I have built a few systems before, but none in the last few years, so I'm admitedly way out of the loop. I'm putting this together for my little brother. Mostly a gaming rig, but it's also used for video editing and compiling. We're shooting for around a $1500 price tag.
Here's the basic rundown:
Case: NZXT Zero Aluminum ATX
Mobo: ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI Motherboard
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s (x2)
My current plan is to run the GTS solo and buy another one as time and finances permit. Is there anything I'm missing here?
A couple questions as well:
-Any reason to upgrade to Corsair Dominator RAM?
-Aside from clock speeds, does XFX (or any manufacturer) give you anything else for the $50 extra bucks you spend on the clocked version?
-Will I need anything beyond the stock coolers for this build? I don't have any major OC planned.
for a $1500 build you could squeeze in a single GTX easily, more or less the same for less power hungry machine. You don't need DDR21066 ram unless you are trying to achieve insane OC (Not likely seeing as you didn't consider aftermarket cooling), just go for cheaper DDR2800 (which will overclock just fine also...) Try Crucial Ballistix or even Corsair XMS2.
If you can manage to make a GTX fit in your budget (should be pretty easy), then you could lose the SLI board (not really a fan of SLI/Crossfire unless you plan on using top of the line hardware).
To answer your questions:
1.) No reason at all to go for better ram, as I stated, you could even save some money on that department.
2.) No, they only offer clock speeds and as you probably already know, you can do it yourself.
3.) If you're not OC'ing just make sure you have a good airflow in your case.