I'm looking to build a computer for around $800-$900, maybe slightly more if I'd gain a lot. Everything I've listed totals $837 (with the exception of the PSU, which I already own) with shipping included, so it's right around what I'm looking to spend.
The system will mostly be used for gaming, but will also be used for word processing, internet, music, and watching video.
One question I have is about the RAM. Since I am probably going to go with the 32 bit Vista, because 64 bit just seems like too much of a hassle now, should I be going with 2 GB? Would it be better to go with 4 GB even though some of it wouldn't be used? The price difference isn't that high, so I'd be inclined to go with whichever would be better.
The second question I have is how much impact do sound cards have in video game performance (FPS, etc.), if any? I've always just used the onboard sound.
Yes, the difference in fps is little between using a dedicated sound card and onboard sound.
And if you can afford it, get 4gb of ram. It cost somthing like $80? thats so cheap, might as well shoot higher and get 4 gb.
PCI-e 2.0 cards are backwards compatible with PCI-e 1.1 boards. In addition, the bandwidth of 1.1 isn't being saturated yet by today's video cards, so you wouldn't really gain much, if anything, by having a PCI-e 2.0 board at the moment.