Building a New Gaming System, Please Critique and Advise!!

I'm building a new system and could really use some advice about my build. Please take the following into consideration:

Price, $1200 w/ a little headroom if need be
Overclockable, I want to take this machine as far as possible, 3ghz++ (3.4, 3.5 if possible)
Aesthetics, Must look AWESOME inside and out. I have yet to decide on the case, but that is more of a preference and for another day.
Quiet as possible
(I'm willing to take the db hit on the raptor for the performance gain, however)
Power Efficient PSU
& to Run as cool as possible taking the overclocking into consideration

Motherboard, eVGA 680i

Processor, e6600 (a no brainer in my opinion)

Processor Cooler, Scythe INFINITY

Hard Drive, Raptor 150gb, non windowed version (not down w/ the extra noise for a window you cant even see)

Power Supply, one of the following, must be very efficient, quiet, modular, and good looking
Silverstone PSU
Thermaltake PSU
Corsair PSU

And where I really need advice...

Video Card
I've narrowed down my graphic card selection to these two, futhermore, if need be I will buy an after market fan to cut down on noise and improve cooling. Also, my next upgrade will be a 24" Dell LCD which has a native res of 1920x1200, with that being said, which card would I be better of with? Also, for purely aestetic reasons, I'm leaning towards the nvidia card since the 680i chipset says "NVIDIA" all over it, it would be kinda odd to have an ATI card.

7950gt KO, which has 512mb RAM but not as fast as the x1950xt

x1950xt, which has only 256mb RAM but IS faster than the 7950gt

I can't justify buying the fastest RAM that costs over $300 a stick. I want RAM that is very overclockable, has a great performance/price ratio, is very reliable, and looks good :). Overclockable 800mhz ram seems the way to go, but I am open to any advice. Brand suggestions would be a great help. I would like to start off with 2gb and buy an additional 2gb later in time.

Please critique my decisions and play devil's advocate, if there is a solution you feel is better for my needs, let me know as I an open to any advice you guys are willing to give.


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  1. The 3 psus you picked are quality. It's a tough choice. I'd like to point out that the Silverstone has 4 PCI-E cables & Thermaltake has 85% efficiency.

    For RAM, this has heatsinks, looks good, is inexpensive & is fast.
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