APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I plan on building over winter break so anytime after thanksgiving
BUDGET RANGE: 1200-1400 before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Mainly gaming as well as other multimedia
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, case
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg (or other if better priced)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: I would really like to do a core i7 920 build
OVERCLOCKING: Yes, although I have no prior experience
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, in the future
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I’m a college student badly in need of a new pc. I’ve never built one by myself before but I have helped a friend put his own together once. I already have a couple parts and the majority of the others picked out but I wanted to get more opinions and make sure everything checks out before I pull the trigger. I play mainly FPS but dabble in a variety of other genres. I have a copy of Windows 7 waiting and I already own an Antec 902 case.
Optical drive doesn't matter. Get a good brand like Samsung, LG or Sony and get 24x. That's all that matters.
Other than that: great!
A small thing though: Asrock is considered a bit of a B-brand. Its recent products, like the one you picked, are of high quality, but I'd still pick a brand like Gigabyte. It's easier to overclock with them, and they're better quality as well. You won't get as much features for the money, but I believe it's worth it.
Getting thermal compound depends on how much you want to overclock. If you're going to only overclock slightly, then you probably don't need it. If you're going to go for a big overclock, you will need it.
I second the recommendation for the Gigabyte mobo - they are almost idiot proof... I would know. If you check overclocking reviews the Gigabytes are always on the top of the list - and the motherboard is not a part you want to save 50$ on.
Get the X58 if you are going Sli/Crossfire.
If you are going with a single GPU you should go with a i5 build and save a couple hundred bucks right off the top. You won't get a noticeable difference in your games with a 920 or i5 750 CPU. With an overclocked i5 750 most people can get to 3.6ghz without a hitch. You bottleneck is gonna be your graphics card, not your processor.
Overclocked i7 920 is the fastest thing going if you buy two graphics cards, but its alot more money for a system like that. What games you playing anyway? You get an i5 with a new radeon 5000 series and you will be able to max pretty much every game on the market right now, and shouldn't have to upgrade for several years.