Looking for Advice for my first System Build

I am planning on building my first computer. Very excited and have always wanted to. After reading dozens of forums from this site (which rocks) and doing mild research on my own, I think i've come up with a decent list of components which should do the trick for a ~$1000 build. Any advice anyone has would be more than great, since i've never done this before. So, without further ado, the list:

Processor ($188.99)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail
*I don't intend on doing any high-end multitasking (video/photo editing while playing Crysis and burning a 3hr long DVD ;) ). The purpose of the computer is gaming, which is why I went with a Duo, and not a quad-core (the price is nicer too). I also intend on overclocking...as soon as I research how, :lol:

Graphics Card ($204.99)
MSI R4870-T2D1G Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
*I would like a little longevity with this build (at least 3 years). I intend on ustilizing the Crossfire capability when my 1 x 1GB card is not enough

Motherboard ($114.99)
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
*Got good reviews, decent price, and has Crossfire capability

Memory ($44.00)
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-8500C5D - Retail
*Rebates dropped this down from $79, so it seems like a great deal. Again, I would like to overclock to extend the shelf life)

Case ($109.99)
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
*More than I expected to pay for a case when I first began researching, but good reviews and the importance of a good case changed my mind to this mid-level.

Power Supply ($99.99)
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
*I've heard over and over, don't skimp on the PSU. I think this will be more than enough for my build with OCing, plus a good quality PSU.

Hard Drive ($74.99)
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
*Probably more size than I need, but again will allow longevity. Good brand, decent price.

Cooler ($39.99)
XIGMATEK HDT-S1284EE 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
*I saw many good reviews for this modestly priced cooler, so I couldn't find a reason to go more expensive. Maybe one day down the line (like around build 3 or 4) I will try water cooling.

Cooler Bracket ($15.19)
XIGMATEK ACK-I7753 Retention Bracket For 4 heatpipes model only - Retail
*I went with the crowd on this one, not too much extra for something most buyers purchased or say they wish they would've purchased.

Thermal Paste ($5.99)
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
*Not quite sure the differences in thermal paste. This was mentioned quite a bit and has good reviews. Also, tips on how to use would be great (still have to research that bit).

Operating System ($99.99)
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
*Pretty standard. I know I don't need the Ultimate, and I would like to use all 4 GBs, 64 bits plus DirectX10, so the choice was pretty simple.

Optical Drive ($23.99)
Samsung 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F - OEM
*Honestly, I just picked one. If you can swear by a better model, please let me know.

The total comes to $1023.09 + $128.48 S&H = TOTAL $1151.57

The purpose of this build is solely gaming with a shelf life of 3-4 years without any upgrading. I plan on OCing to extend the shelf life as well. I am really looking forward to some great criticism after reading other threads on this topic.
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  1. You did an excellent job with that list. I could still find some very minor improvements, but it wasn't easy :)

    E8500 - great choice for a gaming box, unless you play FSX and GTA4. Get a quad if you play those games most.

    Read this thread to learn about OCing:

    Upgrade to WD6401AALS.

    MX-2 paste does not conduct electricity. That's useful if you spill.

    The Corsair 750TX is one of the best 750W PSUs out there, IMO. However, there's an even better one that happens to be cheaper these days too.

    PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W

    If you're going to spend $55 for that Xigmatek and the bracket for it, you might as well spend $60 instead and get the Noctua NH-U12P. According to Anandtech reviewers, it's the quietest and best performing cooler they've ever tested.

    Or a Zerotherm Zen for $44.

    Mind you, your choice is just fine too.

    The Antec 900 is a very good case. However, the same $110 buys you an NZXT Tempest (bigger, more fans, fan filters, same crazy lights).

    Edit: check out this RAM too, it's only $50:
    G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
  2. Thanks for the tip on the paste, wouldn't want to short anything. That PSU looks pretty good and for a better price...might free up some cash to go for a nice monitor as well. Will probably go for that case too. I don't really have any size limitations, so the more room the better. Thanks for the great advice.
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