I am working on building my first custom PC and came across this question and maybe you can give me your thoughts. I am using a Gigabyte mobo as well and I didn't see the need for an additional sound card given that most (including the new Gigabyte ones) have pretty good supported sound right on the mobo. The mobo you chose has 8 channels with the Realtek chipset for audio. Couldn't you just save the 90$ you were planning on spending on the audio card, or better yet use it towards a bigger monitor or higher end speakers? Im just curious what your thoughts are on this. Also, why are you using multiple HDDs? Are you planning on having the system auto back itself up as it goes? I just think you could get a 500GB HDD cheaper than the two hard drives together. Also, you are aware that if you are using a 32 bit OS (whihc you should) that the system is only going to recognize about 3 Gigs of the RAM you are buying. Have you built a system before? Sorry if any of my question or inquisitions are bothersome, but since I will be doing this soon, its nice to get dialogue going with someone else who is doing this. What do you have the whole system priced out at? What type of monitor is he going to buy?
The x-fi is just a preference, and only $50 after rebate. We're using multiple HDs becasue the Raptor gives the best gaming performance but is only 150GB. The WD SE 250GB is for mass storage of media, etc. Ram is so incredibly cheap right now that It's worth it IMHO to buy 4GB and get 3GB. DvD drive is leftover part from another system. Monitor tbd. Total system cost after rebates and shipping was approx $1600, not counting the dvd drive, monitor, or speakers.
I would pay $10 or $20 more to get the BFG or XFX version instead of PNY.
The PSU is under the 580W minimum recommendation. You're also adding Raptors and soundcards there, it's not even a minimal system any more. For a system with a $600 video card it's worth buying a decent PSU. Here's a good one, with the 6/8 pin connectors and the amps you need: