Buy a quality power supply, 450watts is plenty for a single card system (Corsair, PC Power and Cooling, OCZ, Silverstone etc.)
Get 2x2 DDR2 800 RAM or just 2x1 if you're going XP
Get a better graphic card, at least an 8800GT or a HD4850.
cool. thanks. i was wondering about the 2x2 ram, and i will probably do it when i get hte extra 80 bucks for mushkins, or i hear g.skills are pretty good. ive heard good and bad about the sigma shark. should i go with a dual card?
skip the hd cooling, unnecessary.
Bad cpu fan get a xiggy with a retention bracket. ( xigmatek s1283 )
The psu is not the best... try this combo deal http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
the graphics card is a little underpowered i would recommend a 8800 gt or 9600gt because you are on a budget.
Oh and btw, wouldn't you want a sound card?
good build though, nice job researching
What is your budget?
No, you don't want liquid cooling, especially on a first build. I've probably built a few hundred PCs (mostly as a tech years ago), and it has never occurred to me to want liquid cooling. IMHO, liquid cooling is for overclocking competitions, high-tech physics labs, and maybe special environments, not for any business or home-use PC, regardless of how high-end. You're just asking for trouble.
Since you mentioned Crysis, you'll want a better graphics card than the 8600GT. Ideally, your budget will allow at least an HD4850.
I'm surprised you haven't listed a sound card considering your stated uses, or perhaps you already have something you plan to use. Just make sure it has drivers for Vista.
In selecting RAM, choose modules that operate at their rated speeds at the JEDEC standard 1.8V. Mushkin has become my personal favorite, such as these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU sizing calculator: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.js...
Here's an OLD list of quality tiers. It is still a reasonable starting point. If a newer model you're considering isn't listed, check to see that the manufacturer has nothing below tier-3: http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon
yikes that would help wouldnt it?! cant believe i forgot that spec! i'll be using a m-audio Audiophile 192 High-Definition 4-In/4-Out Audio Card with Digital I/O and MIDI. great card imo vs. my old creative audigy 2 se card. good card eh?
i agree with the cooling. i was concerned about the heat issue but since overclocking isnt my main pursuit...
I'll definitely look into better cards to support the build as well!
thank you for the ram choices. it never occurred to me these issues other than the size!
Presently and in the near future, the E8500 is the better gaming processor. But eventually games will start utilizing quad-core architecture more. The biggest problem is that nobody really knows how long "eventually" will take to get here. So it depends on whether or not you're willing to sacrifice performance in the short-term for potential long-term benefits.