of years since I built my last machine and it just isn't holding its own any more. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
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  1. Oh, and I don't have to worry about a cd or dvd burning or reader, as I already have one of those as well.
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