I've done a lot of research on this forum, but I am still a newbie and welcome your suggestions. I want a good gaming/video editing, graphic rendering machine that might last a few good years. This is what I've purchased so far:
Benq FP241W Monitor
PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750W
G.Skill F2-8000CL5D 4GB DDR2-1000
Windows Vista 64bit
This is what I have in my cart at Zipzoomfly:
LOGITECH QuickCam Pro 9000 Webcam[/b] 960-000048 USB Black Retail 1 $87.99
OCZ OCZTVEND Vendetta Aluminum & Copper Intel/AMD CPU Cooler Retail 1 $28.99
OCZ OCZTFRZTC Extreme Thermal Conductivity Compound Retail 1 $4.99
SAMSUNG SH-S202N 20X IDE DVD Burner Black Drive Bulk 1 $26.25
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 Intel Core 2 Quad Socket 775 1600 MHz PC2-9600 (DDR2-1200) ATX Motherboard Retail 1 $224.99
INTEL Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66 GHz 1333 MHz 775 12MB Desktop Processor Retail ***Free Shipping*** 1 $325.50
WESTERN DIGITAL Caviar?SE16 SATA WD6400AAKS SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Buffer Hard Drive Bulk ***Free Shipping*** 1 $89.00
WESTERN DIGITAL WD3000GLFS VelociRaptor 300GB SATA II 10,000 RPM 16MB Buffer Hard Drive Bulk ***Free Shipping*** 1 $294.99
VISIONTEK 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 PCI Express x16 (2.0v) Video Card Retail 1 $279.99
Logitech Deluxe 250 Desktop keyboard/mouse (Black) 1 $11.99
Verbatim 95115 CD-R 80min 700MB 52X LightScribe 10 Pack Spindle Retail 1 $4.99
Chevron $10 Gift Card 2 Free Gift
Keep the Q9450. It has the SSE4 instructions that the Q6600 lacks. They may not matter, but they are for video / graphics functions you might want. You are describing a mid-range build, so I don't think you need a Crossfire board. Assuming the memory you already have is on its QVL, I'd go with Shadow's suggestion of a P45 board. Other than the CPU, I'd say his other suggestions are good too.
Thanks for all of the feedback - this is GREAT!!! I'll definitely get the sata dvd drive, and I'll change the cooler to a XIGMATEK S1283 or a Zalman. I'm really surprised that everyone is saying to drop the velociraptor. Why??? I'm also not sure I want to go RAID 0 - I'm doing more than gaming and would hate to loose important programs/data. I'm not a hard core gamer...just really enjoy gaming.
The reason every one recommends against the VelociRaptor is because of it's price. It is very fast but the price is ridiculous. A 7200.11 HDD are more than fast enough for most cases. If you want fast encoding/transfer times get a old Raptor as a scratch disk.