Any and all input is appreciated. I am looking for ease of build and compatibility the most with this build. I just want something plug and play thats why I focused on parts that seem to have a good reputation. A few questions...
Is everything compatible?
Anything with these parts that I should know about such as an outstanding problem or support issue?
I chose the nvidia card because from my experience and quite a few reviews it just performs better for gaming. Also, I am willing to spend a few extra bucks for better performance (for example the velociraptor).
Thanks for looking!
You also might as well get the UD3R instead of the UD3P since you can't take advantage of the crossfire capability of the board with an Nvidia GPU. I personally would just pick up a 4870 1GB card since they are almost the same speed. You'd have the option of adding another card later if you went with an ATI GPU.
You're in very good shape for possible future OC'ing.
The Gskill PI Black is a little better spec RAM (CL4) than the Mushkin (CL5).
CPU and motherboard are excellent OC'ing.
Add a more robust CPU cooler and you're in even better shape.
You should change to eVGA 750i or some other SLI motherboard. Otherwise there's no future-proofing and the 750W PSU is not going to help much.
Or you could leave the P45 Crossfire MB you have picked and change the card to HD 4870 1GB. That is a faster card than the GTX 260 Core 216, and would allow you to add a second card when needed.
Either way, Crossfire MB + nVidia card doesn't make sense. It would work but it's a waste.
I'd also change the cooler to Xigmatek HDT-S1283.
The sound card is probably unnecessary. Are you an audiophile? Specifically, are you the kind of guy who listens to mp3 256 kbps or wav and can actually tell the difference? If not, try the onboard audio first.
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 is a great CPU cooler. But to get the most out of it you also need to order the retention bracket / backing plate. Thats about $7 more and you'll pay extra to have the cooler shipped.
The Zen cooler is almost as good, it already has the retention bracket / backing plate included in the package. AND it has free shipping and that $30 rebate.
Or the COOLER MASTER 92mm Hyper TX2. It's also comparable to the AC Freezer 7 Pro 92mmand the Zalman 9500A 92mm coolers. They're all medium sized and medium performance coolers. They're quite a bit better @ cooling than the stock intel coolers and they're OK for mid-range overclocking. For example, your E8500 from 3.0Ghz to ~3.6Ghz without running too hot.
The Zalman is a bit more expensive but it does have the bolt through kit included. The other two use the stock type push pins. A bit tricky and a bit harder, but no real problem.
The bigger 120mm coolers Core Contact Freezer and HDT-S1283 would let you get in the ~3.8-4.0Ghz at about the same overclock temps.
Coolermaster HyperTX2 performance review. You'll see the Zalman 9500 close by. AC Freezer7 Pro isnt shown but would also be in close vicinity. The stock intel Core2 Duo cooler is down toward the bottom.