As for a mic if you wanted one, quite possible as it comes in handy while gaming I recommend this. I own it and it has taken a beating on my desk and has top notch sound, with a handy mute button on it. A nice area mic to say the very least.
You'll want this for gaming, but listening to music, well, 2 channels are better.
You have a point in the whole upgradebility part on the motherboard. But there is something I think you may have overlooked you have a 3x2gb kit of ram, the motherboards we both have are dual channel and support a max of 4 sticks of ram, so you couldn't even run it in dual channel to take advantage of that. Something that will give better performance over overclocking the ram, which provides neglectable performance increase while gaming, if any.
SSD's are not perfect for GB per dollar it is quiet expensive and in my opinion is not worth it when you can get normal HDD that is already quite fast and will stay that way as long as you defrag it once in a blue moon. I won't bother giving any more of my opinion on SDD's besides that as I don't feel like turning this into an argument. So to each their own.
I recomended the 5870 for future gaming in mind over the 5850.
As for the headset you recommended I remember reading up quite a bit on the so called surround sound headsets and most people who reviewed them found them gimmicky. So you may want to look into it more.
Compare the SSD read speeds to the Velociraptor. The Samsung F1 gets an average 92MB/s read speed. The OCZ Vertex Turbo gets an average read speed of 200MB/s. Plus lower latency, plus high reliability. I would suggest investing in a SSD as the HDD is usually (and especially in this case) the main bottleneck in this system.
5870 for the future... Well, I guess so, but then again you can just crossfire 2 5850s? ...Well, it would be more money though, but that's for the OP to decide.
...I just saw that you have a combo deal for the 5870. $35 is pretty substantial for any CPU/GPU. Prices of GPUs are also going down slowly...
I don't usually like surround headsets (SB Arena, any Triton stuff), but Turtle Beach has proved a good company, and yes, I have tried these. I have to say I like them. But headphones are subjective. You should just try them on and see what you think.
As far as the 5870, I really don't plan on having to have *every* game for the next 3 years or whatever at the highest settings, and that's some money I can put into other things. And, as was stated, I don't have a 30" monitor, so I probably won't notice a huge difference any time soon, which is just fine. I may get a SSD later and incorporate it. They're a bit on the pricey side right now, or I would go that route. I just can't justfiy the amount of space I'm not getting for the price. And as for the Antec 1200 CP-850 combo, I missed that when I was looking, because that's one thing I was actually wanting, and the combo definitely makes it affordable. And good catch as well on the dual channel RAM with three sticks. I wasn't thinking so much there. At what point should I consider getting more? I've not really used Win7 so I'm not sure how memory intensive it is, and so I don't know how far my 4 gigs will get me. Should I consider getting another set of ram in the near future? And thanks again for all the feedback. It's really helped make this a lot easier.
Uhm, Win7 uses a little less physical memory than vista.
4 Gigs will go very far for you, don't worry.
If I were you, I'd get another 4 gigs of memory in maybe a year, or whenever you feel necessary.
As for the 5850, it should last you 3 years, if not, more.
Sony ODDs are not really Sony. They're NEC, and they're in the middle of the road. They're not the fastest drives in the world, but they're pretty reliable.
Also a note on the 955be vs 965be, the 965 is binned higher so it can be overclocked much further. If you plan to OC fairly heavily, go for the 965. Otherwise 955.
Well, SSDs are meant so you get a small one for your boot drive. The rest of your data can go on a HDD.
Friend of mine had a pretty similar computer. With his Velociraptors, the computer booted in 18 seconds. With a SSD, about 6 seconds.
But I can see where you're at with the price. And I have to agree with you. Soon (Mid February) Crucial will release their C300 6gb/s SSD, and then the rest of the market will follow. If you plan to migrate to a SSD, don't forget to make a separate partition for your Win7 installation! It will make it much easier to clone the disk to the SSD.
Gotta idmit I like what you have now, you took what you wanted from the the builds you wanted and created something quite nice.
And just to further emphesize Sinosys, 4gb will go a long way. I mentioned going up to 8gb because your original build had 6gb and I wasn't sure of how much you wanted. And if you do plan to push your CPU to it's OCing limits get the 965be as he stated it may be of a high bin quality so you might be able to squeeze an extra 100mhz or more out it (if you wanted every last drop of power) otherwise stick to what you have as its the same thing but not clocked quite as high.
Oh and when you do plan to buy win7 and if you are a college student heres a link to get a discount. Though the $30 win7 professional offer is over they are now selling it for $65, still alot cheaper than it retails which I think is $300. http://www.win741.com/
I'm honestly having a hard time picking out a headset. The last pair I had was the Plantronic DSP 500's. Granted I got those, what, five or six years ago. I honestly think if I my son hadn't broke them, I'd still use them now. What kind of quality, or lack thereof, can I expect from the onboard sound card of the Gigabyte? That was part of the reason I like the Crosshair III is the onboard Creative card.
And as for the ram, I'll go with the 4gig now and upgrade it sometime later, thanks for clearing up the usage of Win7. I don't plan on trying to push my oc'ing to the extreme, so the 955 has more than enough potential for me.
I would also grab this, its your video card with a free PSU (free shipping on said PSU as well) and you save $0.01, I'd personally take it and either keep that as a backup when you build some other machine or hock it ebay for a little extra cash. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...