Great motherboard choice if crossfire is potentially in the future.
Better RAM choice and cheaper DDR2 800 1.8v Mushkin $69 AR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The Q9550 for video editing and slight insurance as more games are quad optimized. The E8500 for present gaming and budget.
The HD 4870 for eventual crossfire and Visiontek for warranty and site support.
Any SATA DVD RW, get retail if you want the software package.
The Xigmatek and bracket for cooler.
A quality 750w power supply for eventual crossfired HD4870s, PC Power and Cooling or Corasir
yorkfield is better than kenstfield
yorkfield has newer instructions for advantage over future applications and 45nm tech.
older games , even crysis do not take the advantage of multicore hence you get good results on higher clock speeds then having more number of core
At the level of the E8500 or Q9550, the vga card is much more important for gaming than the cpu.
At that level, overclocking is good for bragging, but it will not net you as much increase
in FPS as a better vga card will. Today, very few games can make use of more than two cores.
Flight simulator X is an exception. It is not a trivial matter to code multi threaded programs,
and game vendors will not sell too many games that require quads to run.
I don't see this changing in the next couple of years.
Net: E8500 for the increased clock speed.
Core 2 processors do not depend on fast ram. DDR2-800 is fine unless you are going for maximum overclocks. We are looking at a difference in FPS of perhaps 1-2% between the fastest and slowest ram.
I love the Velociraptor. It is a bit pricey, but you can notice the extra snappiness.
What size monitor are you using? Anything at or below 24" and you probably only need an ATi 4870. Faster more expensive cards will be wasted. Also when using an Intel chipset go with ATi graphics cards because you can add a second one later for Xfire but this is not true of ATi offerings.
If you then choose to add a second 4870 later P45 would be fine. You will loose maybe a couple of frames per second (relative to an X48 board) by having 8x/8x but nothing more. At very high resolutions with powerful graphics solutions the loses seem to peak at about 5% (ref X48).
The rampage is a very expensive board if you are running something like a 4870 and a 22" screen, especially given that you can buy an Asus P5Q Pro that would work perfectly well for half that price.
Raptors are expensive and looking very slow when put against an SSD. You can buy a WD 640GB drive for $85 (more storage than 2 raptors, admittedly not as fast) and then add an SSD boot drive and still end up spending less and gaining faster boot times overall. Running games from something like a WD drive is going to make almost no difference when compared to a raptor.
8GB of DDR2-1066 will be overkill unless you are using 3D studio max or something similar. You can use 800MHz RAM unless you are planning a large overclock and 4Gb unless you are running very memory intensive programs. By purchasing 2x2Gb sticks you allow space to add extra RAM later if required.
If you are planning an overclock choose the Xigmatek cooler or the OCZ Vendetta (uses the same mounting so keep the Xigmatek mounting bracket even with the OCZ for better thermal efficiency.
Sure I've missed something but it'll do for a start.
It would be easier to OC a E8600 than a E8500. For the extra $90, you get a faster cpu to start with that should OC higher. With the rampage, you pay twice that to get a motherboard that will not OC that much higher than a standard P45 motherboard.
If you want to be able to brag about your OC prowess, then go ahead. If you want better frame rates while gaming, spend your extra $ on the fastest vga components that you feel comfortable paying for.