I was thinking about the X1950, but I decided to go with the 8600gt because it has DX10 support for if I ever get around to using Vista, and it's cheap, because I'm probably going to get one of the 9 series when they come out, and I'd rather not bust too much on a card now, when setting up the computer is more of a priority.
Well if you aren't dead set on that case, you can get something cheaper that's just as good. You can also try a cheaper motherboard. If you don't plan on overclocking much, you can get a cheaper CPU cooling. If you aren't OCing at all, there's no need for the Tuniq when the stock cooler will be just fine.
I think that is the only place you can save some money, cept getting a smaller cheaper monitor.
That's a huge case. How much room do you expect to have at college? If you want to cut costs, consider a CoolerMaster Centurion or Elite case. They are a mid towers, and have adequate cooling. The one you've chosen has big fans, but they are apparently both intakes. having that much more intake than exhaust (even with the fan you're adding) can trap warm air in the case. You wouldn't need the extra fan on the Centurion, as it comes with them; the Elite has space for another fan in front but it isn't included. If you want more "cool" than these relatively plain cases, Apevia and Raidmax have some in the $40-$80 range, but any PSU with them is a lightweight. The Corsair you've chosen is a good one. A PSU is not a place to skimp, but FSP and Mushkin also make some that should be sufficient and are in the $60-$80 range. Do you also need a KB? The Logitech G11 is nice.
I agree with Maziar that the x1950Pro would be a better choice for GPU. By the time DX10 actually matters, there will be better / cheaper video cards available.
I agree with jtt283 on just about everything hes said. About the size of the case yes its big but us college students manage to fit everything we want inside our dorm room no matter what our parents think, but back to the point, i think you could get as nice of a case without spending 110 bucks. I have a kingwin case that a really like and would recommend that company as well.
If you are not overclocking at all then there is no need to get an after market cooler, the stock one is 100% fine. If you are not overclocking, then i think you can get slower ram. (im not 100% sure but ill look into it maybe someone else can tell you) i think you can rum DDR2 667 and not 800. Thats a few bucks there.
I think a x1950 pro would be good for mid level gaming too.
Something i may suggest though it to gen another harddrive as a backup drive. I'm not suggesting RAID or anything but just something to backup you important photos, papers and other stuff in case you have a problem. theres nothing worst than having to rewrite a paper because something crashed.
Yes, I need a keyboard, I thought I had one on the list, it must've gone out of stock before I switched lists through my cart... Well, now I have one in there. I'm just going with a lite-on $7 one.
I'll think about the x1950, and look around at some cases, and maybe edit the bulid for that.
nh484000: would you suggest an external hard drive, or another internal one? If it affects it at all, I'm also getting a laptop, but it doesn't have much of anything on it, it's just to take to class. I guess I could buy a bigger hard drive for it and use it as backup.
You'll use it all the time, so a $7 KB will probably drive you crazy. There are some (Logitech and Microsquishy, among others) in the $20-$25 range that are spill-resistant; good for a dorm.
If you're getting a laptop too, then get a router and network your PC to your laptop for backup / synchronizing purposes. Don't forget to either turn on WPA, or disable wireless entirely and use cables. If you're still concerned about being hacked, use a thumb drive to transfer stuff.
The Gigabyte board you've chosen includes an eSATA bracket that also provides power. Any SATA drive will work on it, and look essentially like another internal drive. That's another backup option.
I don't think it matters with an internal vs external. Although if you also have a laptop i would get an external.
About the router- I know at my school (University of New Hampshire) you are not allowed to hook up any networking equipment to the schools network. Basically because it allows people to log into the network as other people. Say if you plug your wireless router into the network and forget to turn on WPA. I know that when you connect a computer to the UNH network you have to give a user name and a password and it remembers the MAC address of that computer. This is so that and track every computer on the network and if they are download copywritten stuff. Even a MAC spoff they can still track because when you change spoff your MAC address you have to log in again. Now to get around this... you look for some kid that hooked up a wireless router to their jack in there room and connect to that device. The thing is when the person that owns the router first connected to the internet for the first time the typed in their username and password and login in. The University now has the MAC address for the router and not that of the specific computer behind the router.
Now the big question is do they check if you have a router, no. But last year some kids at my school got introuble for something they didnt do because there was a bomb threat in email from "his computer." "His computer" turned out to be his wireless router that was open for all to connect to.
A long post for prob something you didn't care about but something to ponder i guess.
If you have a roommate i would get a quiet keyboard.
That cases screams "I'm filled with expensive parts! Steal me!" College is filled with a bunch of poor students who will take whatever they can get their hands on.
Get something low key - like an Antec P180.
As for the X1950 - get it. Developers aren't going to stop making DX9 compliant games anytime soon and it will give you time to wait for a REAL DX10 card instead of these first generation "guinea pig" cards.
In my experience like nh484000 said above - The use of routers, hubs, switches, repeaters, concentrators or other devices that interfere with university network traffic is usually forbidden - mainly because students are stupid and leave open access for wardrivers. At my university (UARK) you can have a router - but you have to get it approved by computing services first (that way comp. sci. people who actually KNOW how to set up a router securely are able to do so).
I havent run into any one trying to steal my stuff yet (maybe im lucky and should shut my mouth when im ahead) but some information on that: Take a U bolt and attach it to the back of you case and lock your computer to a desk or something. It will help alittle. I mean if someone wants it they are going to get it. But i would be more worried about someone taking the monitor than the computer. Alot of kids have no idea whats inside the computer, but they see the monitor and go wow.
Ben is right. Check on any relevant rules for what you attach to the campus network. You can still use a router, just don't plug it into the LAN; create your own LAN to use temporarily, such as to do your backups or have private LAN parties.
The Coolermaster cases I mentioned are pretty low-key. Cabling expensive components to a desk would be a good idea.