why would not overclock - i only build overclocked systems - zero failures!
since 2003 - this old machine runs 24/7 with 12 hours day easy 3.0c at 3.5ghz
overclocking is simply taking advantage of the marketing - all chips are the same. you spend $300 make it run like a $500 chip! if does break in y 3 yrs send it back, it won't and in 3 yrs replace it with the $200 left and get way better the $500 chip! resell the $300 chip on ebay in 3 yrs for $100-$150. u got faster system and money in your pocket!
ok your question:
E6600@2.6ghz (i turned down 2.8-3.0 is better yet) 1.4-1.45v
asus mobo p5wsli-e or d5w-dh(nice wireless and remote)
2 gigs of $200-$225 memory such 800 5-4-5-15 or better
600+ watt psu with 45+ amps @ 12v
2 x hdd in raid 0 seagate 250 7200.10 8ms seak
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail $318
Total before shipping and mailin rebates: $2044,
maybe spend 50 dollars more and get the BFG graphics card. Their customer service policy has been, in my experience, "if you have a problem, we'll send you a new one." Drop 60 dollars more on a Zalman 9700 fan and use the automatic 20% overclocking nTune feature that comes with the 680i chipset. You're then running a near top of the line machine for any game in any resolution under 1600 x 1200 (higher resolutions would require 2 8800 GTXs, which would require a lot more cooling and power, and probably an EX6800 to prevent CPU bottlenecking). The sound card is definitely the cheapest of the X-Fi, I'm not sure what the performance difference is between the XtremeGamer and the XtremeMusic ($130 from NE). Creative is a solid gaming company though; I'd trust the XtremeGamer to still be an impressive card.