APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week with a budget range of approximately 1000-1200
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3ds max, After Effects, Photoshop, internet, some gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor
PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: newegg.com, I'm in the US
PARTS PREFERENCES: I think I want to use an Asus motherboard with an Intel chip in an ATX mid case
OVERCLOCKING: maybe some small amount of OC'ing and no immediate plans for SLI/xfire though the ability to expand in the future is a plus
I'm putting together my first system. I'm not as concerned with overclocking as I am with stability and ease of use/assembly. To stay within my budget I decided to go with an i7-860 vs. an i7-920, mostly due to motherboard and RAM prices. These are the parts I'm thinking about ordering off of Newegg. Does anything jump out at anybody? Have I made any noob mistakes? Do any of these not play well with the rest or have some kind of negative reputation that I missed in my research? Also, given the parts I'm looking at, should I be ordering any cables or screws or is it safe to assume these will be included (I tended towards Retail as opposed to OEM versions for this reason)?
The motherboard you chose is excellent. However, for $20 more you can get the same motherboard with USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/s capabilities (P7P55D-E PRO). USB 3.0 will quickly become mainstream in the next 6 months, and the ASUS MB has a very good implementation with their PLX chip for USB. I think it is worth the $20, but you could always add a USB 3.0 card in the future if you decide to stick with your original choice.
You should consider getting a ATI 5750 graphics card (I like Sapphire) because it is fast, has low power requirements, runs cool and quiet, and can support up to three monitors. The GTS 250 is an older generation card.
If you want to keep your crossfire options open in the future you should get at least a 600 W PSU. I would recommend either the Corsair TX650 or 650HX or the Antec EA650 or TP650. If your not going to crossfire, then the Corsair 550VX is excellent.
The samsung F3 and Seagate 7200.12 drives are slightly faster than the WD Caviar Black, so if you can get them cheaper you should consider switching.
Most motherboards come with at least two SATA cables which should be enough for the HDD and ODD, although it doesn't hurt to have a spare or two.
thanks so much for your reply. I switched to the motherboard you recommended and also switched in a Seagate drive for the WD drive. Going with the Sapphire ATI 5750 over the Nvidia I had listed actually saved me $20! Also switched in the Corsair TX650 for the 550VX just in case I want to do xfire type stuff somewhere down the line.
any other recommendations before i pull the trigger?
Well, I'm not quite sure where you are in your budget, but it might be worth while to upgrade to the 5770 for only $20-30 more. Also, I'd say be prepared to Xfire, as it's quite possible that the 5750 won't be powerful enough for your needs fairly soon, but two of them should be fine, and with that PSU, it looks like you're all set.
the 5770 might be a nice upgrade for just 20 or 30 more. that's a good point. there were some mentions of conflicts between the 5770's built in sound support and onboard sound support causing problems and some people needing to flash their BIOs. is that a hard process.
also, for flashing the BIOs on my motherboard or any of my other hardware, is this a process that i can do with a little USB flash drive? I shouldn't be worried about putting some kind of *gasp* floppy drive into my build, should I?
you can flash your bios with a usb drive ( asus's utility is easyflash i think). got for the 5770. it is 30 dollars more that will pay off greatly down the road. oh and nice case. im using one now and its my favorite case i have owned so far. the price is right too.
order has been placed! nice little chunk of change. thanks to you guys for the responses to my own post as well as all the valuable responses to all the other posts throughout these forums that I looked at while I was researching this build. I'll be back in a couple days when I manage to fry some important component or another.