Only thing I would change is look into the new Radeon HD4850s. Its a better card, not much more plus later on you can get another 4850 and do CF with that mobo where as you cannot do SLI since its not capable.
Keep the mobo as its better than any nvidia equivalent. Everything else is great.
Dump the 880Gt.
Get two 4850's and bridge.
Get another seagate and use RAID 0 striped.
Upgrade that PSU to 750W, you'll need it with RAID and SLI.
the artic freezer 7 is a good budget cooler but think about the sort of overclock you're planning because that cooler won't get you maximum cooling.
Haven't researched the monitor.
RAID is just what you said. Making 2 HDDs look like one. For instance a RAID 0 (Performance) would take 2 500GB HDDs and make them look like one 1000GB HDD and increase transfer speeds by a lot. Now it does leave the risk that if anything goes wrong with one drive you are screwed.
Then there is RAID 1 (Redundancy) which would take the same 2 500GB HDDs and make them look like 1 500GB HDD so whatever goes on one drive is duplicated to the other drive so if anything goes wrong you do not loose all of your data and can replace the bad disk.
RAID 5 is a good one. Its like having the performance from RAID 0 but with the redundancy of RAID 1 . This one needs at least 3 HDDs to work though. 2 for performance and 1 for redundancy.
to be hosnet you proberly wont need raid and if you dont knwo eactly what it is might be a bit of hassel getting it going and maintaing it for the same price you could get a velociraptor, whihc although would offer the same storage real estate, would be jsut as quick. but that just my opinoin.
i would deffinatly go for a 4850 rather the 38 series, i dont like buying old series equipment.
you also might want to consider getting a q9300 instead of the e8400 if you feel that you would benifit from the extra cores, i know that i would blink twice at the option especially as multi core utilisation is going to become big.
dont forget to get a good case a case is not the place to cheep out on. you can get a solid case from coolermaster case for not to much, just dont get roped into buying a unnamed PSU/case combo.
^Meh the Velocoraptor is too expensive in terms of storage space for performance.
Setting up a RAID 0 on any Intel chipset is easy. You hook up the HDDs, wait till the screen after POST and press CTRL+I and read the mobo manual for full details. Select STRIPE size (128K is the best for performance) and set it and your done. Heck my first RAID was so easy to do I was amazed.
And if you want an easy Windows Installation use Vista. Vista will see the RAID array without any other drivers needed where as the XP installation will need you to load the RAID drivers from a floppy. Trust me on this as I know since I have done this a lot.
"to be hosnet you proberly wont need raid and if you dont knwo eactly what it is might be a bit of hassel getting it going and maintaing it for the same price you could get a velociraptor, whihc although would offer the same storage real estate, would be jsut as quick. but that just my opinoin. "
You are in fact correct to a point, but when you view PC mark benches, two SATA2 drives at 7200rpm will load game levels and bulk data much quicker than one raptor. When your talking burst rates there arent too many people that can notice 5ms over 10ms, even though technically it's 100% faster. Get a RAID setup, striped.
64 bit vista will also run almost all 32 bit programs, so that's worth getting. For example I can run crysis in 64 bit business.
"Select STRIPE size (128K is the best for performance) and set it and your done. "
Jimmysmitty: Have a look at some 64K stripe benches, you might be pleasantly surprised.
I was always a SCSI nut until this latest setup, I have always used seagate and can't recomend them enough. Now I have 2x500GB in RAID 0 and will in fact see what the ultimate RAID setup is since these drives present excellent value right now.
If anyone has an excellent RAID sites will some late model benches I'd appreciate the link.