Basically plan on gaming and just general *** (surfing, watching/downloading videos, etc.). So what do you think? Is everything compatible? Am I skimping too much anywhere in relation to the rest of the build? Is anything an overkill? Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
@Trans: No, completely my bad, I should have mentioned it, sorry.
OK, so you're advising I go with the i5 instead, is it that much better? If so, why is it cheaper? Also, if I go with the i5, will this ram suffice instead? I noticed the one you suggested wrote "Dual Channel Intel Core i5 & Core i7 CPU for P55 motherboard" in red above the title. What does this mean? Is it necessary? I also noticed the RAM I just listed has a lower cas latency than the G.Skill, is this important?
EDIT: Whoops, completely forgot to answer your question. My monitor is 13.3 x 10.6 inches, currently at 1280 x 1024. Not really an issue since I might eventually upgrade if necessary. Games: any I hear good things about.
The Core I5 is based on a new architecture, hence it is more efficient. The Core I5 comfortably beats the Q9550, even though it's cheaper. As for the RAM, it is recommened to get one that isn't above 1.65V to prevent damaging the CPU, that's why some say "Dual Channel for Core I5" etc. Lower timings (CAS Latency) will be better for gaming, so if you can find one at a decent price then go with it.
If you won't be upgrading your monitor soon, then you can save money by going with a GTS 250/ATI 4850. Those will max out any game at that resolution. You can then just upgrade your GPU when you decide to buy a new monitor.
Very good point, also, the prices on the cards will most likely go down by the time I get a new monitor, so makes perfect sense. Will a 4850 512mb suffice at that resolution, or would you recommend the 1gb?
P.S. I'm not sure but I don't think the OS you suggested comes with the free upgrade to 7 (is it a free upgrade or just a discount?). It says "See 32-116-677CVF for Vista w/ free Windows 7 upgrade coupon", whatever that means.
I'm not familiar with Canadian sites, so you'll have to look for Vista w/ Windows 7 Upgrade somewhere else I think, or if your not buying soon you can pre-order a full version of Windows 7. It'll be out next month.
Windows 7 is not out yet, so if you buy Vista now, you get a coupon to upgrade to Windows 7 for free. When it comes out, there will be a little time before they release OEM versions, and retail versions will be too expensive. If you are a student, you can get a copy for $30.
If you can find a free solution now, like ibnsina mentioned, go for it until prices come down on Windows 7, otherwise, get Vista with the upgrade coupon.